A Bike Ride Through Pocatello
The bicycle-friendly city of Pocatello has hundreds of miles of paths and trails in around the community. Rural trails vary in length and difficulty. Cycling is so common that the city has a number of clubs that endeavor to encourage the sport and host events throughout the year. Club membership provides cyclists with discounts to recreation areas and activities.
The weather is typically milder compared to many other locations throughout the country, which enables cyclists to use their bikes for transportation or recreation much of the year. Even when traffic becomes heavy at certain times of the day, residential streets make getting where you need to go a breeze and efficiently. Motorists are also very respectful of bikers here. The community was established in a valley surrounded by scenic hills and mountains. As such, hilly areas present a physical challenge for anyone not accustomed to the workout.
The Idaho Falls Greenbelt and the Portneuf Greenway are two of the most popular cycling trails in the Pocatello area. Both are paved. The Falls Greenbelt path is 11 miles in length round trip and combines several routes that meander through the city and along either side of the Snake River. Signage is sketchy, as the site continues to be under development. So, cyclists must familiarize themselves with the route via trail maps.
The Portneuf Greenway extends for 17 miles and also consists of a combination of shorter trails. Cyclists commonly venture from Idaho State to the Edson Fichter Nature Area and back. Along the way, you encounter a few hills. But the diverse landscape is appealing and ranges from fields of flowers to rocky cliffs and wild flatland. You also pass a creek and a picturesque pond.
The Gibson Jack-Sterling Justice-Kusick Creek Cross Mountain Ride trail is one of the newest and takes cyclists on a 12-mile journey that includes a vertical rise of 1,500 feet. The adventure begins at Gibson Jack parking lot and continues through tall, grassy fields filled with wildflowers and shrubbery. Upon reaching the summit, you have a commanding view over the city and surrounding mountains.
Ride over to Idaho State University and tour the Natural History Museum. The facility has more than 700,000 items in their collection that span a variety of subjects. Exhibits include a look at prehistoric life via full-sized dinosaur skeletons, a paleontology field station and a state-of-the-art video game. See prehistoric cave art. Venture into outer space or the equally amazing world beneath the sea. Encounter the strange buzz saw shark that once inhabited local waters.
Animal lovers might consider making a trip to the local zoo. The facility is unique in that it cares for and exhibits wildlife native to the North American area. The exhibits include buffalo, cougars and eagles along with longhorn sheep and grizzly bears. Many other exhibits include birds of prey, waterfowl and wild canine species. The facility also offers a number of special events throughout the year in addition to special classes for area students.