Thursday, January 18, 2018

My outdoor tip this week: Two of my favorite winter hikes on the Boise River Greenbelt

This pic was taken in March when birds were beginning to occupy nests in the heron rookery along the Eagle Greenbelt.
The rookery is one of the highlights of the trip in terms of wildlife watching. There's also a bald eagle nest in the area.
Take your hike in the evening and you'll see some amazing sunsets while geese fly overhead.
Walking/running trail on the south side of the Boise River, west of Barber Park. 
Boise River near Eckert Road bridge and Barber Park. 
Bald eagle perches in a cottonwood tree along the Eagle Greenbelt (off in the distance).
Hi all,

The warm weather we had mid-week inspired people to play golf and ride bikes in the Boise Valley, but winter is snapping back into swing starting tonight and tomorrow (Friday), especially in the mountains. We'll have rain in the valley tomorrow while it snows at Bogus Basin, Tamarack Resort and Brundage.

All three were getting hammered with snow on Thursday night. Powder day on Friday! Brundage and Tamarack had 10 inches of new overnight, and Bogus got 6 inches. Yay!

The skies are expected to clear for some potential bluebird skiing at Bogus on Saturday and Sunday, either downhill or cross-country.

Sunshine also is predicted for the Boise Valley this weekend, calling for blue skies and temperatures in the low 40s. So after skiing three days in a row at Brundage last weekend, I'm recommending a couple of my favorite winter hikes along the Boise River for this weekend ... staying closer to home.

Summer-view map of the Marianne Williams-Barber Park-Bown Crossing Loop 
The first hike is in East Boise, a 4-mile loop from Marianne Williams Park in Harris Ranch to Barber Park and the dirt/gravel walking trail on the south side of the river going back to Bown Crossing. You can connect to Marianne Williams Park by crossing the East ParkCenter Bridge. But before you do that, be sure to stop and get some coffee, beer or whatever in Bown Crossing. You're also close to Lucky 13 in Harris Ranch on the east side. Make it a fun outing combined with some food and drink.

Here's one of my previous blogposts with the full skinny on the loop from Marianne Williams Park in Harris Ranch to Barber Park and Bown Crossing.

Eagle Greenbelt loop has multiple options with the pedestrian bridge at the head of Eagle Island. 
My second recommendation is to do a 6-mile loop on the Eagle Greenbelt on foot or bike. There's always a good chance of seeing wildlife in this lesser-used area of the Greenbelt. The tour takes you from the start near Eagle Road to the pedestrian bridge spanning the Boise River at the head of Eagle Island. Then, you head west and follow the riverside trail back to Eagle Road. You'll need to walk or bike along the road for a short reach back to the north channel, and complete your loop. I recommend starting and finishing at Bardenay Restaurant, so you can get a meal and a beverage there after your outing.

Both of these hikes among a total of 90 are featured in my Boise Trail Guide. The book is available in most outdoor stores in the Boise area, on my web site, and on

Have fun!
- SS

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