Photos Talo Pinto Photography
In the heart of Boise, Idaho, where nature and adventure converge, two passionate hikers and dog lovers, Matt Clark and Diana Burrell, have embarked on an extraordinary journey of exploration and companionship. Their endeavor, “The Hiker’s Guide: Treasure Valley Dog Hikes & Walks,” is a testament to their dedication to fostering a deeper bond between humans and their four-legged companions. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the inspiration, insights, and adventures that led to the creation of this invaluable guide for dog owners seeking memorable hikes in Boise.
A Vision Born from Passion
For Matt and Diana, the inspiration to write a dog hiking book centered on Boise, Idaho, was a natural progression of their love for the outdoors and their cherished dogs, Watson and Berry. They firmly believe that spending time in nature, alongside your canine friend, has immeasurable benefits for both physical and mental well-being. As avid hikers and advocates for spending quality time outdoors, they wanted to share this experience with others.
Their serendipitous meeting with local guidebook author Scott Marchant served as the catalyst for their project. Scott, often queried about dog-friendly hikes, saw an opportunity when he learned of Matt and Diana’s hiking adventures with their dogs. Thus, the idea for “The Hiker’s Guide” was sown, and the journey to document the Treasure Valley’s dog-friendly trails began.
Boise: A Canine Haven for Hikers
What makes Boise an extraordinary destination for dog owners who relish the great outdoors? Matt and Diana highlight the vast network of trails and pathways that weave through the city and its surroundings. With nearly 200 miles of maintained trails in the Boise Foothills, over 50 miles of river pathways, and the allure of the Owyhee Foothills and Boise National Forest, Boise offers an endless array of hiking possibilities for adventurous souls and their furry companions.
Ensuring Safe and Enjoyable Adventures
Safety is paramount when hiking with dogs, and Matt and Diana understand this well. While not dog trainers or veterinarians, they’ve learned valuable lessons over the years. Their guidebook provides a wealth of tips and recommendations, from carrying extra water to understanding leash requirements and being mindful of canine health. Each trail in the guide includes essential information, ensuring that readers are well-prepared for their adventures.
Hidden Gems and Favorites
Boise has a plethora of dog-friendly hiking trails, and Matt and Diana are eager to share their favorites. The Basalt and Rim Trail, starting from Bowler Park, offers panoramic views and interpretive overlooks. Eagle Island State Park, with its off-leash areas and diverse loops, provides endless opportunities for exploration. Hardtrigger Creek, though a bit farther from the city, offers solitude and stunning canyon vistas. The guide also includes a curated list of favorite adventures for various preferences and seasons.
Trail Selection Process
Selecting the trails featured in the book was a labor of love. Watson and Berry, Matt and Diana’s beloved rescue dogs, played an integral role in the decision-making process. Their well-being and enjoyment were central to the criteria used to identify the 42 hikes, 14 paths, and 25 dog-friendly parks that made the cut. Each trail’s unique features, from wildlife and shade to terrain and water availability, were carefully considered to ensure an unforgettable experience for human-canine duos.
Unforgettable Moments in Nature
Matt and Diana’s adventures have been peppered with unforgettable moments. They fondly recall a close encounter between Watson and a skunk during a hike, where Watson’s obedience saved the day. Berry, in her exuberance, once bounced joyfully along Hull’s Gulch Interpretive Trail, leaving a lasting image of pure canine happiness.
Essential Items and Preparation
Before embarking on a hiking adventure with their furry companions, dog owners should heed some essential advice. Matt and Diana outline the “10 Essentials” for both humans and dogs, emphasizing the importance of preparedness. Understanding your dog’s fitness level, adhering to trail regulations, and carrying the right gear are vital to a safe and enjoyable outing.
Boise’s Unique Challenges
Boise’s weather can be unpredictable, with seasons often deviating from the norm. Matt and Diana stress the importance of checking weather forecasts before setting out, as sudden storms and temperature fluctuations can catch hikers off guard. Additionally, they caution hikers about traps and snares that can be legally placed near trails and provide guidance on handling such situations. Coyotes are another factor to consider, especially when hiking with dogs, as they can become territorial around their dens.
A Deeper Connection
Matt and Diana’s personal connection with dogs and the outdoors shines through in their writing. They offer readers a unique perspective, combining the viewpoint of a hiker and a dog, enriching the reader’s experience and fostering a deeper bond with their pets.
Future Adventures Afoot
While Matt and Diana currently have no imminent projects in the works, their commitment to promoting the joys of hiking with dogs remains unwavering. As they ponder new material, readers can eagerly anticipate future adventures and insights from this dynamic duo.
In conclusion, “The Hiker’s Guide: Treasure Valley Dog Hikes & Walks” is not just a book; it’s a gateway to unforgettable journeys in the company of loyal canine companions. Matt and Diana’s dedication to sharing their passion for the outdoors and their love for dogs shines brightly through the pages of this guide. As Boise’s breathtaking trails await, this book promises to be an invaluable companion for any dog owner seeking to explore the beauty of Treasure Valley. So, leash up your best friend, grab a copy of this guide, and embark on a memorable adventure amidst the natural wonders of Boise.
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