Cyclists know that Idaho is home to some great cycling routes and events. Cascade is a small town about 80 miles north of Boise, and the town already features some insanely good routes for gravel and adventure cycling. The good is only getting better, after a late-2018 announcement made by the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council and Cascade Chamber of Commerce. They’ll be further developing the trail system in the area, using Cascade as a hub for a minimum of four new routes. The 60 – 180 mile options run from Cascade to Boise, East Mountain, Garden Valley, and Lick Creek, using a mix of paved roads, dirt roads, Forest Service roads, and even some singletrack. These will offer the more sane cyclists among us an alternative to the 600-mile Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route.
According to Andrew Mentzer, WCMEDC executive director, “If you don’t want to spend 10 days or 2-3 weeks doing the hot springs loop, you can come to Cascade and take multiple rides from one central location over the course of a week or a weekend. You can grab provisions at D-9 Grocer or one of the local convenience stores, camp at a nearby campground, or even get a nice hotel room and enjoy a hot shower and breakfast in between rides.”
In order to help develop the routes, professional adventure cyclist and Idaho resident, Jay Petervary, was hired for input and guidance. Petervary commented,
Not everyone can really do the big epics like 1,000-milers and 500-milers. The adventure-cycling community needs more smaller, 50- to 250-milers. The concept of multiple loops from a central location with a lot of amenities like Cascade is totally cool. A lot of communities have talked about doing something like this, but very few have actually put any effort into it.
Want to get involved? Check out this page for a survey posted by the West Central Mountains Economic Development Council. Also head over to this link for a PDF map showing existing routes open to the public.