Idaho is one of a kind when it comes to adventure, so it should be no surprise that visitors can discover unique activities the whole family will enjoy. Escape the ordinary and experience Idaho’s distinctive splendor with these four, family-friendly activities.
1. A Scenic Horseback Adventure Through the Majestic Teton Valley
Treat yourself to an authentic Western experience. Located near Victor in the Western foothills of the Teton Mountain Range, Linn Canyon Ranch offers a variety of rides through canyons and ridges of remote country for all ages and abilities (riders are paired with a horse matching their riding ability, and each ride begins with basic riding and instruction). Day-trippers can enjoy a two-hour ranch ride or a three-hour ride (with a picnic lunch included!) where experienced guides lead you through the aspen groves and fields of wildflowers in the surrounding foothills. Sunset Dinner Riders can join the owners and other guests for a gourmet meal in the rustic dining room, followed by an outdoor bonfire complete with s’mores and stargazing. Onsite cabins and luxury tents are available for families looking to stay and play.
2. Idaho Potato Museum
World-famous for spuds, Idaho wouldn’t be complete without a museum dedicated to the popular tuber. Located in an old Oregon Short Line Railroad Depot in downtown Blackfoot, the museum showcases the history of the potato — from its first planting in Idaho to the origin of the french fry. Visitors of all ages will enjoy learning tater tidbits and trivia at a variety of exhibits, and don’t miss a photo-op with the giant baked potato! Warning: Touring the museum may make you hungry; so be sure to enjoy a basket of fresh-cut or waffle-style fries with a selection of seasoning and sauces for any palate from the Potato Station Café. Plus, out-of-staters get free taters!
3. Osprey Point at Ponderosa State Park
Ponderosa State Park stretches over a 1,000-acre peninsula that juts into beautiful Payette Lake near McCall. At the northernmost end of the park is Osprey Point, which offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding old-growth timber. Visitors can drive to a parking lot near the point, making it easy for little legs to stroll to the scenic overlook. This is the perfect place to catch a sunset, so pack along your camp chairs and some snacks. For those looking for a little more adventure, the main road from the park entrance to Osprey Point offers a variety of well-marked trails of varying difficulty with interpretive information about the park’s flora and fauna. You can explore them on your own or take advantage of the guided tours available through the visitor center located at the park’s entrance.
4. Upper North Fork of the Payette River
Known to McCall’s locals as “The Meanders” for its gentle S-curves, this tranquil tributary is a haven for paddlers of all ages. The serene, 3-mile stretch of flatwater is off-limits to motorized watercraft and offers spectacular scenery and peaceful water for little paddlers to practice their stroke. Catch glimpses of deer, elk, fish, eagles, osprey, otters, mink and the occasional moose while you paddle through the lush landscape. Pack along a picnic lunch and stop off at one of the sandy beaches to feast and relax in the fresh air while the kids play in the water.
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