Residents of the Wood River Valley who have been feeling cooped-up lately now have something to smile about: Recent snow storms have led to the opening of more than 100 kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails.

On Tuesday, the Blaine County Recreation District’s winter trails grooming report showed that Nordic trails from Bellevue to Ketchum—including 18 kilometers in Quigley Canyon—were ready for use.

The Wood River Trail, which was built over an old railway line and connects all towns in the valley, is open and free to the public. Additional trails in the BCRD and Sun Valley Resort network are accessible by fee only.

Galena Lodge north of Ketchum will open on Friday, providing a central location for about 18 kilometers of currently open trails for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and other activities. The Nordic trails at Sun Valley Resort are also expected to open next week.

The BCRD operates more than 160 kilometers of Nordic skiing trails and 36 kilometers of snowshoe trails throughout the Wood River Valley. More trails are expected to open with subsequent snowfalls.

Special precautions should be followed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCRD winter trails link website advises that skiers and snowshoers refrain from using parks or trails if they are exhibiting symptoms.

“Follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to and during use of parks or trails. Prepare for limited access to public restrooms or other facilities. While on trails, warn other users of your presence and as you pass, and step aside to let others pass,” the website states.

The BCRD also reminds trail users to observe the CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other individuals at all times.

“If this is not possible, users should find an alternate location or depart that space," the BCRD states on its website. "Let's all do our part to use our open-spaces in a way that respects each other and public health guidance."

For an up-to date map of open Nordic and snowshoeing trails and the daily grooming report go to wintertrailink.bcrd.org.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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