There are so many options for recreation in this beautiful valley. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a theatre buff, a history enthusiast, or a sports fanatic, Boise and the surrounding area offer a myriad of options to keep you active and involved. Use the links below to access information on parks, museums, sports, and other valley recreation information.
Southeast Idaho is an outdoor lovers paradise and one of the best ways to take in the scenic back country is from the many trails that meander throughout. While certainly not a complete list, following are some of the more popular trails.
The foothills above Boise provide a dramatic backdrop to our beautiful valley, but also offer the opportunity to enjoy hiking and mountain biking on 130 miles of trails. The Ridge to Rivers program provides information and maps for the many different trails, and rules regarding open/closed areas, dog-on-leash requirements, and trails that are open to motorized vehicles. For trail maps and current trail conditions visit the Ridge to Rivers site at http://www.ridgetorivers.org/
About 30 miles south of Meridian near Melba is the Swan Falls dam. Across the dam is a trail head that follows the snake river and features many native American petroglyphs on the rocks above the river. The hike is a 14 mile loop, requiring a full day on foot, or half day on a mountain bike.
The Boise National Forest has more than 1200 miles of trails maintained by the USDA Forest Service, some very steep challenging trails, and some for more leisure hikes. Many of the trails allow motorized vehicles, but be sure to check with the respective ranger stations for specific rules. There are trails in each District, and the Forest Service keeps lists which specify which trails are available for either backpacking or day hikes, and can be accessed at http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/boise/recreation.
There are numerous golf courses throughout the Treasure Valley, from challenging 18-hole links style courses to local municipal 9-hole courses. While some courses have given way to residential development, their are still plenty of opportunities to "get your golf on". Regardless of your ability or interest, there are courses for all ages and skill levels.
The parks and reserves that make up the Boise City Park System provide a wide array of recreational opportunities. From the majesty of Ann Morrison Park and its beautiful waterways and sports fields, to Julia Davis Park and its museums, rose garden and Zoo Boise, to the Hillside to Hollow trail system with mile of foothill trails to hike and bike, adventures abide in the myriad of Boise parks. In fact, Boise has over 125 parks from which to choose; from small community parks to massive reserves. For specific information about each of the parks and reserves in Boise visit the city of Boise website at http://parks.cityofboise.org/parks-locations/
Meridian is known for its well planned communities and their integration with area parks. The city has large regional parks such as Settlers Park and its large sports fields and the new Julius M. Kleiner Memorial Park adjacent to the Village at Meridian, as well as many community and neighborhood parks. The Meridian City website provides an interactive map of all area parks with information about each which can be accessed at http://www.meridiancity.org/parks
Nampa boasts 25 different parks of various sizes and with a myriad of amenities. Nampa has large parks with fields and courts for sports activities, waterside parks for "getting back to nature", as well as small community parks ideal for a family picnic. For a list of parks with an interactive map, visit the Nampa Parks and Recreation website at http://www.nampaparksandrecreation.org/ParksDepartment
Caldwell offers more than a dozen public parks from wilderness parks for overnight camping, to sports parks with soccer fields and playgrounds, to neighborhood parks for barbeques and picnics. The City of Caldwell website provides a list of parks and their locations at http://www.cityofcaldwell.com/parks
Eagle has some of the most scenic and diverse parks in the valley. From the Eagle Island State Park and its waterslide, beach, trails and picnic areas; to Merrill Park and its family friendly playgrounds fields along the Boise River; to the massive Eagle Sports Park, there are plenty of options to get out for the day with your family and friends and enjoy the outdoors. A list of Eagle Parks can be accessed at the City of Eagle website at http://www.cityofeagle.org/
There are parks throughout the valley offering a variety of opportunities to get out and enjoy the fresh air, green grass, and nature at its finest. In addition to the parks in each of the cities listed above, Star Parks and Recreation offers several community parks; Kuna Parks and Recreation has ten parks, both active parks for sports activities, and passive parks for getting back to nature; and Middleton Parks and Recreation District offers three beautiful parks for its residents. In addition, Ada County Parks & Waterways operates Barber Park, a popular spot to float the Boise River or access the Boise River Greenbelt.
Whether you are looking to sink a line and catch a fish, get some exercise on a paddle board, ride a jet ski, or take to the bigger water with your ski boat for some wake-boarding or wake-surfing, Southwest Idaho offers a variety of lakes and reservoirs from which to choose.
Idaho Fish and Game maintains a list of fishing lakes and ponds in the Treasure Valley area, including many within city parks and communities. The list includes addresses, directions, and up-to-date fishing rules and limits. Access the list at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/
There are lakes throughout Western Idaho and Eastern Oregon suitable for boating and fishing. Included here are many of the lakes within a couple hours drive from the Boise area.