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Osher Institute Hike: Cottonwood Trail in Military Reserve

This hike information is provided by Mike Merz, facilitator of the Osher Institute Special Interest Group (SIG), “Hiking in the Foothills.” 

Before hiking, please remember to check trail conditions on the Ridge to Rivers website.

Hike on the Cottonwood Trail in Military Reserve


Freestone Trailhead on Mountain Cove Road in Military Reserve

Directions to the Trailhead:

Get to the new traffic circle at the intersection of Fort St. and Reserve St. near St. Luke’s hospital in Boise. Then, drive 0.2 miles on Reserve St. towards the foothills. At the first traffic signal, turn left onto Mountain Cove Rd. and go 1.0 miles, past the cemetery on the left, to the Freestone Trailhead parking area on the right.

Park on the side of the road if the parking lot is full. If you get to the “No Trespassing” and “No Through Traffic” signs, you’ve gone 0.4 miles
too far.  

View this trailhead on Google Maps.


Hike down the Mountain Cove Trail, #22C, to the Cottonwood Trail, #27, then climb up the Ridgecrest Trail, #20 to Central Ridge, #22.  


A nice outhouse is available at the trailhead.


Well behaved dogs are OK. Most trails are “dogs off-leash, under control,”  but the Cottonwood Trail is “dogs on leash.”