The Great Outdoors

Author Sep 25, 2020

The Great Outdoors 

Idaho has more public lands than almost any other state and many of those public lands are found right here in the Nampa/Caldwell area or just a short drive away. From hiking, boating and fishing to a handful of golf courses, summer is a wonderful time to take advantage of Nampa and Caldwell’s vast outdoor scene.

The Nampa pedestrian pathway system is a favorite among locals. Over three miles long is the Wilson Pathway, and is a quick and easy scenic getaway. Welcome to cyclists, anglers, runners, or casual strollers, the pathway system offers a visitors to see what blossoms in high-desert soil. The neighboring farmland sprinkled throughout only adds to the country style ambience.

Several rare birds have made homes along the tree lined path. Although a rare sight, Green Winged Teals, Western Grebes, and Northern Saw-Whet Owls all reside in Canyon County. Nampa local, Anthony Clark, said, "This is [Nampa and Caldwell] the only place I've seen a Great Blue Heron" 
Disc golf has gained in popularity throughout the years and has made its way into Nampa’s parks with structured disc golf courses. Nampa's most popular disc golf course sits in West Park located on Midland Boulevard. A nine-hole course poses as a fun time for both rookie and experienced golfers. The course also features softball fields, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, pathways, picnic areas, and two playgrounds. Nampa resident, Cory Ames prefers the West Park course among others in the area, "West Park is a fun nine hole course. The eighth hole crosses an irrigation pond with obstacles to the far right, it can get challenging,” he said.

Lake Lowell is also home to two disc golf courses. Mallard Park is an eighteen hole course located on the Caldwell side of the lake. When asked about Mallard Park, Ames exclaimed, "Yes, super fun! One hole is over 700 feet long.” The nine holes can be found across from the Nampa boat ramps located where Iowa Road and Lake Avenue meet. "Great nine hole course,” Ames continues, “on the top its flat and fun, it gets a little hairy when you drop into ravine on hole four. Lots of out of bounds with private properties on the left of the course.”

Lake Lowell has an array of sporting to offer other than disc golf. Located five miles southwest of Nampa the reservoir borders Nampa and Caldwell with the regions wine country as its backdrop. The lake gives a space for boating, swimming, bird watching and picnicking. Fishing is most prevalent, however, at Lake Lowell. Anglers mostly seek large mouth bass along the southern shorelines, or for schools of catfish, perch, trout, and small mouth bass that scatter throughout the reservoir. The lake is home to the only big bass lake in the treasure valley and has many bass tournaments throughout the year. With an upper and lower dam and pathways throughout its Wildlife refugee center, the lake is also a popular place for runners. Yearly 10k and 5k marathons are held at the lake.

Hidden 16 miles south of Nampa is Cleo's Ferry museum and outdoor trail. Nestled on the rocky canyon along Idaho's Snake River, the family operated museum and trail overlooks the Owyhee mountain range. It  is home to thousands of relics from cast iron statues, lawn ornaments, birdhouses, graveyards, and a temple that is staged along the trail. The experience is free.

The Nampa area is paradise for those that love the great outdoors. Whether it’s on an off-roading thrill with motorcycles and ATV’s, quietly sitting on the shoreside of Lake Lowell with a book, or competing in a friendly game of disc golf, the outdoor adventures in Nampa are endless.