2020 not only brought a pandemic, but also the chance to help preserve Cowboy Campground at the gateway to the Boise National Forest. A group of strong minded and hard-working horse owners were able to find a loan and have started the work to preserve this gem in Boise County. Just an hour drive from Boise on scenic Highway 21, it will continue as a Horseman’s first resource for camping with their equines just outside Idaho City.
The group raised $140,000 in three short weeks for the down payment needed to make the purchase. In 2021 the planning continued, a Nonprofit has been created, Legacy Park Trust is starting to raise the funds to own, manage and maintain the Cowboy Campground @ Legacy Park for the future.
Founded in 1985, Bill Stirling and his friends worked hard to provide horse and family friendly camping opportunities to continue the cowboy camping experience for all. These grounds have been great favorites for horse owners and riding clubs ever since.
The Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park has room for expansion and the Legacy Foundation plans on adding ammenities like:
Western themed cabins are available for rent for those who prefer a roof over your head and four walls to protect you from the elements and critters.
Currently there are 30 horse corrals with camp spots for rent.
The Legacy Foundation hopes to add amenities like Glamping Tents, RV pads, Covered Meeting Areas, and Bathrooms/Showers .
In addition to endless miles of trail riding available, the Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park has a nice practice arena available to warm your horses up in prior to hitting the trail. Group events are also able to be hosted here as well.
Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park, Idaho City - The New Generation
Sometimes, even in the midst of a pandemic one gets a call that is life changing. One Tuesday evening in July, Bob and Sabrina Amidon, received a phone call from a friend. All the caller said, “I know you are avid horse people, did you hear that Cowboy Campground in Idaho City is for sale?” That left a bit of urgency.
Quick research confirmed the news and a plan was put together, with the help of Hopkins Finance, an offer was turned in, all in just 14 hours from receiving the phone call. Crazy times sometimes needs quick actions; with this Cowboy Campground has been saved and will be preserved. It will continue as a Horseman’s first resource for camping in the Boise National Forest within an hour drive of Boise.
The Amidon’s got the assistance of other horse people and raised the needed down payment in record time to make sure the closing could happen. They created Cowboy Campground LLC, got their business licenses and after closing and now owning a campground a huge fund-raiser was implemented and after just three weeks Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park has been created with 14 brand new Horse Campsites which include the sponsors name, new panels, new picnic tables and a lil bit of love.
Rocky Mountain Gravel LLC with the help of several volunteers spend three long weekends pulling tree stumps, grading the sites and hooking up to city water to provide another service to future campers, drinking water for the equines. It was a great moment on the last afternoon opening the faucet for the 1st time and having clear water shoot out, since there was a concern about not having enough pressure to bring water to the upper part of the horse sites. The little cabins received some long needed TLC and are repainted. One is now a dedicated Chapel to hold weddings and lots of other functions. There was lots of commitments by like minded horse friends and companies in helping with endless hours and hard work. Please take a moment and see the wonderful list of volunteers and supporters at www.CowboyCampground.com website. The owners were blown away at times with the thoughtfulness they have received in the last three months and appreciate every moment, including the great feedback received on social media as in person.
Legacy Park will soon be a great destination for retreats, youth camps, educational clinics, Equine Sport challenges and off course long trail rides and trips to Idaho City. With that said, they are looking for sponsors and grants to help create an amazing park for Boise County and the City of Idaho City to be proud of.
The future for this 15 acres is to be preserved as it is intended to be: “a Campground” for future generations to enjoy with their horses. The current owners next step is to create non-profit 501-3-c organization to oversee and run this gem in the rough and grow it to be a marvelous destination.
Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park will be able to not only be an ever expanding horse campground/park that will offer educational & training events, trail rides, large gatherings for horse groups (ladies yoga events) and seminars, 4-H, youth, rodeo bible camps, but also will expand to RV, tent and camp trailer parking for off-road enthusiasts on the lower level of the grounds (on the final stage for the Spring 2021), leaving the upper area, with the horse arena to our equine friends and non-motorized campers. The last two months of the 2020 season already showed growth in adding additional new horse campsites with new corrals, picnic tables and contribution signs at each site. With changing the former rustic courtyard into an event area and turning a small building into a sweet little chapel, they will be hosting weddings, family events, corporate dry camping retreats in addition to horse camps and educational events. “In-the-planning stages” are a challenge walking trail, that will also offer educational/historic/forestry references and will also feature fitness tips for beginners and will challenge the athlete in everyone and yoga/fitness retreats for all levels. Not only are so many fun plans already in the works, but to secure the ongoing success and keeping this gem in the rough in the hands of owners with the foresight to keeping it as intended a non-profit a 501c3 foundation has been created. Legacy Park Trust Inc. will oversee and run Legacy Park to ensure it will be conserved for future equine families to come after it will purchase it from the current owners. With losing so much private land to developers, this is a pertinent piece of property that needs saving and preserving. 2021will be the starting point of being able to receive funding and accept donations at a Trust Account at Pioneer Title Company, which will hold in-trust the donations received to purchase the land. After the purchase the Nonprofit will help grow and run this great facility and allow for other nonprofit organizations to use it for camps and events, at no charge to them if need arises, and keep this wonderful Gem in The Rough out of the hands of developers.
Bill Stirling had a dream and vision for providing horse and family friendly camping opportunities to continue the cowboy camping experience for all. The Idaho City Cowboy Campground has been a steady favorite for horse owners, clubs and events. Bill graduated to the great campground in the sky in 2019 and his family decided to sell the Cowboy Campground.
The new owners are working on getting the property ownership under the newly formed Legacy Park Trust Inc., an Idaho Nonprofit and soon a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, this Foundation who will own, run, and manage the Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park needs funding.
The group is working on several fundraisers and looking for donations to help raise the necessary funds to purchase, run and maintain the Cowboy Campground @Legacy Park. Watch for more information on how you can help financially by:
Please click on the Reservations Tab above to get detailed camping information, rules and prices. The calendar of events/reservations are also listed. Check back often to stay in the loop and consider making your group reservations early in the year. Cowboy Campground @ Legacy Park is currently open to campers & Equine enthusiasts on a first come, first serve basis unless a special events are taking place. In the case of special events, the number of available public spaces will be noted on the calendar. Please always check in at the Pay Station 1st, we will post reservation information there and also will place “reserve cards” when possible. Another great source of information is our facebook page, or for now email us.Don't miss out on our Special Event page and what we are available for. Wedding or Family reunion in your future? We have a great Courtyard and Chapel.
Camp spots are 1st serve 1st occupy on weekends unless they are reserved through the Cowboy Campground office and will show a sign, when large events take place, site reservations will be through the event manager. Please always check out event calendar. Some events might not allow individual horse campers, since the entire camp is reserved, please check the calendar.
Online donations and payments accepted via Venmo, use our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For reservations or more information, contact Cowboy Campground at Legacy Park