Thursday, October 18, 2018

Hike Celebration Park and see birds of prey artwork, plus Sweet Connie and Boise trails

Norm Nelson, son of Morley Nelson, has some beautiful oil paintings on display
at the Celebration Park Visitor Center. 
We did a group hike to Halverson Lake last spring for the 25th anniversary of the final protection of the
Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. 
The golden eagle eyes piece is one of my favorites. The other two are quite something, too! 
Hi all,

Well, the weather forecast this weekend is pretty darn stellar for October! Nothing but clear skies and temperatures in the high 60s or 70 Friday-Sunday in the Boise area. How can you go wrong?

The weather should be great for just about anything outdoors! I'm sure some families will be taking their kids to corn and hay mazes for Halloween. But I'm going to recommend four destinations close to home for a fun adventure.

1. Go hiking at Celebration Park next to the Snake River, and while you're there, check out the birds of prey artwork in the Visitor Center. My friend Norm Nelson has some of his oil paintings on display, and there are other works there as well. You can enjoy a very moderate 6-mile round-trip hike to Halverson Lake and enjoy some fall colors next to the Snake. Driving directions: From downtown Boise, take I-84 west to Nampa. Take the Franklin Road exit (City Center) in Nampa. Go left. Follow Franklin to the intersection with 11th Street. Turn right and take 11th into downtown Nampa. Follow signs for ID 45 south. Proceed several miles south to Walters Ferry at the Snake River. Just before the river crossing, turn left on Ferry Road. Follow Ferry to Hill Road. Go right on Hill. Follow Hill to Sinker Road; turn right on Sinker and proceed to Celebration Park. You can see petroglyphs on boulders next to the parking lot, and learn about the Bonneville Flood. The artwork on display can be seen between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. 

2. Head to Bogus Basin to go hiking or biking. The conditions are perfect for fall hiking and biking right now! You can do my Bogus Basin Contour Special (6 miles round-trip, rated moderate to strenuous for hiking), or ride Around the Mountain, a 10-mile ride that IMBA rated as the best in Idaho. Both rides start at the base of Bogus Basin by the lower lodge.

3. Do a super-cool grand descent bike ride. Go up to the Eastside Trailhead (Mile 12 on Bogus Basin Roads), and ride Eastside over to Stack Rock, and at the junction, keep going straight and do a grand descent on Sweet Connie and then turn onto Chukar Butte to gravity ride all the way to Hidden Springs. Leave a shuttle rig at Hidden Springs and shuttle your way to the Eastside Trailhead (or be a stud and do it all by bike). I'm not sure how many miles that is, but somewhere in the 20-mile range. Advanced riding skills required. Here's a cool video of the Chukar Butte trail.

4. Hike or ride a trail in the Boise Foothills to enjoy the fall colors. Hulls Gulch, Military Reserve, Corrals Trail, Cottonwood Creek, Dry Creek and Watchman are all good bets!
Watchman Trail as the colors are beginning to turn ... 
Want to learn more about the Idaho Centennial Trail? Go to an ICT discussion at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Foothills Learning Center on 8th Street.

Have fun!
- SS

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