Pocatello officials are celebrating recent river access improvements and looking to the future for even more access to the Portneuf River.
This past fall the City of Pocatello’s Outdoor Recreation Division and Science and Environment Division, with the help of Idaho Fish and Game and funding from the Idaho Parks and Recreation Grant Fund, installed two river access points at the end of King Street and at the Abraszewski Trailhead. The King Street access was also made possible through the generosity of the Brennan family.
These access points are huge additions to floating the Portneuf River in Pocatello and perfect for paddle boarding or kayaking, even at low flows.
Hannah Sanger, Science and Environment Administrator for the City notes, “It has been so exciting to open up this stretch of the river to floating. These additional river access points allow floaters to safely get into the river just downstream of the concrete channel and navigate downstream taking-out at the Abraszewski Trailhead or further downstream, depending on their skill level. I paddle boarded this section without a fin last summer during the August drought and it was fantastic! It took me a couple hours to float from King Street to Batiste Bridge. I’m looking forward to doing this again with hardened river access points for easier entry and take outs.”
The City is now looking to expand this downstream river recreation corridor with two additional hardened access points at Batiste Road and Douglass Lane. These proposed river access locations are downstream of spring water inputs and have water all summer long. The Batiste Bridge river access is on FMC property, just northwest of the Batiste Bridge. The Douglass Lane river access is on City property and provides the last spot to take out before reaching the reservation, after which point a Trespass Permit is required. Both locations will be developed with gravel parking lots and will have hardened access down to the river for floaters.
City officials are applying for a grant through the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation to fund these additional river access locations. If the City is successful, the projects would begin in late 2022 or 2023.
To comment or get involved in the efforts, can contact Sanger at (208) 234-6518 or firstname.lastname@example.org.