By Larissa Cheney
The 15th Annual Weiser River Trail Wagon Train will set off on their journey down the Weiser River Trail Friday at noon. This much anticipated event, the brainchild of New Plymouth’s Dan Dickerson, will be held from the 27th through the 30th, beginning in Weiser and ending in Council. The Friends of the Weiser River Trail will provide meals and support crews for wagon riders and those on horseback. Showers will be available in Midvale, and vehicles can be shuttled up to Council on Friday. Those who wouldn’t mind packing their own food are still welcome to join.
This marks Friends of the Weiser River Trail Secretary Pam Haynes’ first year in charge of the Wagon Train, and though she has little experience with the wagons, she happens to be very comfortable with horses and stated that “it’s not my first rodeo, but it is my first wagon train!” According to Haynes, a unique project like this “takes a village,” and it’s certainly coming together nicely with the help of the almost fifty people involved, thirty of which plan to go the whole distance.
While there are several other Wagon Train-style events in the United States, this one is unique to our part of Idaho. The Friends of the Weiser River Trail are not alone in the time, money, and energy they spend in preserving the trails for equine and other non-motorized use. The Wagon Train event draws a lot of much-needed attention to the problem that the steady loss of trails poses to anyone seeking a bit of outdoor entertainment in the beautiful and varied ecosystems one can find along the Weiser River Trail and others like it.
The Wagon Train will feature dinner and entertainment, some of which will be accessible via driving, including where they will stop on Saturday and Sunday. Haynes said they don’t have much in the way of a 15th anniversary party planned, but the Friends of the Weiser River Trail are very excited to discuss fundraising for the proposed long-term ‘Big Loop’ concept that would connect the Weiser River Trail to many other Idaho trails.