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A plethora of rec at the Boise Foothills

Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

The city of Boise is a proponent of public lands, specifically its Foothills. The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center, Ridge to Rivers and Open Space Conservation are three programs that help to enhance Boise’s mission to be the most livable city in the country.

The Foothills expand thousands of acres, all of which is public land, and include more than 100 miles of trails. The Foothills serve as a home to wildlife, plants, geology and historic features in the Boise area.

The Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center is a facility that fosters growth for all students and visitors through education and information.

It is a center that places a high value on learning about the Boise foothills and the surrounding high-desert environment through direct experience in the outdoors.

The center also provided service-learning opportunities for all ages, focusing specifically on family and community events throughout the year.

The Ridge to Rivers is a program that works to maintain the trails in Boise, as well as any trail-related projects. Boise has over 140 miles of trail, from Highway 21 in the east to Highway 55 in the west and Hill Road/Warm Springs Ave. in the south to the Ridge in the north, and a diversity of land that is a home to many different plats and animals.

The Ridge to Rivers program accepts donations to help to protect and care for our wildlife community.

The Foothills Conservation Advisory Committee reports just over $10.6 million from the Foothills levy funds of 10,300 acres of undeveloped foothills property have been protected as Open Space Conservation through acquisition, donation, conservation easement or land exchange.

However, recently the Foothills have faced problems on the trails.

David Gordon, Ridge to Rivers Trail Coordinator, recently posted on the Facebook page regarding the dog waste left behind on the trails. “It is imperative that you pick up your dog’s waste with a mutt mitt, and deposit it in a trailhead trash can… Please help us keep our trails and foothills clean and sanitary by picking up after your pet, and helping to spread this message—thank you.”

It is important that all visitors to the Foothills respect the land.

“The protection of the Foothills over the past few decades for wildlife habitat, rare plants, recreation, and scenic vistas has been a community effort that has provided a tremendous asset to the citizens of Boise, unlike any other city of its size in the United States,” Foothills and Open Space Manger Julia Grant said.

“The Foothills offer a respite to life’s daily stresses: school, work, traffic, etc.,” Grant said. “Spending time in the Foothills provides insight into better understanding the world around us; the natural world. There is something for everyone in the foothills, no matter your age or ability.”


The Star Party returns to Boise on Oct. 13. This event takes place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Jim Hall Foothills learning Center, 3133 Sunset Peak Road. It gives participants the opportunity to gain more knowledge about the stars.

Second Saturday is for free all ages event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Jim Hall Foothills
Learning Center.

Sunset Series is a free all ages event held on select Wednesday evenings at the Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center.

Annual Tending the Foothills Event will be a volunteer event involving clean-up projects and/or trail maintenance.

Story Trail is open from sunrise to sunset year-round at Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center. Participants will read and hike the 1/3-mile trail featuring a different nature storybook each month.

Whether you hop on a mountain bike or lace those running shoes, it is a definite must to get out.


1 Comment on A plethora of rec at the Boise Foothills

  1. This article had a "plethora" of good information.

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