Overall, the ride to the Idaho Botanical Garden is fairly quick and flat other than the very gradual climb up Old Penitentiary Rd from Warm Springs Rd. Convenient bike parking is available inside the Garden by the cottage.
What Makes It Great
Catch the Greenbelt from the Anne Frank Memorial Park or hop on at another close-to-you entrance. Ride the 3 ½ -mile ambling route along the north bank of the Boise River. As the Greenbelt turns away from the river and edges the golf course, take a left at the fork. The trail intersects with Warm Springs Rd and becomes Old Penitentiary Rd across the street. Follow Old Penitentiary Rd to the Garden.
The reward is a beautiful, expansive garden that explodes with color from late spring through summer, glows with golden tones in fall, and has a surprising number of things to discover even in winter. Amble through the English Garden and Rose Garden pausing often to smell the flowers. Stop for a contemplative rest on the swinging bench in the Meditation Garden. Or, play in the treehouse in the Children’s Adventure Garden. The Garden also has a phenomenal Native Plant Garden with a special section dedicated to plants that were important during Lewis and Clark’s expedition.
After your stroll, sit down for a picnic on grassy Outlaw Field, at the tables in front of the quant Cottage or at any of the many benches throughout the Garden. If you’re looking for more organized fun, keep an eye on seasonal events including summer concerts at Outlaw Field, October’s Scarecrow Stroll, and Winter Garden aglow.
Who is Going to Love It
Whether you’re riding with enthusiastic, but young and short-legged kiddos, or carrying the wobbly load of your picnic, the ride is easy to make from downtown.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
If you want a more direct route and to shave off a mile, ride along streets through downtown toward Warm Springs Rd. Ride the bike lane down Warm Springs Rd and take a left on Old Penitentiary Rd.
There is a fee to enter the Idaho Botanical Garden.