Boise Parks & Environmental Spaces
The Treasure Valley is full of beautifully maintained parks and public recreation areas. In Boise alone, there are over 100 parks and public access areas for sports and hobbies of every kind.
Cutting through many of these parks and facilities is Boise’s Greenbelt. First envisioned in 1964, the Greenbelt project started with a few pieces of disconnected land along the Boise River, and has grown to cover much of the path of the river, from Lucky Peak all the way to Eagle Island State Park, a total of almost 28 miles of path. Patrolled by both citizen volunteers and the police, it is a safe place for families and individuals to walk, bike, rollerblade, and jog, with seven permanent facilities along the way to rest and recharge.
Located in beautiful Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise is home to over 201 animals from 83 various species. From the tiny walking stick to the Majestic Amur tigers, the zoo offers a unique educational experience unlike any other offered in the Treasure Valley. See exotic zebras, snow leopards, moose, penguins, cotton-top tamarins, native bears, and a Komodo dragon. Large open air aviaries enable you to watch the activities of many different species of eagles, hawks, owls and vultures. In 2007, Zoo Boise is preparing to open their new African exhibit, including its most recent addition, giraffes.
Julia Davis park also cultivates a beautiful Rose Garden, featuring over 300 different rose varieties and over 1,600 bushes.
The M-K Nature Center is another outdoor facility designed to celebrate the wonders of nature around us. Open from sunrise to sunset, the center uses a mountain stream to describe and explore the cycle of life for birds, fish, plants, and other species inherently tied to the water. The Center features interactive learning through underwater viewing, signs and exhibits.
The Idaho Botanical Garden, with its unique setting just outside the old Idaho State Penitentiary, is home to many events and outdoor concerts throughout the year. The Garden also celebrates each holiday season in lighted style with the ―Winter Garden Aglow event, Thanksgiving through New Year‘s Day.
Barber Park is the launch point for Boise River floaters, five miles east of Downtown Boise. Tubing or rafting down the calm waters of the Boise River is a favorite form of summer fun from June through August. Equipment rentals are available on site.
In 1909, President Roosevelt created the Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge/Lake Lowell area in Nampa. The refuge is 11,585 acres of wildlife observation, fishing, hunting, and seasonal boating on the lake.