Outdoors Blog

Playing Outdoors: It’s time to play hooky

This girl was a little tired when she reached the plateau at the junction between the Corrals and Scott’s trails — but she beat her bike-riding friends.
This girl was a little tired when she reached the plateau at the junction between the Corrals and Scott’s trails — but she beat her bike-riding friends. ccripe@idahostatesman.com

With near-record heat in the forecast for the last three workdays of this week and rain possible this weekend, it might be time for an unexpected day off from work (but don’t say I told you to do it!). Or an early-morning excursion ... or a late-evening escape.

The forecast calls for a high of 87 degrees Thursday. It’s supposed to be in the mid- to upper 70s on Friday with possible rain and down to 59 with a strong chance of rain Saturday.

Here are a few things I’ve done recently that might be in order given the good weather:

▪ Wednesday morning, I hiked the Corrals trail off of Bogus Basin Road as part of my “Discover the Boise Foothills” series. That blog post will be published next week, but Corrals is great for dogs because it has a wide trail, a creek for water about 1.75 miles into the hike (there’s even a shady spot for a break) and it doesn’t get as much use as some of the trails closer to town. We did a little more than 3 miles out, to reach a spot overlooking Downtown Boise, then turned around for a 6-mile round trip. It was good that we started early.

“It’s getting warm too early,” one shirtless hiker with a dog told me as he was headed uphill and I was headed back down.

▪ Bike to dinner with the family. I met my wife and son at dinner Tuesday night. His bike was in the car, so we rode home together. It was a fabulous time to be on the Greenbelt and a great way to chat with him free of distractions.

▪ I haven’t been out this week, but twilight is my favorite time for golf. Warm days make it even better. See how many holes you can cram in after work.

▪ Morning is a great time to stop by any of the areas popular with birds. Marianne Williams Park is convenient for me — it’s full of singing, chirping, flying birds right now. The Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve is a great option if you live on the west side of town. Birding guide here.

▪ Try one of these trail runs I wrote about last week. If you’re new to trails, do the Seamans Gulch loop. It’s short with surprisingly nice views.

▪ Take a ride through Barber Valley on the Greenbelt to Diversion Dam. My son enjoyed watching the water works the other day — and we also got to see some rock climbers and a soaring bald eagle.

▪ I haven’t been out recently, but our fishing writer — Jordan Rodriguez — is an advocate for every day as a fishing day. So find a nice spot in the shade.

▪ Whatever you do, don’t get in the Boise River. See the photo of the sign above. If you run into trouble, you’re going to get a bill.

And if you need a little outdoors inspiration, Wednesday was “Playing Outdoors” day in the Idaho Statesman. We had stories about mountain biking, fishing and birding — plus a breakdown of the Foothills 10-year master plan.

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