Sunday, May 1, 2016

"The Rail" First Edition

We are pleased to release Friends of Harriman's first newsletter,  "The Rail" to let you know what our busy little organization has been up to. Thanks for being there with us!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Feathers 'n' Fins Skiathon Postponed to 2017

Golden Lake Dam Breech - Harriman State Park of Idaho

As many may have already heard, the Golden Lake Dam collapsed at Harriman State Park Wednesday, January 13. The dam itself was part of the Golden Lake Loop trail and an integral  part of the cross country ski trail system. It is a popular stretch of the skate trails that exist at Harriman providing a few rolling hills and fun curves while passing by the warming hut on Thurmon Overlook. Because the dam will be closed until spring when repairs can be made, the loop has been severed at the north end.  Although this does not eliminate recreational skiing, it has a huge impact on the Feathers ’n’ Fins Skiathon, which uses this course loop as part of the 10 and 20 kilometer distances. After examination of the alternate options available it was determined that the best strategy would be to postpone the event until we are able to provide an adequate course to the event participants.  It is unfortunate timing for the winter fundraising event for Friends of Harriman State Park who serve as a fundraising partner for Harriman, and to the community who enjoy this winter “fun run.” This is not a conclusion that came lightly.  The challenges presented this season would be difficult to overcome to achieve the desired result.  We look forward to hosting Feather ’n’ Fins again in February 2017  when the dam is fixed and the course is whole again.  For more information regarding the dam breech contact Harriman State Park.  If you would still like to donate to Friends of Harriman State Park or learn of current and past projects check out our Facebook page or visit our website at  For inquiries contact FHSP at Jodi Stiehl, President, FHSP

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Harriman State Park adds ADA fishing access point - Heather Randall of the Rexburg Standard Journal

Bench Dedicated to Joe Tulpinsky
ISLAND PARK — A group gathered at Harriman State Park on July 27 to perform a dedication and celebrate the completion of the John Muir ADA (American Disabilities Act) Compliant Interpretive Trail and fishing platform.
A dedication to the site was also given in honor of the late Joe Tulpinsky, who lived with multiple sclerosis for half of his life.
Jodi Stiehl, current president of Friends of Harriman State Park and former assistant manager of the park, shared some highlights about the six-year project and gave thanks to others who contributed to getting the project completed.
Stiehl explained that the three-quarter-mile loop trail was named after revered naturalist John Muir because while conducting some research, she learned that Muir had been a guest of the Harriman family.
“We named the trail after [Muir] to show awareness that there’s been a lot of important people that have passed through this park over the years,” Stiehl said.
In 2010 Stiehl was spraying weeds in the park, and she met longtime park visitors Tulpinsky and his wife, Linda Summers.
Tulpinsky never allowed his condition to get in the way of him spending time in his beloved outdoors. He and Summers were out on a trail by “Big Bend” when they met Stiehl.
His progression down the trail was interrupted by a cattle guard on the trail. Since he was in a chair, he could not get over it. The couple asked Stiehl if she could get a piece of plywood so that Tulpinsky could get across the guard.
“Right there I realized that the park could do more to increase access,” Stiehl said. She went about ensuring that Tulpinisky and Summers could continue their travels further down the trail on that day and also began the journey toward making the John Muir Interpretive Trail into the John Muir Interpretive Trail with ADA access.
This is the second ADA fishing access point in Island Park. The other one is in Box Canyon.
In an effort to support the environment, Stiehl said they used Road Oyl on the trail, which is a pine resin that binds packed gravel together.
After Tulpinsky’s death, the memorial fund set up in his honor helped pay for enough Road Oyl to complete the pathway.
Harriman State Park Manager John Sullivan shared some thoughts as well.
“The mission and the vision of our park system is basically to improve the quality of life in Idaho,” Sullivan said. “These things improve everyone’s quality of life.”
Sullivan said the park has a new strategic plan which will partially focus on creating experiences for all people, regardless of disability.
“Our new director of this park has taken this issue to heart, and this is the start of something new,” Sullivan said while standing on the newly completed platform.
Summers also shared her joy and gratitude.
She said that her husband’s condition progressed rapidly and that even though he began to lose his ability to do the things he liked, he never lost his desire to do them.
Friends of Harriman and Harriman State Park would like to thank the following sponsors who contributed to completing the project: Idaho Parks and Recreation, Harriman State Park of Idaho, Joe Tulpiniski Memorial Fund, Recreational Trails Program, CHC Foundation, Island Park Services and Midwest Industrial Supply.
Heather Randall of the Rexburg Standard Journal

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A 6 Year Trail Project Now Complete!

Friends of Harriman State Park is excited to introduce the John Muir ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant Interpretive Trail & Fishing platform at Harriman State Park of Idaho. Inspired by Muir’s 1913 “Island Park” Journal, the interpretive trail tells a story of the natural wonders of the area. In addition, this 3/4 mile loop trail provides an opportunity for those with special needs to better access this special place we all love. It provides a handicap fishing platform increasing opportunities for those with less mobility to fly fish the world famous Henrys’ Fork River, an experience the Harriman’s & their guests treasured before us.
To harmonize with Harriman State Park’s intrinsic beauty, the trail was surfaced with Road Oyl, a pine resin formulation that binds packed gravel maintaining a rustic look while providing a firm surface. It is made from all natural ingredients and can be used in close proximately to wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas. 

Please join us on Saturday June 27th at 11:00am for our grand opening and dedication ceremony.  Outdoor assistive recreation technologies for those with less mobility will be on hand to help inspire those that desire better access to the great outdoors.
To read about our journey follow these links to past blogs:

This Project Made Possible By Generous Donations From

Idaho Parks and Recreation (IDPR)
Harriman State Park of Idaho
Joe Tulpinsky Memorial Fund
Recreational Trails Program
CHC Foundation 
Island Park Services 
Midwest Industrial Supply

Facilitated By
Friends of Harriman State Park

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Feathers 'n' Fins Skiathon Soars to New Heights

Photo Credit:Bob Neill
Saturday, February 28th, Friends of Harriman and Harriman State Park hosted the Feathers ’n’ Fins Skiathon, an annual winter event for Harriman that supports the community, the park and its friends group.  The intent of the skiathon is not to race, but an opportunity for people to set their own personal goals for fitness while supporting their local park and friends group.  Last Saturday demonstrated that the community is there to support the cherished Harriman State Park of Idaho.

Greeted by a blue bird day of 28F with strong North Easterly winds registering at a -7F windchill, 39 people lined up at the start line head on with the blustery cold wind. People came from near and far to participate in the skiathon and support Friends of Harriman; Bozeman, Jackson Hole, Salt Lake City, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Rexburg, St.Anthony, Ashton and of course Island Park.  With divisions of classic or skate skiing, and distances of 7K, 10K and 20 K, there are categories catering to a diversity of fitness levels.  In addition, there is a 7K
Photo Credit: Bob Neill
Chariot division for those  pulling children in their chariots. This division experienced two firsts, not only was Moria Dow from West Yellowstone Montana the first female recipient of a medal in this division she was also the first skate skier to participate in the chariot division.  Way to GO Moira! Good on you! Moria walked away with a silver in the women's 7K skate and the women's chariot medal. Nate Sutton from Island Park took home the mens chariot medal in the mens 7K classic. He, his wife Greer, and 3 year old son Sullivan are new to cross country skiing and decided on a whim to come out and enjoy the day and support the event. This is what the skiathon is all about.  First person to cross the finish line was Colter Ross, a junior from West Yellowstone who borrowed skate skis and flew through the finish with a time of 29 minutes and 40 seconds taking gold in the mens 10km skate. That boy is going places.  Hot on his heels was Anne Jehle, also a junior from West Yellowstone and a veteran of the skiathon. She skied the women’s10km skate, and finished with a time of 31 minutes and 32 seconds, also taking gold - looks like someone else might be going places. No wonder Colter was flying so fast. Very impressive Anne, way to give Colter a push.  A link to final times and placements are below.  Thank you Idaho Falls Nordic Ski Patrol for not only sponsoring the handsome medals to such deserving participants, but also for providing support along the trail during the event. Thank you Harriman staff. Trail conditions were fantastic and courses well marked, not easy after a month of no snow and varying temperatures.

The entire community donated to the Feathers ’n’ Fins Skiathon and raffle through participation and donations; the kindness and support are greatly appreciated.  Because of that support, Friends of Harriman had the most profitable fundraiser to date. Between registration fees and raffle tickets FHSP raised close to $3800! Thank you! Thank you!  

Photo Credit: Phillip Chavez
The lucky winner of the Salomon Equipe RC 201 Classic skis was Liz McGoff of Bozeman, Montana.  The winner of the Salomon RC S187 skate skis was Kyle Babbitt of Island Park.  The coveted Patagonia Ski Roller bag was won by Jane Foster of Bozeman, Montana.  Congratulations!

A huge thank you to our sponsors, this would not be possible without you:  Salomon, Patagonia, Mimi Matsuda, TroutHunter, Harriman, Henrys Fork Lodge, Sally & Bob Neill, Linda Summers, Bank of Idaho, Jim Kemp, Nancy & Bill Goodman, Lorene & Larry Parker, Island Park  News, Jodi & Jon Stiehl,Buffalo Run Campground, Boondocks, Elk Creek, Connie’s Restaurant, Island Park Journal, Great Harvest Bread, Starbucks, Camas Creek Soaps, Mary Martin, Morning Glory Coffee, Anglers Lodge, Ponds Lodge, Cafe Sabor, Dave’s Jubilee, The Gusher, Bullwinkles, The Book Peddler, Buffalo Bar, Mountain Mayhem, Robins Roost,The Grind Espresso Bar, Mack’s Inn Resort, Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, Henrys Fork Foundation, Shell Station, Power Candy Company, Bren Dismuke, Subaru.

To see photos of the event check out FHSP's Facebook page. To keep in touch with Friends of Harriman and the projects we help support, visit our website at  

Classic Results
Skate Results