Q: We are new to Idaho and want to take a bike ride along the Boise Greenbelt, but don't know where to park and get on the pathway.
Are there any maps available?
RUTH AND RON CRAWFORD, Caldwell
A: There are a lot of places to park and ride sections of the Boise Greenbelt, especially where streets cross the river pathway.
Since you're coming on the freeway from the west end of the Valley, you might want to start at Veterans Park.
You can come in on the Connector and take the Curtis Road exit. Just turn left (north) on Curtis Road and head toward Garden City. Cross Chinden Boulevard and continue until you cross the Boise River. Your next right is the pull off for Veterans Park. Park there, get on your bikes and head east or west on the Greenbelt.
The Greenbelt is 25 miles long and on both sides of the river, so you have plenty of options for rides.
To the east, you can ride all the way out to Discovery Park or Lucky Peak Dam, or go almost to Eagle by heading west.
You can do lots of short trips by parking at different locations.
You can also park at the Boise River and Glenwood Street in Garden City and head east on the Greenbelt for one trip.
By starting at Bown Crossing you can go through Marianne Williams Park and beyond to Lucky Peak Dam.
Municipal Park in Boise is another good jumping off point for riding.
An easy way to plan your trip is to download a copy of Boise's new Greenbelt Map.
Go to cityofboise.org and click on "Recreation" and "Greenbelt" and you can get an digital brochure with a map.
The city has mileage marked on the Greenbelt. The Distance and Orientation Trail System (DOTS) is a series of 20-inch white spots painted on the Greenbelt pavement every tenth of a mile.
Inside the white spots are black numbers and letters that describe your location on the Greenbelt.
They come in handy for knowing exactly how far you are away from someplace. The Greenbelt also has volunteers in golf carts and police officers on mountain bikes patrolling the area for safety.
Now let's get serious about the main reason for traveling the Greenbelt. I'm a Greenbelt foodie.
You can eat and drink all the way up and down the Greenbelt with restaurants and cafes all along the way.
There are breakfast places in case you are an early riser. You'll find plenty of lunch spots, too.
If you end your ride in the evening you can find everything from fine dining to pizza and beer.
Once you start riding the Greenbelt you'll be hooked.
And then there's the fishing. Some anglers don't want to mess with city traffic so they pack up the fishing rods and ride the Greenbelt looking for good places to drop a line.
I didn't even get into the wildlife watching. Bring the binoculars.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors