Introducing YOUR Payette Lake Trail!

Every outdoor adventurer has looked at topo maps for a trail around Payette Lake.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a horseback rider, hiker, trailrunner, or MTBer. We dreamed about a true off-road route that would connect McCall to Bear Basin, the elusive Rim Ride to North Beach, the east side to Blackwell Lake and back through Ponderosa Park. I know CIMBA scoured maps looking for overgrown routes for twenty years. We thought it would be easy. Surely, some forgotten logging road went around the lake already? We rode down countless dead-ends and hiked potential trail corridors, but came up short every time.

After all those years, the dream continued and we persevered. This had the potential to be an unbelievable loop- a truly epic trail that combined the best features of our area’s trails in one loop. It would have the big views of the valley and Payette Lake, the best loamy singletrack, Tamarack groves, huge Ponderosa pines, and rideable granite outcrops. It would feel remote, but easily accessible and close to town for a post-ride microbrew.

Nothing this good is ever easy. It was an incredibly complicated project that often seemed impossible. Luckily, a dedicated group of local riders gave hundreds of hours and worked alongside with our partnering land managers. Together we reviewed maps and gps files, created lease documents, and obtained approval to build the linchpin singletrack pieces which connect the existing segments.

Approval in hand, our next step was even harder. Building a trail like this takes a lot of time, hard work, and specialized knowledge. Local volunteers cut the corridor, moved dirt with hand-tools, and took it as far as possible, but building along rock cliffs requires skills and equipment from outside the area. It takes a significant financial investment too. Fortunately, many generous people and organizations stepped forward and we could afford the experts at Progressive Trail Design. Eventually PTD believed in the project so much that they moved to Idaho too!

So, as I’m writing this today, we’re about to open Phase 1 of the Payette Lake Trail. Even this first segment is an incredible asset for our community and something we can all be proud of having in our backyard. It was a big dream, but today we have a really unique trail system that was made possible through the long-term dedication of CIMBA members near and far. I hope you share in this sense of accomplishment and know that your involvement and support of CIMBA makes it possible.

As a token of our appreciation, we thought it would be a good idea to throw a party and celebrate!

Come celebrate with us on July 13th for our Payette Lake Trail Grand Opening in Depot Park!

Stay tuned for details - the trail will be live on MTB Project and Trailforks early next week. By being a CIMBA member you will be the first to know!

See you on the trails,

Wayne Ruemmele

CIMBA President

Matt Brewster
PLT Grand Opening Celebration!

Come celebrate the long awaited GRAND OPENING of the new Payette Lake Trail with us! All of the hard work has finally paid off and the new trail will be officially open for business!

We will have the grill fired up and our friends at The Salmon River Brewery will be slinging beer. Proceeds will help us continue our mission of bringing you the best trails in Idaho!

We will also be raffling off some swag from our AWESOME sponsors - keep an eye on social media for details. You won't want to miss out! Come hang out with us, grab a bite to eat, become a member, and meet other like minded individuals in our awesome community!

Spread the word, share the love, and let us know you are coming!


  • CIMBA & partner tent/booths and beer open at 2pm - memberships and merchandise available for purchase

  • Food Available from 4-7pm for a suggested donation

  • Raffle drawing at 6:30 pm - Must be present to win! $1/ticket or 25 for $20

  • Live music by Weazy

Matt Brewster
Cow Creek Trail Day 5/25

This is going to be a great project again this year to clear, brush and repair the Cow Creek/Fitsum Loop. Riders can do all or part of the loop. Snacks and tools will be provided by CIMBA. We are partnering with our friends at CITRA again this year and they will be doing the chainsaw work and helping out with trail repairs.

The plan:

Meet at Cow Creek trail parking area at 10am. Families are encouraged, all participants can return via Cow Creek to trailhead whenever they need to. Some riders will follow the moto club all the way around to the Fitsum side and work on that side which ends at Waterstop/Fitsum Trailhead near the confluence of the South Fork and East Fork.

CIMBA will be set up and reserve camp sites at the Ponderosa Campground on the Secesh River near the trailhead at Cow Creek. If you want to camp, it may be tight but guaranteed a great spot and a real good time. Please RSVP if you plan on camping so we have an idea of how many sites we need. To get to Ponderosa Campground you will have to drive the Warm Lake Rd out of Cascade to the South Fork Rd and then to the backside of Lick Creek/Secesh Rd. Drive slow and be safe, these are narrow backroads.

In addition to the trail day, there are a number of hotsprings and good rides in the SF Drainage. We will know more details about which trails are open after this weekend from CITRA.

What you need for the trail day:

Clothing appropriate for riding and working most of the day, food and water(CIMBA will have some snacks), loppers or small hand saws if you have them. Small trail tools or break down tools if you have them, repair kit for your bike. The nice thing about this project is that you can do as much as you want and return via the same trail or go for the full loop.

If you finish the whole loop, we will try to arrange shuttles back to the campsite/Cow Creek side. We will also be hosting a happy hour near the Fitsum side(on the South Fork) for both clubs.

Again, plan on being ready to roll from the Cow Creek side at 10am.

More info:


Trail Loop Description:

Matt Brewster
CIMBA Spring Update

Why is CIMBA still part of IMBA?

We’ve been asked that question quite often in the last few years and as a board we’ve discussed it just as often.  The question is usually asked by a rider that feels like Idaho has been abandoned by the organization, in favor of big cities with lots of members.  This spring, we again considered our IMBA status and decided that CIMBA needed to stay an IMBA Chapter. 

We also felt that we needed to tell our members why.

Most members probably don’t know it, but IMBA provides several important services we find useful as a club:

  • Support for our local-level projects and trail work with grants

  • Support for our board of directors with conference calls, webinars, and training on club topics

  • Membership management and CRM software

  • National-level Ride Center designation and promotion

  • National-level Epic Trail designation and promotion

  • National-level advocacy for mountain biking

  • Trail building guides, handbooks, and training

  • Trail Solutions consulting

While those are important, the critical reason to remain is that we currently fall under IMBA's 501c3 status umbrella. To go our own way, applying for and receiving, our own status determination will take at least a year and in that time several major gifts and grants could be jeopardized.  CIMBA isn’t in a position to do this in 2019.  If however anyone has experience with the process and is willing to help, please let us know.

Given all those facts, we’ve decided to remain an IMBA Chapter.

Last but not least, IMBA’s current tagline, 'More Trails Close to Home' has been CIMBA’s unspoken goal too.  We love our area's backcountry trails, but they aren't always convenient or family-friendly.  To keep us all on bikes, and out of our cars, we've been working steadily to add new options near our homes in Long Valley.  Bear Basin, Jug Mountain Ranch, and Tamarack trails all started with CIMBA.  We’ve also helped add the bike park and improve trails in the City of McCall, Ponderosa State Park, Brundage, and on the Boise and Payette National Forests too.  The soon-to-open Payette Lake Trail will be an epic route that adds another trail close to home.

Changes that benefit CIMBA are here.

One major change in the CIMBA/IMBA relationship, is that our members will no longer automatically be IMBA members. ‘IMBA no longer solicits memberships to IMBA, though folks are encouraged to donate and support our national advocacy efforts and the mission. Membership now belongs to our Local organizations…”  This means you can be a CIMBA member and separately choose to be an IMBA supporter- or not.  IMBA will continue to provide our membership management software and you'll probably still see some emails that come from an address.  Using their software is affordable and a fraction of the cost of buying software and getting trained.  The vast majority of your membership fees will continue to stay here in Valley County and go directly into the trails we all ride.

Hopefully this gives everyone some background on the topic and our discussions and you'll be comfortable with the decision. We encourage you to renew and/or join as a CIMBA member to help us continue our work!

On to the fun stuff.

Now that that's out of the way, here are some upcoming events in our area.

  • May 25th - CIMBA/CITRA Trail Work Day at Cow Creek Trail

  • June 1st - National Trails Day Project

  • July 13th - Save the Date! PLT grand opening and party. Stay tuned to for more info!

Additionally, we will have more info coming soon for upcoming group rides as trails start to melt out and open up. Keep checking back at our calendar for updates.

Social media accounts.

We are working hard to revive and improve our communication channels this season to keep everyone in the loop on all the great things we are working on. Please give us a follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Strava!

Idaho Gives and International Women's Mountain Bike Day recap.


We kicked off the season right with a great turnout at Broken Horn Brewery to celebrate International Women's Mountain Bike Day with a free showing of Rebecca Rusch's Blood Road. Thanks to everyone who came out and made the event a success! We were able to bring in $250 to the club thanks to your frosty beverage consumption and the generosity of Broken Horn Brewery.

Additionally, we raised $1,680 through our Idaho Gives Campaign, all of which goes straight to the ongoing construction of the Payette Lake Trail. If you missed out, it's still not too late to donate through the link above!

The sun's finally here, so let's get out and ride!

We look forward to seeing you out on the trails!

-Wayne Ruemmele
CIMBA President

Matt Brewster
International Women's Mountain Bike Day PINT NIGHT

Looking for a Mud Season Pick-me-up?

Join Us Saturday, May 4th at Broken Horn Brewery

Come celebrate International Women's Mountain Bike Day with CIMBA on May 4th! 

Broken Horn will be hosting us for LADIES HOUR from 4-5. We will give a short informative talk on what CIMBA does and how you can get involved. Gwen from Bell Joy Ride will also let us know what we can be on the look out for, for the upcoming bike season. This is a great way to connect with fellow riders and encourage those that want to start! 

Guys - you are welcome to attend too! Come support our awesome local community and let's kick off the mountain bike season in style.


FREE Showing of Blood Road featuring Idaho's own Rebecca Rusch.

Blood Road follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier.

Matt Brewster
2019 Update - Letter From the President

Happy New Year CIMBA members!

We have a fresh board of directors and are preparing for an amazing 2019.  To start, we’ve listened to your comments and know that we need to communicate more.  We’re working to change that and this letter is the start of that improved communication.  This year will have more emails, social media, and events to keep everyone up to date. Also, while we weren’t communicating consistently, there was still a lot going on in 2018.

As a club we’ve stayed true to our original goal of improving trails in the area.  The 2018 Memorial Day kickoff weekend Cow Creek trailwork and campout with CITRA was easily one of the best weekends I had last year. The two groups worked really well together- the motos cut out logs and debris and the masses of CIMBA cyclists and Payette Area Comp Team athletes cleared brush and opened up the trail corridor.  When we got to the two sections destroyed by landslides, everyone rolled up their sleeves and worked together. What originally looked insurmountable was rideable in about an hour. This just goes to show how much we can accomplish together.

There was also great progress in 2018 on CIMBA's biggest trail project ever- the Payette Lake Trail. 350 volunteer hours, countless hours of Dave Bingaman's time as our Trail Coordinator, $245,000 spent on Progressive Trail Design on the PLT, and almost 6 miles of critical new singletrack built.  However, we couldn't really talk about this project publicly or promote it because, literally the dust needed to settle. The late start, steep cross-slopes, and bone dry conditions created a trail tread that was 6" of moon dust with a lot of erosion potential. It will be perfect later this spring!


Our work on the PLT wouldn't have been possible without LifeTime One Track Mind Foundation's amazing support.  In addition to that, we also received $28,000 in grants and $24,000 in donations from individuals that were put directly into the trail's design, permitting, signage, and construction.  All the proceeds from our map sales go into the trail too.

With LifeTime One Track Mind’s support we were also able to spend $150,000 to hire the ICC trail crews to work on trails all over the Payette National Forest.  Major improvements took place on 20 Mile, Cow Creek ,Ruby Meadows, East Fork of Lake Fork and several others. The end result is more sustainable trails- for all user groups- that the Forest Service didn’t have funded.

Throughout the year CIMBA representatives have been a part of the Payette Forest Coalition’s Land Allocation Committee to address the two major Recommended Wilderness Areas just to the east of town.  The process will be long and complicated, but hopefully the outcome will preserve trail access for us and protect the land for future generations too.

Lastly, late in the year, CIMBA’s board reached out for new members.  In December, Joe Weede stepped down from the President's role after 3 years- which is why I'm the new one writing this letter.  Opie Jahn replaced Jim Fitzgerald as VP. Jim moved into the Secretary role and Corinne LaBella took over as Treasurer for John Link.  Look for some short bios on all of us in the future. Until then please know that we all bring different ideas and are excited to get going on a really big 2019.

Keep the rubber side down,


Wayne Ruemmele

CIMBA President

Matt Brewster
Payette Lake Trail 2017 Progress Update
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Work on the Payette Lake Trail set a nearly furious pace towards the end of the summer.  After carefully planning the route with the experts at Trail Solutions, CIMBA volunteers not only cleared nearly the entire path through thick underbrush, but completed 2.2 miles of rider ready trail. We are on pace to finish the trail on the West side of Payette Lake next summer.

After volunteers worked more than 450 hours on the trail with hand tools and a mini trail bulldozer, we handed the baton off to a trail crew from Northwest Youth Corps.This hard working ten person team worked for ten days, extending the finished trail by another mile and putting in serious work to polish previous work and cut new trail corridor. There is still work to be done on the West side of the lake to connect the new singletrack to the existing Rim Trail, but the finish line is getting closer! We are about 50% finished with Phase 1!


Matt Brewster