By Jan Jackson –
If you like to walk, run, or jog in magical places, the place for you is the Cleo’s Ferry Museum and Nature Trail. The one-mile trail sits on the banks of the Snake River in the rural outskirts of Idaho’s Treasure Valley.
The late Dr. Samuel (Pappy) Swayne and his wife Cleo’s work fills every nook and cranny with whimsical personality and inspiration.
Charming birdhouses and fairy villages line the pathways. Every few hundred feet, a stylized stone exhibit tells a story and invites imagination. Multiple garden escapes offer opportunities for reflection and rest.
The Swaynes first built a number of buildings on their ranch to house his medical practice and a number of eclectic trinkets. After Pappy’s passing in 1976, and until her own passing in 2008, Cleo managed and grew the collections.
If you don’t think its a fun place to go, listen to the conversation this visitor had with William Shakespeare when he met him along the trail
The Swayne’s purpose for this magical retreat is stated simply on one of the trail’s many signs. It says, “This Place Was Built as a Vibrant Faith Adventure.” Its a journey for both heart and soul and certainly like no other place you’ve ever seen. I recommend you go there.
To get to Walter’s Ferry (1984 ID-45, Melba, ID, 83641) from the Boise Valley, go south ob Nampa’s 11th Avenue to 3rd Street South and turn left. Follow 3rd to 12th Avenue South/Idaho 45. Stay on Hwy 45 until you see Dan’s gas station just north of the Snake River. The entrance to the museum is adjacent to Dan’s. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
More information is available by calling (208) 495-2688
Photos by Jan Jackson