Boise River Greenbelt: A shining example of riverbank restoration

Alas, every trip must come to its end. Enjoyed Sun Valley so much, I opted for another day there, which left me with only an hour or so to explore Boise before catching my flight. I opted for a leisurely ride along the Boise River Greenbelt.  For a trip that started in Spokane with a bike ride, it seemed fitting to conclude with one in Boise.

Have to admit that driving into the urban sprawl of Boise after an idyllic 9-day adventure through Montana and Idaho’s pristine wilderness areas was a bit of a bummer (understatement). Rented a bike at the Boise Riverside RV Park. Their selection was limited, mostly cruisers & hyrbids for casual, leisurely rides along the flat Greenbelt.  It’s a large RV park, “nestled in Treasure Valley next to the river”. It didn’t look like a treasure to me, yet the park was full to capacity. I couldn’t quite understand the attraction. Why would anyone would want to park their RV’s here? I asked the lady, “What’s the main attraction for people here? ” She replied, “Well, there’s a Walmart in walking distance.” (Sigh)

So my sweetie and I took off down the Greenbelt on the tandem. First time for us and no wipe outs. The Greenbelt is very tame riding and not suitable for performance or high speeds anyway… We were a mile or 2 in before the scenery improved. We went down 1 side of the greenbelt and came back the other. It was a pleasant ride along the river under the shade of trees, through riparian areas, but fairly unremarkable.

What is remarkable is that this city turned a neglected and degraded riverbank of  trash, industrial waste and raw sewage into one of their city’s most valued gems. It took the brilliant vision of a zoning  consultant, a local grassroots effort and a few decades, but it worked! The Boise River Greenbelt is a shining example of how a community’s investment in the revitalization of their natural areas pays dividends in their citizens’ quality of life. Kudos to Boise!


We passed a fisherman and found a spot on the river with a controlled wave that kayakers and surfers trade-off days on. Living in San Diego, it’s hard to imagine waiting in line to surf the 1 wave, but I like the way they think.


All that being said, would I return? Probably not.

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