Caldwell — If you are looking for a different sort of adventure for the family, try adding a little agriculture to the mix.
Local nonprofit Destination Caldwell has unveiled a new trail through the Snake River Valley — and you may or may not recognize some of the stops along the way.
The “AgVenture Trail” is a 40-mile long loop that includes local farms, markets and restaurants, and there are hotels, inns and campgrounds so you can choose how much time you want to spend on the trail.
“For visitors, this is a way to escape the city and experience the simple life, even if it’s just for the weekend,” says Keri Smith-Sigman, the CEO of Destination Caldwell. “We invite them to rub shoulders with local farmers, try something new and get a taste of the good life out here.”
The AgVenture Trail is a self-guided adventure through 12 farms, orchards, pastures and produce stands across the valley, starting in Downtown Caldwell. Each stop along the loop has opportunities for visitors to take classes from local farmers, pick produce, dine on farm-to-fork meals, go horseback riding and more.
The trail, which follows the Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway for part of the journey, also includes six farmers markets and restaurants. You can download an itinerary from the website at destinationcaldwell.com/agventure-trail.
“That’s what makes this experience so unique and special to this region,” Smith-Sigman says. “Visitors get to see, taste and experience food in a whole new way ... and they leave feeling a little more connected to the land we all share.”
For Smith-Sigman, setting up close partnerships with local businesses has been crucial in making the trail a reality. Destinations along the trail include local businesses like Lakeview Fruit, Vine and Branch Ranch, the Nampa Farmers’ Market, Indian Creek Steakhouse and Little Cow Mountain Farm.
“The farmers and business owners here are extremely passionate, dedicated and proud of what they do,” Smith-Sigman says. “Some have been farming here for generations while others moved from bigger cities to start something new, but all of them share a deep love for the land.”
Smith-Sigman and her team at Destination Caldwell set up AgVenture Trail as part of a larger initiative to attract more visitors, support local businesses and inspire entrepreneurs to open up shop in Caldwell. As the world’s second-leading producer of seeds and home to an American Viticultural Area, Caldwell is a growing hub for food and wine in Idaho.
By promoting local agriculture, Smith-Sigman says the AgVenture Trail can help Caldwell continue to grow by showcasing what the region has always done best.
“We’re staying true to our roots when we support our local agriculture,” Smith-Sigman says. “And we can’t wait to share that passion with Idaho and the rest of the Pacific Northwest.”