Travel back in time on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests!

July 15, 2019 – The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests has installed the first digital kiosks, known as Electronic Tour Sites, associated with the forests’ new Historic Routes Project. This initiativeA wooden kiosk, with the USDA and USFS logos on the face, stands indoors in a souvenir shop. highlights the significant history and recreational opportunities available on three historic routes on the forests. At these kiosks, forest visitors can download a variety of multimedia content onto their personal mobile devices in remote locations where there is no Wi–Fi or network connectivity. Visitors can then enjoy this content on their personal device for the rest of their visit to the forests, whether there is cell phone service or not. The first two kiosks were installed at Lolo Pass Visitor Center, located off of U.S. Highway 12 at the Idaho/Montana state line; and Lochsa Lodge, located in Powell just west of Lolo Pass.

Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Supervisor Cheryl Probert has taken great pride in the development of the Historic Routes Project. “I am really excited for the opportunities this project has to bring history and human experiences alive using modern technology to introduce Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests visitors to the rich history of travelways that have been connecting communities for millennia,” she said.

The new Electronic Tour Sites look much like traditional Forest Service interpretive kiosks, but include an on–site router that enables visitors to download interpretive content to their mobile device. Step–by–step instructions are available for visitors to connect their device to the network, where they may download the multimedia of their choosing. Downloadable content at Electronic Tour Sites includes local historic information, photographs, maps, podcasts, videos, and brochures about the rich history of the region and nearby recreation opportunities. Content at each digital kiosk is unique and specific to its location. Once downloaded, visitors can refer to maps, watch videos, and view historic photos of the areas they are visiting as they continue their visit through the forests.

The Historic Routes Project highlights the history and significance of the Lolo Motorway, Elk City Wagon Road, and Magruder Corridor on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. These routes follow historic trails that were used for centuries and now exist as roads following or bisecting these ancient trails. The Lolo Motorway follows both the Nez Perce (Nee-Me-Poo) and Lewis and Clark National Historic Trails. The Elk City Wagon Road and the Magruder Corridor follow the Southern Nez Perce Trail.

No mobile network connection is required to download content at digital kiosks, and visitors do not have to download an app prior to visiting the digital kiosk in order to access the content. The Wi–Fi network at Electronic Tour Sites only allows visitors to download Forest Service content. Users cannot upload content, check in to other websites, or make phone calls using the network at the digital kiosks.

“The development of this project has brought together many generations across our local communities to tell the tales of these historic motorways,” Probert said. The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests worked with local historians, businesses, volunteer clubs, and others to gather stories and information for the digital kiosks. Students at the University of Idaho assisted the Forest Service with the project by drafting grant proposals and digital content. The Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. also provided project support to help the Forest Service implement the Historic Routes Project.

Additional Electronic Tour Sites are scheduled to be installed across the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests along the historic routes and in nearby communities. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and download our mobile app (search “Nez Perce Clearwater” in your app store) for updates on the installation of future digital kiosks.

“With this project, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests hopes to contribute in a real way, both socially and economically, to our local communities,” said Probert. “We hope this project encourages visitors near and far to experience the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, and the communities within and surrounding it, to learn more about the fascinating history of this area.”

Current Kiosk Locations

-Lolo Pass Visitor Center; U.S. Highway 12 at Idaho-Montana State Line
-Lochsa Lodge; Powell, ID
-Kamiah Welcome Center; Kamiah, ID
-Mussellshell Meadows; Nee-me-poo Trail #40 trailhead near the pollinator garden
-Lolo Motorway (FSR 500); Beaver Dam Saddle (junction with FSR 103)
-Lolo Motorway (FSR 500); Saddle Camp (junction with FSR 107)
-Lolo Motorway (FSR 500); Powell Junction (junction with FSR 569)
-Elk City Wagon Road Museum; Clearwater, ID

Stay tuned for more locations!

More Information:

Chrysann Jaeger
Recreation Programs Assistant
Historic Routes Project Manager


About the Valuing Outdoor Experiences Demonstration Area Initiative

The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests' Historic Routes Project falls under the USDA Forest Service's Valuing Outdoor Experiences Demonstration Area (VOEDA) initiative.