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What the Fichter?
While this trail is relatively easy and mild, it is also next to a very active rail line and is used often by people with dogs. Use appropriate care and precautions for both.
This slightly-less-than-3.4-mile hike is a popular nature/dog walk in the southern end of the Pocatello Valley. It crosses the Portneuf River and loops around the Edson Fichter Pond, providing excellent wildlife watching for those who have patience.
Edson Fichter was a naturalist and illustrator in the Pocatello Area who loved the natural world within the valley. The Portneuf River, which runs through the valley, has been a critical wildlife and human migration corridor for millennia. Recent restoration work on the wetlands around the Portneuf has allowed the creation of this compact and accessible greenspace.
The hike itself is relatively straightforward. The trail goes up and over the levee from the parking area to keep Portneuf River floodwaters from inundating the nearby school and neighborhood. From the top of the levee, you can get a good look at the developed open space to the north of the Portneuf, but the pond will generally be obscured by the trees lining the river. Descending, the trail branches to a launch area for floats and then again at a bridge. Follow the bridge across the Portneuf, and the pond will come into view. From here, you can turn left and circle the pond clockwise or continue along to the next junction at the southwestern corner of the pond and turn there, circling the pond counter-clockwise. Either way, the navigation is easy, with the option to extend the hike further to other areas in the green space (to be described elsewhere). Once you've completed your hike(s), return to the trailhead.
The water at Edson Fichter is not potable; bring all you need.
If you bring your dog, please clean up after it! The fish, wildlife, and other visitors, thank you!
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.