Cascade is approximately 70 miles north of Boise, Idaho situated close to beautiful Cascade Lake. Surrounded by mountains famous for outdoor recreational opportunities, Cascade enjoys a peaceful, quiet rural experience for about 1,000 full time residents.
River wild: The 3½-acre Kelly’s Whitewater Park has 5 sets of rapids that stir up this otherwise quiet stretch of the Payette River–and it’s all free to the public. People tackle them in kayaks, rafts, and tubes, and newbies should stick to the easier west-side rapids. Open through Sep 5; kellyswhitewaterpark.com; equipment rentals at River Gear (762 S. Main St.; 208/382-6580).
A serious soak: With 6 cascading pools filled with mineral-rich spring water ranging from warm to very hot, and ringed by mountains, Gold Fork Hot Springs requires an afternoon to do right. 6 miles from State 55; 208/890-8730.
Feel like Peter Pan: At Tamarack Canopy Zipline Tours, 8 ziplines swoop and switchback over 4,000 feet of mountain terrain, giving you incredible views of the valley below. You can reach speeds up to 45 mph–fast enough to make you want to kiss your safety-oriented guides.tamarackzipline.com
Hit the lake, cast a line: Just ¼ mile outside of town, Lake Cascade’s 86 miles of shoreline are studded with white-sand beaches made for swimming, sunning, and fishing. If you aren’t catching anything, head to Horse thief Reservoir, 8 miles away, which is brimming with trout. 208/634-8137; fishing licenses Tackle Tom’s (304 N. Main St.; 208/382-4367).
Dinner and a view: Lakefront Steakhouse lives up to its name with a panoramic view of Lake Cascade. A new seasonal menu, with dishes like filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, is just the cherry on top. Lakeshore Dr.; 208/382-2974.
Take it home: Score huckleberry jam, Finnish knives, wooden toys, and sweets like sassafras at the old-timey Roseberry General Store, 20 minutes north of town. Farm to Market Rd. at E. Roseberry Rd., Roseberry, 208/325-5000.