Everyone who’s been in Boise for even a little while has probably heard of the most popular parks. Ann Morrison, Julia Davis, Camel’s Back, just to name a few. But with popularity come the crowds. I imagine you’re here because you want to know about the best Boise parks you probably have never seen, the quiet hidden gems ripe for a relaxing afternoon.

Which would make sense because you clicked on the link to get here….

ANYHOW.

As much as I love visiting some of those big and popular parks in downtown Boise, all that goes into actually getting there can be too much. Sometimes the stress just isn’t worth it.

best boise park relax

From the 20-minute drive after spending at least 30 minutes getting everything ready to go (#momlife), to watching my toddler closely so he doesn’t get kidnapped among the crowded playground (also #momlife), to hauling everything and everyone back home in time for nap.

I’m exhausted just thinking about it. And that’s before I start thinking about going to the park with a toddler and our soon-to-arrive newborn. Eek.

Hence the special spot in my heart for small neighborhood parks.

Parks are a great addition to a no-spend, free family fun day, too! We wrote up a post all about planning a no-spend family fun day, in case you’re interested.

But just because a park is small doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to take your kids to play or your dog for a walk. Another great aspect to the smaller neighborhood parks is the odds of one close to home since Boise is kind of large.

the best boise parks

The Parks

I’ve done all the work for you of slogging through Google maps to find the best Boise parks hidden from common knowledge. Some of these are just neighborhood parks and so are quiet small. Others are mainly athletic parks, nature parks, dog parks, or monuments.

Okay…. confession time…

I actually kind of sort of ran wild with it and compiled all the parks in Boise, Idaho. Wowzers! All that I know about, at least.

I did my research through the Boise Parks and Rec website. But I’m human and bound to have missed some. Let me know if there’s a great park I missed and I’ll add it! A comprehensive list isn’t much use if it isn’t comprehensive…

Speaking of comprehensive, check out this map I made! I am strangely proud of this map. It’s even color coded based on the categories in this blog post.

 

If you hit the “View Larger Map” button on the upper right of the map, it’ll increase the size and give you the option to sort by specific type of park. This is the color code:

  • Light blue = Monuments
  • Red = Nature Parks
  • Dark Blue = Dog Parks
  • Orange = Athletic Parks
  • Light Green = Neighborhood Parks
  • Dark Green = Big Boise Parks

Wonderful Monuments

Boise has several memorials, statues, monuments, and parks scattered throughout, the best of which honor those who have lost their lives in service. All are lovely with grand trees and are definitely worth seeing.

boise park monument

Idaho Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Park

Highlights: lovely place to remember fallen firefighters, has pieces from Twin Towers from 9/11

Address: 1791 Shoreline Dr, Boise, ID 83702

Veteran’s Memorial Park

Highlights: monuments to veterans, playground, shady bbq and picnic areas, fields, river access

Address: 930 Veterans Memorial Pkwy, Boise, ID 83703

CW Moore Park

Highlights: picnic areas, center of downtown (so very small), many artifacts and plaques from Boise’s architectural history

Address: 150 S 5th St, Boise, ID 83702

Cecil D. Andrus Park

Highlights: monument to honor men and women serving America through military or public service, small park in front of Idaho Capitol building, mature shade trees, walking paths, picnic areas

Address: 601 W Jefferson St, Boise, ID 83702

Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

Highlights: memorial to Anne Frank promoting human dignity through statues and inscriptions, fountain, right next to the Greenbelt (and a cool bridge under Capitol Blvd) and the Ninth Street Bridge (over the Boise River)

Address: 777 S 8th St, Boise, ID 83702

Neat Nature Parks

This category of “Nature Parks” has a broad scope of meaning. For some the main attraction are wildlife preserves providing a peak into the nature surrounding the city. Others have creeks and hiking paths oftentimes with great views. And a couple just have a large pond for fishing (but are catch and release). Either way you look at it, these are the best nature parks in Boise.

grassy nature park

Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve

Highlights: preserve for small wildlife, trails, overlooks, public art

Address: 5301 N Maple Grove Rd, Boise, ID 83704

M.K. Nature Center

Highlights: walking paths, local plants and trees, beaver dam, fish hatchery and pond

Address: 600 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712

Platt Gardens

Highlights: lovely landscaping, waterfall, pond, bridge, picnic area, great views of downtown Boise

Address: 2602 W Eastover Terrace, Boise, ID, 83706

Foothills East Park

Highlights: 8-acreas of fields, nature, creeks and ponds; hiking trails

Address: 1465 Shenandoah Dr, Boise, ID 83712

Parkcenter Park

Highlights: pond for fishing, walking paths

Address: 385 E Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706

Marianne Williams

Highlights: Boise River access, fields, sheltered picnic area

Address: 3451 E Barber Valley Dr, Boise, ID 83706

Barber Park

Highlights: Boise River access for floating the river, trails, wildlife views, education center, playground, fields. Note: there is a fee for parking

Address: 4049 S Eckert Rd, Boise, ID 83716

Oregon Trail Reserve

Highlights: trails, great views of Boise River

Address: 4500 E Lake Forest Dr, Boise, ID, 83716

Lucky Peak Dam Recreational Area

Highlights: dam access for boating, beaches, swimming, hiking/biking trails

Directions: From the junction of Interstate 84 and Highway 21, travel North on Highway 21 for 6.5 miles to Lucky Peak Dam. Turn right to drive across Lucky Peak Dam and continue straight for .8 miles to Barclay Bay.  Turn right towards Lydle Gulch and Foote Park.  Continue straight another .7 miles to Turner Gulch.

Foote Park

Highlights: trails, picnic areas, views of dam and water, disc golf, great views of rooster tail from dam when excess water is released (special event in the spring)

Directions: I couldn’t find exact directions but it can be access from S Lucky Peak Dam Road right next to the Lucky Peak Dam Recreational Area above.

River Pointe Park

Highlights: walking trails, river access, sandy beach, local wildlife information, butterfly/pollinator garden, right next to Garden City Library

Directions: Parking and park access is just before entering the River Pointe Aparment complex (6200 River Pointe Rd, Boise, ID 83714)

Cool Dog Parks

Most of these parks are dedicated as dog parks, many of which have enclosed dog runs. A couple, though, are “regular” parks with dog-friendly areas and special times for off-leash fun. We don’t have a dog so we can’t speak for these Boise parks, but comment below to let us know what your favorite dog parks are and if we missed a hidden gem!

boise dog park

Sterling Dog Park

Highlights: dog-friendly (off-leash all the time), picnic tables, shade structures. Note: there isn’t any water here as the rest of the park is still under construction. The dog park is open, though.

Address: 9851 W Irving St, Boise, ID 83704

Morris Hill Dog Park

Highlights: training equipment, enclosed areas for both large and small dogs, drinking stations, shaded benches

Address: 10 N Roosevelt St, Boise, ID 83705

Manitou Park

Highlights: playground, tennis, bbq picnic areas, dog-friendly (off-leash hours are sunrise to 10am and 4pm to sunset)

Address: 2001 S Manitou Ave, Boise, ID 83706

Cypress Park

Highlights: playground (one for toddlers and one for older kids), dog-friendly (off-leash hours are sunrise to 10am and 4pm to sunset), tennis, picnic shelter, walking paths, field

Address: 4382 S Tableridge Way, Boise, ID, 83716

Military Reserve (Under Construction)

Highlights: archery range, bike skills park, off-leash dog park. Note: the dog park should still be accessible even though the rest of the park is under construction.

Address: 750 Mountain Cove Rd, Boise, ID 83702

Pine Grove Park

Highlights: fenced dog park, field

Address: 8995 W Shoup Dr, Boise, ID 83709

Best Athletic Parks

The parks under this category have a focus not on playgrounds but on activities. Many of the other parks in this roundup have tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and fields galore. But the beauty of the ones specifically in this category is they’re dedicated to sports and other activities that would be hard to do in other Boise neighborhood parks.

basketball park

Willow Lane Athletic Complex

Highlights: fields, baseball diamonds

Address: 4623 Willow Ln, Boise, ID 83703

Boise Whitewater Park

Highlights: dam creating waves for surfing, paddle boarding, equipment rental on sight; right next Quinn’s Pond and Esther Simplot Park which have swimming, sandy beaches, walking/biking paths, fishing, small fields

Address: 607 N Whitewater Park Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Quinn’s Pond

Highlights: pond for swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding; paths for walking or biking; sandy shores

Address: 3150 W Pleasanton Ave, Boise, ID 83702

Fort Boise Park

Highlights: baseball fields, tennis, in-ground skate park, community garden

Address: 155 E Garrison Rd, Boise, ID 83702

Military Reserve (Under Construction)

Highlights: archery range, bike skills park, off-leash dog park. Note: the dog park should still be accessible even though the rest of the park is under construction.

Address: 750 Mountain Cove Rd, Boise, ID 83702

Hillside Park

Highlights: baseball diamonds, equestrian arena

Address: 4150 N 36th St, Boise, ID, 83703

tennis boise park

Ivywild Pool

Highlights: pool for both little kids and big kids, admission required

Address: 2250 S Leadville Ave, Boise, ID 83706

Lucky Peak State Park

Highlights: pond for swimming/paddle boarding, bbq picnic areas, volleyball. Note: the water is a little cold because it is sourced from the dam. But it is still fun.

Address: 9725 ID-21, Boise, ID 83716

Rhodes Skate Park

Highlights: in-ground skate park under the highway

Address: 1555 W Front St, Boise, ID 83702

Borah Pool

Highlights: swimming, shallow and deep ends, diving boards, right next to Borah Park. Note:admission required.

Address: 801 Aurora Dr, Boise, ID 83704

Cottonwood

Highlights: basketball courts, fields, walking paths

Address: 4350 N Colonial Park Way, Boise, ID 83713

Hobble Creek

Highlights: playground, tennis, basketball, soccer fields, softball diamonds, volleyball, sheltered picnic area, no shade trees, right next to West Boise YMCA

Address: 6050 N Park Meadow Way, Boise, ID 83713

Great Neighborhood Parks

Since these are neighborhood parks, the little ones tucked away in subdivisions and many beneath canopies of trees, they are small. But, most don’t draw large crowds like some of the larger parks do making for a more relaxing day at the park. The city of Boise has done a great job at creating so many parks. There’s a lot of hidden gems in here.

playground park Boise

Redwood Park

Highlights: Playground, off-leash dog park, duck pond

Address: 2675 N Shamrock Ave, Boise, ID 83713

DeMeyer

Highlights: playground, biking, duck pond, shelter with barbeque

Address: 5100 N Tumbleweed Pl, Boise, ID 83713

Winstead

Highlights: playground with small rock climbing wall, shelter with barbeques, tennis court

Address: 6150 W Northview St, Boise, ID 83704

Mountain View

Highlights: playground, picnic areas, tennis courts

Address: 7006 W Ustick Rd, Boise, ID 83704

Fairmont

Highlights: playground, swimming pool, picnics

Address: 7929 W Northview St, Boise, ID 83704

Florence

Highlights: playground, walking area, small

Address: 7800 W Florence Ln, Boise, ID 83704

Sunset

Highlights: playground, bbq picnic areas, fields, dog-friendly (off-leash until 10am)

Address: 2625 N 32nd St, Boise, ID 83703

Elm’s Grove

Highlights: playground, old growth shade trees, picnic areas, small field

Address: 2200 W Irene St, Boise, ID 83702

Phillipi

Highlights: playground, small rock climbing wall, volleyball, tennis, horseshoe pits, walking paths, field

Address: 2299 S Phillippi St, Boise, ID 83705

Cassia

Highlights: playground, sheltered picnic area, tennis, baseball diamond, horseshoe pits, field

Address: 4600 W Camas St, Boise, ID 83705

Bowden

Highlights: shade trees, picnic areas, field

Address: 3230 W Edson St, Boise, ID 83705

Shoreline

Highlights: picnic areas, shade trees, overlooks the Boise River

Address: 1375 Shoreline Dr, Boise, ID 83702

Castle Hills Park

Highlights: playground, picnic areas, benches, creek, tennis courts, dog-friendly

Address: 5350 Eugene St, Boise, ID 83703

Catalpa

Highlights: playground, covered picnic area, small field

Address: 4516 W Catalpa Dr, Boise, ID 83703

Memorial

Highlights: playground, small field, many shade trees, picnic areas

Address: 900 N 6th St, Boise, ID 83702

Quarry View

Highlights: playground, small field, next to the Idaho Botanical Gardens and Old Idaho Penitentiary, walking/hiking trails

Address: 2150 Old Penitentiary Rd, Boise, ID 83712

boise park swing

Kristin Armstrong Municipal

Highlights: playground, picnic areas, bocce courts, access to Boise River, attached to M.K. Nature Center, lots of shade trees

Address: 500 S Walnut St, Boise, ID 83712

Manitou

Highlights: playground, tennis, bbq picnic areas, dog-friendly (off-leash hours are sunrise to 10am and 4pm to sunset)

Address: 2001 S Manitou Ave, Boise, ID 83706

Williams

Highlights: playground, shady trees, tennis, small field, chess tables, picnic areas, dog-friendly

Address: 201 W Williams St, Boise, ID 83706

Ivywild

Highlights: playground, covered picnic areas, walking paths, large fields, baseball diamonds, tennis, swimming pool (admission required)

Address: 416 W Ivywild St, Boise, ID 83706

Kroeger

Highlights: playground for toddlers, small field, picnic areas, benches

Address: 2919 S Leadville Ave, Boise, ID 83706

Baggley

Highlights: playground, tennis, volleyball, basketball, picnic areas, field

Address: 1411 E Parkcenter Blvd, Boise, ID 83706

Helen B. Lowder

Highlights: playground (for both toddlers and older kids), covered picnic areas, basketball, tennis, volleyball

Address: 3450 S Law Ave, Boise, ID 83706

Cypress

Highlights: playground (one for toddlers and one for older kids), dog-friendly (off-leash hours are sunrise to 10am and 4pm to sunset), tennis, picnic shelter, walking paths, field

Address: 4382 S Tableridge Way, Boise, ID 83716

Owyhee

Highlights: playground for toddlers and for older kids, sheltered picnic area, tennis, basketball, field, shade trees

Address: 3400 Elder St, Boise ID 83705

Terry Day Park

Highlights: playground, tennis, sheltered picnic area, walking paths, field, duck pond

Address: 1225 S Federal Way, Boise, ID 83705

boise park playground

Shoshone Playground

Highlights: playground, tennis, sheltered picnic area, field, shade trees

Address: 2800 W Canal St, Boise, ID 83705

Borah

Highlights: playground for toddlers and for older kids, small field, covered picnic area, right next to Borah Pool

Address: 801 Aurora Dr, Boise, ID 83709

Fairview

Highlights: playground for toddlers and older kids, covered picnic areas, tennis, basketball, shade trees

Directions: At the corner of W Bannock St and N 23rd St. Parking is along the street.

Gordon S. Bowen

Highlights: playground for toddlers and older kids, lots of shade trees, picnic areas, very small

Address: 1013 Ofarrell St, Boise, ID 83702

Liberty

Highlights: playground for toddlers and older kids, baseball and tee-ball diamonds

Directions: At the corner of N Liberty St and W Denton St.

Peppermint

Highlights: playground, sheltered picnic area, basketball, tennis, large field, no shade trees

Address: 2030 S Sumpter Way, Boise, ID 83709

Nottingham

Highlights: playground, basketball, small field

Address: 5243 W Decatur Dr, Boise, ID 83704

Jullion

Highlights: playground, small field, sheltered picnic areas

Address: 3801 N Jullion Way, Boise, ID 83704

Best Big Boise Parks

Okay, so I couldn’t help myself. I just had to include the big parks everyone knows about and visits. But all the hype is real. These Boise parks are seriously some of the best.

boise park abraham lincoln

Ann Morrison

Highlights: playground, outdoor gym, fountain, several fields, baseball diamonds, bocce courts, disc golf course, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball, soccer fields, sheltered picnic areas, shade trees, walking paths, raft pullout point (last possible place to end rafting the Boise River)

Address: 1000 S Americana Blvd, Boise, ID 83706

Kathryn Albertson

Highlights: walking paths, several ponds, fountain, reserveable pavilions, wildlife habitat (we’ve see all sorts of birds, deer, and bunnies!)

Address: 1001 N Americana Blvd, Boise, ID 83706

Julia Davis

Highlights: playground, tons of biking/walking paths, several sport courts, old growth shade trees, rose garden, picnic areas

Attractions: Idaho State Museum, Boise Art Museum, Idaho Black History Museum, Abraham Lincoln statue (that dude is huge!), Boise Zoo, Discovery Center of Idaho, pond for Paddle Boats

Address: 700 S Capitol Blvd, Boise, ID 83702

Camel’s Back

Highlights: playground, tennis, sand volleyball, field, shade trees, picnic areas, outdoor gym, hiking along Camel’s Back hill, access to foothills hiking trails

Address: 1200 Heron St, Boise, ID 83702

Phew! That’s a Lot of Boise Parks!

Yeah. There’s a lot of parks in Boise with a little of bit of everything for everyone. While we haven’t been to all of these parks individually, I think it’s pretty safe to say that they embody the spirit of Boise, the City of Trees, with green grass, beautiful shade trees, and a whole lot of fun.

I did my very best to get all the hidden gems I could find as well as info and addresses to them. But I’m human (what?? Shocker.) and might have missed something. If you see a non-major park that should be here but isn’t, comment below to let me know and I’ll be sure to add it!

And, while you’re at it, what is your favorite Boise park?

the best boise parks

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