Boise River Greenbelt

Park in Boise

Image by mattalberts Getty Images

The glowing emerald of Treasure Valley began as an ambitious plan in the 1960s to prevent development in the Boise River's floodplain and provide open space in a rapidly growing city. Now, the growing collection of parks and museums along the tree-lined river-way is connected by over 30 miles of multi-use paths, and hosts an insanely popular summer floating scene. A developing $12 million whitewater park, complete with hydraulically controlled waves, promises to be the largest of its kind.

The put-in point for tubing the river is Barber Park 6 miles east of downtown. It's a 5-mile float to the take-out point at Ann Morrison Park. There are four rest-stops en route and a regular shuttle bus ($3) takes you back to your car from the take-out.

The most central and action-packed space on the Greenbelt, 90-acre Julia Davis Park contains the Boise Art Museum and is the permanent location of the Idaho State Historical Museum (temporarily closed for renovation).