Idaho Public Access Guide, Page 2

In addition to our preserves, The Nature Conservancy has helped create other public recreation and access areas around Idaho. These include lands that are now state parks, wildlife management areas and Bureau of Land Management properties--all available for the public to enjoy. 

The Nature Conservancy values working with agencies, communities and individuals to create opportunities to connect people with nature.

We hope you have the opportunity to enjoy our natural world this season--whether that means a picnic with your family, photographing a wildflower bloom, or casting to a trophy trout.

Note: More detailed information and driving directions can be found in the links below.

Chester Wetlands Wildlife Management Area
Location: St. Anthony
Ownership: Idaho Department of Fish and Game
The Conservancy purchased the Chester Wetlands in 2001, and transferred it to the state in a series of land trades. Located along the Henry's Fork, the project protected a popular hunting and fishing area from development. Flocks of ducks, geese and trumpeter swans use the many ponds in the area, and sage grouse and sharp-tailed grouse thrive in the uplands.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: fishing, hunting (short-range weapons only), wildlife viewing, birding

Billingsley Creek State Park
Location: Hagerman
Ownership: Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
The Nature Conservancy assisted the state with the acquisition of this park, part of the Thousand Springs State Park Complex. Visit the home of famed Idaho writer Vardis Fisher, or cast to trout in a clear spring creek that runs through the property.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: fishing, birding, historical tours

Box Canyon State Park
Location: near Wendell
Ownership: Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
In December 2006, The Nature Conservancy completed its transfer of Box Canyon to Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. One of the largest springs in the country, Box Canyon offers Caribbean-blue waters, a lovely waterfall and excellent opportunities to see golden eagles and other raptors.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: hiking, birding

Ritter Island State Park
Location: near Wendell
Ownership: Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation
This state park is one of The Nature Conservancy's gifts to Idaho. It was donated in December 2006, and is another part of the Thousand Springs State Park Complex. A historic dairy farm is still found on the island, and visitors can view the largest intact freshwater springs in the area.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: fishing, bird hunting, hiking, birding, historical tours

Hilltop - Boise Foothills
Location: northeast of Boise
Ownership: Bureau of Land Management
This property, slated for development, was purchased by the Conservancy and later transferred to BLM. It is important mule deer and elk winter range. Located across from the Hilltop Diner on Highway 21, it preserves open space that Treasure Valley residents value. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game annually collects sagebrush seeds here for use in restoration in other parts of the state.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing

Pahsimeroi River Access
Location: Pahsimeroi Valley
Ownership: Idaho Department of Fish and Game
In 2004, The Nature Conservancy purchased the Moen Ranch in the Pahsimeroi Valley. It sold the land along the river to Idaho Department of Fish and Game, which is managing the property as a fishing and public recreation access area. The remainder of the land will remain private property and was sold with a conservation easement to an organic beef rancher.

Outdoor recreational opportunities: fishing, salmon watching, birding

Visit Nature Conservancy Preserves

By Matt Miller, senior science writer