OAKLEY - Hiking, biking, fishing, and viewing wildlife are just a few of the things you can do at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's Big Cottonwood Wildlife Management Area (WMA), seven miles northwest of Oakley.
"This is just a great time of year to visit Big Cottonwood," said Mike Todd, Idaho Fish and Game Magic Valley Region Habitat Biologist. "The creek is running, the turkeys are gobbling, and there are a lot of fun things to do before the heat of the summer is here."
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game manages the 814-acre Big Cottonwood WMA for fish and wildlife conservation.
The area is home to hundreds of animals, including California bighorn sheep, mule deer, upland game birds, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, wild turkeys, bobcats; over 100 species of birds are documented in the area.
"Big Cottonwood offers several different types of habitat that support a wide variety of wildlife," said Todd. "It also offers visitors spectacular views, nice trails, and several places to go and enjoy a variety of springtime activities."
Hiking, biking, and horse back riding
Hiking, biking, and horse back riding are some of the most common visitor activities during the spring and summer months. There is only 1 _ miles of maintained trail on the WMA, which is closed to motorized vehicle traffic, but this leads to many miles of trails within Big Cottonwood Canyon.
For the more adventuresome, off trail hiking can take them to the high canyon cliffs lining the WMA property or allow them to wander the riparian area in the canyon floor.
Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended for any off trail hiking. In the heat of the summer, visitors are reminded to keep a close watch for western rattlesnakes. Remember, if you leave them alone they will leave you alone.