Outdoors Blog

Boise’s Esther Simplot Park to open Nov. 2 with off-leash rule

Boise’s new Esther Simplot Park will open Nov. 2 — and it will allow off-leash dogs for the first five months.

The 55-acre park is the latest jewel in Boise’s string of parks along the Boise River in the Downtown corridor. Nearly half of the park (23 acres) is water.

The ribbon-cutting is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 2.

“These only come along so often and they probably won’t keep coming along because there’s just not 55 acres of land available in the downtown area to create another downtown park,” said Doug Holloway, the director of Boise Parks and Recreation. “So it really is something we want to celebrate with the public.”

The park at 614 N. Whitewater Park Blvd. features the large Esther’s Pond, which will allow paddleboarders, kayakers and other water users to move almost-seamlessly from Quinn’s Pond to Esther’s Pond to Veterans Pond. The future development of the next phase of the whitewater park, expected to begin construction next fall, will add a connection to the Boise River.

Friendship Island within Esther’s Pond is one of the marquee features of the new park. It also has a playground. A car and boat were placed at the bottom of the pond to give search-and-rescue crews a place to train.

The opening of the park also will re-open the Greenbelt from Quinn’s Pond to Veterans Memorial Park. That stretch likely will be closed again next fall for the whitewater park construction.

Esther Simplot Park will allow off-leash dogs from its opening through late March to help control the goose population. The same policy will be in place throughout Ann Morrison Park this winter, ending Feb. 28.