recreation in Boise
Boise is home to some of the best outdoor recreation in the Northwest, with more than 90 parks, the 25-mile Greenbelt, 200+ miles of trails and endless miles of open space. Much of this recreational area was designed with people with disabilities in mind and can be reached by car or bus. From inclusive playgrounds to accessible trails, Boise remains committed to providing everyone with access to the outdoors.
Boise’s most accessible parks
Kathryn Albertson Park
This city park is an oasis for wildlife and has many paved paths that wind through the various meadows, ponds and wetlands. The park offers several accessible paved loops of varying lengths. The main loop is about a mile long and begins at the parking lot where there are accessible restrooms and a large map of the park. Please note that the park doesn’t have maps throughout, so grab a photo of the map at the entrance.
Parking: Large paved parking lot with four van-accessible spots
Accessible features and amenities: Restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, pavilions with reservation options
Esther Simplot Park
This park is part of a large water complex with ponds, a lazy river and an accessible beach area. Esther Simplot Park has a paved path that leads to parking areas throughout the park with picnic tables and benches along the way. The park also has accessible piers. You can park near the Greenbelt at Esther Simplot Park and access this 25-mile pathway from there.
Parking: Multiple paved parking areas with nine van-accessible parking spots
Accessible features and amenities: Restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, and pavilions with electricity available for reservation
Ann Morrison Park
Ann Morrison Park encompasses more than 150 acres along the Boise River. It has a spray fountain, a playground with an accessible surface, accessible sports courts and paved raft pullouts. The park also offers access to the south side of the Greenbelt.
Parking: Multiple paved parking lots with van-accessible spots
Accessible features and amenities: Restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, tennis courts, playground, dog park, pavilion with reservation option
Boise River Greenbelt
The Greenbelt is one of Boise’s most beloved parks. This recreational trail is located along the Boise River. It’s a 25-mile tree-lined pathway frequented by walkers, runners, bikers and everything in between. The path is mostly paved and level, with some areas of compacted gravel and slightly steep grades (which are all marked by signs and on maps). Please note there are currently no charging stations for power wheelchairs and scooters along the Greenbelt.
For more information on Boise’s parks, check out our park guide.
Boise’s most accessible parks
Boise Parks and Recreation wants to make sure children of all abilities have opportunities to learn, play and grow. That’s why they’re improving playgrounds across Boise to make them more accessible for all kids and their families.
The following parks offer playgrounds with accessible features and amenities, including bonded rubber surfacing material for mobility device and wheelchair users:
– Bowden Park
– Bowler Park
– Cassia Park
– Cottonwood Park
– Franklin Park
– Hobble Creek Park
– Molenaar Park
– Phillippi Park
– Pine Grove Park (Under Construction)
These park playgrounds have bonded rubber surfacing material for mobility device and wheelchair users:
– Ann Morrison Park
– Camel’s Back Park
– Castle Hills Park
– Esther Simplot Park
– Morris Hill Park
– Simplot Sports Complex
– Terry Day Park
For more information and updates on accessible paths and sports courts, please visit the City of Boise’s Accessible Recreation page.
Always looking for ways to help individuals with disabilities recreate, play and explore, Boise Park’s and Recreation’s AdVenture Program (short for Adaptive Adventures) offers a variety of recreational activities, wilderness excursions, fitness programs, and sports and social activities. Classes, activities and camps vary by season, so check here for details.
Bogus Basin, a year-round recreation area just 16 miles from Boise, welcomes individuals with disabilities. During winter, Boise Adaptive Snowsport Education or BASE, an independent non-profit organization partnered with Bogus Basin, offers adaptive snow sports programming for people with physical and/or developmental disabilities. Check here for more information.
The foothills are one of the best places to get out and explore Boise’s outdoors. The Ridge to Rivers trail team has put together a comprehensive list of accessible trails, organized by reserve, to help you make the most of your time in the Boise Foothills. This includes information on ADA-accessible parking and trailheads when available. View the Ridge to Rivers accessibility page here.
Accessible transportation in Boise
Valley Regional Transit (VRT) offers a paratransit service in Boise, Garden City, Nampa, Caldwell and Meridian. Each bus has the necessary accommodations, and all transportation stations are designed to serve every member of the community as well as all visitors.
VRT also provides a paratransit service called ACCESS that complements fixed-route and on-demand bus systems. It’s available to people who are unable to use the fixed-route or on-demand bus systems because of a disability. Eligibility can be on a limited basis.
ACCESS is available for the cities of Boise, Garden City, Nampa, Caldwell, and Meridian. The Boise/Garden City service operates Monday through Saturday during the same time as the fixed-line bus system. Services are also available in Nampa and Caldwell. All ACCESS vehicles can accommodate wheelchairs. Review VRT’s website for more information.