The weather outside is frightful, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Even with winter on top of us, Idaho has plenty of places to go to have some fun in the snow.
One such place is Harriman State Park, a wildlife reserve located just outside of Island Park. The park is 11,000 acres, and there are many opportunities for some outdoor recreation.
“We groom our trails for Nordic skiing, and also snowshoeing and fat biking as conditions allow,” said Morgan Smith, interpretive ranger at the park.
Harriman State Park has a rich history, dating all the way back to the early 1900’s, where it was owned by several railroad investors. The park was turned into a state park in 1977, and ever since, thousands have had a fun time enjoying the park and its many features.
The park has had its fair share of challenges recently with regards to COVID-19, but it’s doing well despite the difficulties.
“So actually, because so many people are travelling to states with less restrictions, we’ve actually had more visitation this year than I think we’ve ever had,” Smith said. “And you know, outside you can social distance, you can find a more remote location in the park. Everyone wears a mask when passing others on the trails. We’re following all the guidelines that everyone else does, because we want our visitors and staff to feel safe.”
And what’s not to like about the scenery of Eastern Idaho? The Centennial Mountain Range towers over some of the park’s locales, and there is also plenty of wildlife to see.
“There’s anything from otters, to moose, to elk, to bears, to even great owls in the fall. It’s definitely a wide variety of wildlife in the park, and that’s my favorite thing about this place,” Smith said.
Harriman State Park has a fee free day this Saturday, where the park will waive the entrance fee and the winter access fee so visitors can roam about the land for free. It will be pretty cold, so make sure to bring the proper equipment, including your own snowshoes or other equipment.
For more information about regular fees click here.