There are two public river access points on Aspen Lakes Drive, in the Flying Heart Ranch subdivision north of Hailey, meandering paths that take you from the cottonwoods to the cobble. These river access points are not a benevolent gesture from the subdivision; instead, they are permanent easements for the public to enjoy the river. Recently, the Homeowners Association posted signs that indicate that parking is not permitted in the two gravel parking areas adjacent to the river access, effectively limiting (even eliminating, for some) access for river users. The signs threaten to tow any parked cars. Indeed, last week a 16-year old kayaker’s car was towed, and cost $225 to recover.
I don’t know if the Homeowners Association has the right under the letter of the law to change the longstanding parking policy at these two river access points. I do know that this selfish policy violates the spirit of the law, which is to provide residents and visitors access to the river. I use these parking pullouts frequently, and rarely see another car there. When I do, I encounter families hunting morels, anglers enjoying the river or fellow kayakers out for a float. Public access to the Big Wood River is one of the aspects that makes living in and visiting our town special.
Flying Heart: Take down your signs and restore access to the river!
Elliot Jacobs, Hailey