Explore the Great Outdoors in Nampa, ID
This beautiful gem near Boise is a great place to have fun while staying fit and healthy.
Fabulous outdoor recreation can easily be found all around the Nampa area, with Lake Lowell and the Snake River to the west, the Owyhee Desert to the south, snow skiing in the mountains to the east and the Boise Foothills just out the backdoor.
But what truly makes the outdoors in Nampa outstanding are all the amenities that can be found within the city itself, including 27 parks, 360 acres of parkland and more than 14 miles of paved pedestrian pathways. Also, the health care in Nampa is also excellent, which allows you to stay fit and healthy here.
“Our outdoor spaces are community gathering places,” says Darrin Johnson, director of the Nampa Parks & Recreation Department. “It’s just a fantastic way for people to socialize and come together. It provides a lot of community spirit in the city.”
Plenty of Parks in Nampa
The city’s oldest and perhaps most scenic green space is 44-acre Lakeview Park, on property that dates to an 1888 homestead. The tree-covered park offers several sports facilities for public use, including a baseball/softball field, basketball court, soccer field, sand volleyball court, swimming pool and even horseshoe pits. The park also is the site for numerous events and festivals each year.
Sports enthusiasts have plenty to choose from at 15-acre Lions Park as well. In addition to Daniels Field, which is used for league and tournament play by area softball organizations, the park has facilities for baseball, basketball, swimming, tennis and pickleball (the tennis/pickleball courts were rebuilt in 2018).
One of Nampa’s newest green spaces is Orah Brandt Park. Built in phases since 2018, the park features an ADA-inclusive playground with swings, slides and climbing areas. There also are walking paths, a splash pad and a rose garden, with plans to add a 9-hole disc golf course, amphitheater and swimming pool.
Dog lovers have had a safe, fun place to take their furry friends since Amity Dog Park opened in 2009. Now a second dog park is under development. Some of the funding for both parks comes from the annual Pooch Party Stroll & Splash, an event that allows dogs to have access to the pool at Lakeview Park.
Finally, golfers have a trio of options in Nampa. The 18-hole Centennial Golf Course and the 27-hole Ridgecrest Golf Club are both owned and operated by the Parks & Recreation Department.
Meanwhile, RedHawk Public Golf Course is an 18-hole facility with scenic views of Lake Lowell. RedHawk hosts several golf leagues and tournaments, and youth and adult instruction programs are also available for every skill level.
A Treasure Trove for Bicycling in Nampa
Because of the dramatic changes in elevation throughout the Treasure Valley region, the area has long been fertile ground for cycling enthusiasts.
A number of elite cyclists have emerged from the region’s roads and trails, most notably Kristin Armstrong, a three-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time U.S. National Champion.
“There is great cycling availability and opportunity in Nampa and all around us,” says Adam Haynes, owner of Rolling H Cycles. “There are bike-specific pathways, roadways and greenbelts scattered throughout the whole area.”
“There are countless miles of bicycle-friendly avenues right at our fingertips, and several popular trail systems are less than 30 minutes away.”
Adam Haynes, owner of Rolling H Cycles
One of Haynes’ top recommendations is the 500,000-acre Wilson Creek Travel Management Area in the Owyhee Desert, owned by the Bureau of Land Management. “That trail system is so vast, a rider could spend weeks if not months out there and not touch the same trail twice,” Haynes says.
But for a true taste of what Nampa offers in terms of both outdoor recreation and community engagement, Haynes says it is hard to beat the regular Trails and Tacos rides organized by Rolling H.
Throughout the spring and summer, dozens of cyclists will meet for a ride around town or on one of the nearby trail systems, followed by a Mexican meal, usually at Mesa Tacos + Tequila.
“It’s a diverse group of people who all share the same commonality of bikes and tacos,” Haynes says. “We do the ride, then sit down and talk about riding and trails and business and life. It’s a great community event, with people who enjoy being outdoors.”
Stay Fit And Find Great Health Care in Nampa
Access to high-quality health care makes Nampa a great place to live and work. Both St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa offer comprehensive care and specialty services, without the need to travel outside Canyon County.
St. Luke’s Nampa Medical Center includes an 87-bed hospital with emergency services, urgent care, state-of-the-art cancer care and a newborn intensive care unit.
Primary care and specialty physicians offer family medicine, cardiology, pulmonology, orthopedics, rehabilitation and much more. “St. Luke’s Nampa is committed to providing excellent care to the people of Nampa and Canyon County,” says Misty Robertson, St. Luke’s Nampa chief operating officer and chief nursing officer.
A Healthy Outlook
Both health systems continue to expand their reach. From its expanded cancer care clinic, Saint Alphonsus focuses on specialty services for the area’s growing population. St. Luke’s also recently broke ground on a new clinic in south Nampa. The first of its kind for the health system, it will bring care closer to residents and offer primary care services.
Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa has been serving the community for more than 100 years. Its 106-bed hospital, built in 2017, is strategically located just off Interstate 84, providing easy access.
“Our community needs assessment tells us that readily available primary and specialty care sites are key to serving the local community,” says Travis Leach, president of Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa. “We have four primary care clinics with access points throughout the county, meaning the care our community needs is right here,” he says.
In 2022, for the ninth year in a row, St. Luke’s was named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by the Merative Top 100 Hospitals program, a recognition that reflects “safer care, better care experiences and outcomes, operational efficiency and fewer lives lost,” Robertson says.
Meanwhile, Saint Alphonsus holds accreditation from the American College of Cardiology’s Chest Pain Center, along with designations – including Level II stroke center, Level IV trauma center and Level I STEMI Center for patients experiencing a heart attack – from Idaho’s Time Sensitive Emergency Statewide Council and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
“With heart attacks and strokes, every second matters,” Leach says. “Our multiple stroke intervention technologies, along with two fully functional cardiac catheterization labs for heart emergencies, mean we are able to receive and treat people here locally for these conditions.”
– Writer Karen Vernon contributed to this article.
Get to Know Nampa
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