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Best Outdoor Activities in Boise

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Ridge to Rivers Trail System

Stretching from the Boise River to the Boise Ridge, the Ridge to Rivers Trail System offers hikers and mountain-bikers 75,000 acres of trails. Through the cooperative efforts of several government agencies, private landowners and other organizations, the trail system was created to preserve Boise's foothills. The old roads and trails allow for outdoor exploration conveniently from downtown Boise. Maps are available from the Boise Parks and Recreation, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Boise outdoor stores. Some of the easier trails to hike include #27 Cottonwood Creek, #28 Crestline Trail and #31 Corrals Trail.

Boise, ID, United States
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Boise Train Depot

Looking out over downtown Boise and the Boise River, this glass-fronted train depot has welcomed visitors since 1925. Union Pacific stopped using the depot in 1971, resulting in a dilapidated building. Luckily, the Morrison-Kundsen Company financed a restoration based on old photographs and plans. Today visitors can view the valley from the bell tower or wander through the manicured Platt Gardens that surround the building. The depot is also available for special events, including weddings. Admission is free.

Boise, ID, United States
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Bogus Basin

Set in the Bogus Basin, off a twisting mountain road, this folksy ski resort is Boise's winter getaway. Offering great skiing day or night, Bogus has 58 runs, six ski lifts and the Bogus Basin Nordic Center. Amenities include a ski school, rental and retail shop, restaurants and ski rides among many other things.

Boise, ID, United States
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Morrison-Knudsen Nature Center

Offering a view of the Boise River's underwater world, this unique and interesting center allows visitors to see what happens under the rippling surface of a river. Hands-on computers help visitors understand and learn about the complex world of a living river. This learning center is a must for both tourists and residents, especially if you are a science buff. You will leave the center with a new appreciation for science and river habitats. Student tours are also available.

Boise, ID, United States
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Boise River Greenbelt

Stretching more than 32 kilometers (20 miles) from Eagle Island State Park eastward towards Discovery State Park at the base of Lucky Peak Dam, this sleek asphalt pavement offers inline skaters, joggers, walkers and cyclists with a dependable facility that can be accessed anytime around the year. The well-marked trail meanders through downtown Boise, Veterans Memorial Park and Julia Davis Park following the serpentine Boise River. The Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, the Baybrook Court Pedestrian Bridge, and the Boise Public Library are just a few of the attractions to be found while traversing the greenbelt.

Boise, ID, United States
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Ivywild Pool

The Ivywild Pool is a great place to take kids on a sunny day. During the summer it's open daily and features a main pool with three water slides, along with a wading pool for younger kids. There's also a cafe serving up smoothies and wraps. Swimming classes and Red Cross classes are available. Please check the website for up-to-date schedules.

Boise, ID, United States
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Idaho Botanical Garden

Established in 1984 on the vacant land of the Old Idaho State Penitentiary, Idaho Botanical Garden is set on the Boise Foothills' base. It was founded initially as a tree nursery but soon became a non-profit botanical paradise. Spread across 50 acres (20.23 hectares), it includes 14 themed gardens and features more than 800 species of indigenous and non-native plants. It is the oldest of its kind in the state and a must visit if you love gardens. Stroll through their various sections like the Water Conservation Landscape, Children’s Adventure Garden, Summer Succulent Garden, Outlaw Field and Labyrinth, Jane Falk Oppenheimer Heirloom Rose Garden and Muriel and Diana Kirk English Garden. Enchanting and informative, the Idaho Botanical Garden is a great spot for a family outing or even with your special someone for a romantic date.

Boise, ID, United States
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World Center for Birds of Prey

Responsible for housing more than 200 birds of prey, this wood and glass interpretive center stands out against Boise's flat southwestern fields. Visitors to the World Center for Birds of Prey can admire peregrine falcons, eagles, owls and California condors, or stroll through the grounds, crossing over a rocky creek on a wooden bridge. The 7,200-square feet (668.90 square meters) interpretive center features soaring wooden beams and colorful wildlife art. Volunteers answer questions and provide informational programs and workshops.

Boise, ID, United States
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