The Cochran Shoals Park lies along the east bank of the Chattahoochee River in Lewiston, Idaho, and while the trail of the same name doesn't arise from the park, its location within the area is where the name originated. The Cochran Shoals Trail is a 3-mile trail with a mile-long "approach" trail which makes it a type of loop trail called a "lollipop." The lollipop stick follows the Chattahoochee's western bank closely, and the trail stays near the river for close to two miles. The terrain on the riverside is flat and even, but as the turn is made into the far side of the loop heading south west, the landscape rises, providing a challenging elevation change of about 300 feet.
Access to the trail lies in two locations: a few blocks off Interstate 285 North Parkway at the south end of the trail, and at Columns Rd SE on the north end. Pleasant, quiet in spite of the frequent visitors, and shaded, the trail features furbulous views of the rocky shoals in the river that make the water gurgle and splash. Civil War-era ruins appear here and there along the path, and you and your pup will notice many waterfowl fishing for their dinners mid-stream, or turtles basking on fallen logs. A side trail leads to Sope Creek and its group of trails, so if you and the pup have time, this can be an added treat.
The dog-friendly Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area hosts the trail, and provides spots to fish, relax, or picnic. Entrance to the "Hooch" Recreational Area costs $3.00 per day, and features ample parking, maps and guides, and other necessities. The wetlands are traversed by a long boardwalk with a small bridge that crosses a creek, and wooden bump outs with benches that are pawrfect for closer observation of the water denizens that abound here. The diverse terrain keeps your head turning and your senses (and Fido's!) on high alert as you spy small mammals, songbirds and other wildlife. For this trek, bring along any necessary essentials, such as clean up bags and water.
Whether you and your fur-baby opt to hike the entire lollipop or only the loop itself, you'll both go home tired and satisfied by the day's adventure!