You can surf in the middle of Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho has over 90 parks including that offer activities like surfing, paddle biking and canoeing. Many parks are named for women, thanks to donations from potato farming families.

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 6:23 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 6:36 PM

Boise may be more than 500 miles away from the Pacific Ocean, but that doesn't mean surfing is impossible.

In Idaho's capital, Whitewater Park is a man-made adjustable wave shaper that kayakers and surfers can use between the months of March and October.

"A lot of people...on their one hour lunch break, they will hop on their bike, ride down the green belt path along the river, come down to the surf wave and surf for forty minutes and go back to work," Idaho River Sports instructor Jayne Saunders says.

And she's not the only one who cherishes the city's waterways and outdoor spaces.

"One of the great things about living in Boise is that our mayor and our city council have an extremely high value in parks and in recreation," says Doug Holloway, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Boise.

"The outdoor activities are very abundant in the city of Boise, with our beautiful foothills, and our Greenbelt, but the abundance of our park system, we have over 90 parks, more than 1,600 total acres."

Ten parks comprise Boise's "Ribbon of Jewels," properties along the Boise River that were donated to the city and named to honor some of Boise's prominent female leaders.

One is named for Esther Simplot, a onetime opera singer who became a prominent Boise philanthropist.

Her husband, J. R. Simplot, made his fortune from securing a deal to sell their potatoes to McDonald's for french fries.

Because of the number of summertime water activities at the ponds, Parks and Rec created a life jacket kiosk where kids can borrow life jackets for the day.

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