BoCo to expand Gold Hill Trail parking

By Reader Staff

Bonner County commissioners unanimously approved a final agreement May 11 with the U.S. Forest Service, accepting a $31,752 grant to expand the parking area at the Gold Hill trailhead.

Pete Hughes, the interim recreation director for Bonner County, presented the final agreement at the board’s regular Tuesday business meeting, reiterating the importance of the project for public safety. Commissioner Steve Bradshaw concurred.

The parking lot at Gold Hill trailhead. Photo by Ben Olson.

“In the summertime, people park along the road and it blocks traffic and creates a hazard,” Bradshaw said.

The grant comes from the Idaho Panhandle Resource Advisory Committee, which works with the USFS to recommend projects in Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai, Shoshone, Benewah and Latah counties that will improve the natural and infrastructural features of North Idaho.

Gold Hill is a notoriously popular 5.6-mile trail affording hikers with views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Long Bridge, looking toward Sandpoint. The trailhead, which currently accommodates about eight vehicles, is located on Bottle Bay Road.

The expanded parking, accomplished through the use of the RAC grant and a $4,000 match of in-kind county labor, will utilize Bonner County right-of-way to provide space for eight additional cars.

According to grant application documents, the work will take about a week to complete during fall 2021.

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