Idaho may officially be the Gem State, but it’s also unofficially known as the Whitewater State. There are loads of fun things to do in Idaho but, with close to 150 rivers running inside its borders, Idaho river recreation is one of the top draws to the state. Those living in the Meridian and Boise area are especially fortunate, as they have easy access to the awesome Boise River for safe family recreation. A tributary of the mighty Snake, the Boise River ambles through 102 miles of southern Idaho terrain, with many opportunities for waterfront property. It flows right through the state’s capital, offering a variety of fun and exciting Idaho water sports all year long. However, the Payette River just North of Boise about 45 minutes has great Class 3-5 water.
Idaho Water Sports: Kayaking
Kayaking is one of the top Idaho water sports. Though the kayaking season is busiest during the hot summer months, it’s still one of the fun things to do in Idaho any time of year. Even when snowdrifts line the banks of the Boise River, diehard kayakers still take to the icy waters to brave the rapids. The only thing that keeps them away is when the river ices entirely over. As Idaho water sports go, however, kayaking in winter is pretty extreme. Unless you’re very experienced and don’t mind taking a dip in freezing water, kayaking on the Boise is one of those fun things to do in Idaho you might want to save for summer.
Fishing season lasts all year long in the Whitewater State, making it one of those Idaho water sports you can enjoy year-round. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Boise River near Meridian is one of the top 20 fishing destinations in Idaho. It’s chock-full of trout, including brown and rainbow varieties. The state’s Fish and Game hatchery also transports in steelhead right before the winter season hits, and they report that fishermen continue to hook them through spring. Anglers out for Boise Idaho river recreation also have a chance of landing good-sized mountain whitefish, some as long as 18 inches and weighing up to 5 pounds.
Whitewater rafting is one of the most fun things to do in Idaho—you’re in the Whitewater State, after all! The local Parks and Recreation Department recently undertook a project to create a whitewater park of sorts that offers top-notch Idaho river recreation all year long. Naturally, kayakers and fishermen, along with Idaho water sports enthusiasts of all sorts love the upgrades and restoration work the department has done, but none more than the people whose Idaho river recreation activity of choice is whitewater rafting.
Just as with kayaking, whitewater rafting picks up in late spring and is in full-swing during summer. Still, if you’re careful, you can take to the Boise River for some exhilarating whitewater rafting any time of year. That includes winter, as long as the ice is minimal, and you’re accompanied by an expert whitewater guide.
Don’t Forget the Greenbelt!
Not everyone is into Idaho water sports, and that’s OK. There are still fun things to do in Idaho that incorporate Idaho river recreation without requiring you get in it or cast a line on it. The perfect example is the Boise River Greenbelt. It’s a 25-mile path that follows alongside the river through some of the most beautiful parts of the city. It offers the ideal opportunity to experience the Boise River at a fairly close proximity, enjoying its extraordinary beauty. Whether you stroll along the footpath, ride along it on your bike, or venture a few feet closer to the river’s edge for a picnic, the Greenbelt should not be overlooked as top-quality Idaho river recreation.
If you end up liking the Boise Area so much that you want to move here or to find out more about Meridian or the rest of Southwestern Idaho, give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call for a personal tour of the area and see some great homes that fit your style and budget.
Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner, Stewart Realty, LLC,
Direct: 208-602-1993, Office: 208-887-5445