52 Greenbelt Walks: 4th of July Weekend Spectacular

July 2 & July 3

4th of July weekend and we made it out to the greenbelt. Boise River waters have finally receded after historic flooding. More of the trail is open for recreationists, but there is still quite a bit out of commission. I’m glad more of the trail is accessible. However, I’m just as frustrated that some of the walks I have not been able to do all year (since I started this greenbelt project) are still closed. The pedestrian-only Bethine Church Trail, with bridges out and the trail badly damaged, is chief among them. It’s super beautiful, and a great walk with children. Will it make the blog in 2017? Remains to be seen. All Eagle and Garden City trails are also still closed as far as I know.

This week we headed to the MK Nature Center  for some easy wildlife viewing, walked along the river, and enjoyed a sangria and  light dinner at the RAM restaurant. It was not a long walk and we didn’t track it. But we got out there with our baby. 

I haven’t discussed much about the dining opportunities along the greenbelt, but there are several. The RAM Restaurant at Broadway Avenue in Boise has an outdoor patio with views of the Boise River and trees, and people watching. Joe’s Crab Shack and the Sandbar along the path in Garden City are great summertime trail-side stops.

And it looks like a new coffee/snack shop is going to be built near the just-opened Esther Simplot Park. Payette Brewery has a new large facility across from Ann Morrison Park. They just serve beer though. These amenities turn the greenbelt from a simple outdoor experience, into an outdoor lifestyle destination. I’m not a purist; I’ll take an outdoor lounge with my nature worship.

In addition to our short greenbelt walk, we took a lovely 3.8 mile pre-4th of July hike at Polecat Loop, one of my favorite foothills trails. Since our greenbelt options are still quite limited, I hope you will enjoy a new-to-this-blog-perspective on Boise nature. The Boise foothills make for fabulous outdoor adventures, just like the greenbelt.

July Walk(s) #1: 4th of July Weekend Spectacular

Evening Greenbelt Ramble: MK Nature Center to RAM Restaurant at Broadway Avenue (1-1.5 miles)

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The family (sans teenage contingent) out on the trail. 

 

 

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Shadows were getting long and the cottonwood down covered the pond surface, so we didn’t see many fish. Still worth the crossing.

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Sharing nature together. What it’s all about. 

 

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Sandy beach! We haven’t seen that for months. But the water is still high and fast. Normally the 4th of July is a big day for tubing the river. Not this year. The river is closed. 

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Part of a goose family flotilla.

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The water level has gone down, but…. This little area usually has a good sized sandbar and makes a sweet little spot for children to play. Not quite there yet. 

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The RAM Restaurant. Dining al fresco? Yes please. 

Morning Foothills Hike (3.8 miles)
Boise’s foothills are lovely right now. And Polecat Loop Trail is one of my very favorites. It’s an easy 6 minute drive from our house, but it feels kind of ‘out there’. Back to nature and all that. Note that Polecat Loop is part of Ridge to Rivers, Boise’s extensive recreational trail system. It’s not part of the greenbelt, but it is part of the natural beauty we enjoy here. 

It was a lovely morning, with sun-warmed sage scents in the air. Birds and crickets were chattering. The desert sun felt good on skin, before it got quite too hot. I know it’s not the greenbelt. But I had to share.

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Headed into the hills.

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Puffball plants were everywhere.

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Cuties.

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The sagebrush Mariposa lilies were in bloom.

 

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We love the world.

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Hill to hill views.

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Up the small valley trail.

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Scenic viewpoint. Boise downtown is in the far distance.

And last, a couple of thoughts on freedom. 

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Who knows where the trail will lead for this little lady. In the meantime, I’m thankful for the many freedoms and choices my family has. To live in a beautiful place. To be kind and loving. To focus on what’s important and meaningful to us. And to take our baby out in nature every day.  These are the elements for my good life. May everyone everywhere have the freedom to make a good life happen for them.

 

 

 

 

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