Noble Reserve

ACRES: 598  |  TRAILS: 2.70

Protected in 2003

598 acres around Five Mile Creek above Rocky Canyon Road and below Aldape Summit were donated to the City by Allen and Billie Dee Noble in 2003. This land covers a few prominent ridge tops in the East Foothills. The Nobles have allowed the public to access their land since they purchased it in 1972. The property is surrounded on all sides by federal land. The reserve is of historic significance as well because the old toll road from Boise to Idaho City passed through the property, and one of the old toll booths is still standing on the property. Five thousand dollars from the Serial Levy Funds were spent on land transaction costs. The market value of the land at the time of the transaction was $6 million.           

The trail access point for the Five Mile Gulch and Watchman trails is located on the reserve, just off of Rocky Canyon Road. These trails are not as heavily used as other trails on city reserves located in similar proximity to the urban core of Boise. Due to the lack of heavy use, many species of wildlife such as the black bear (Ursus Americana), mountain lion (Puma concolor), and elk (Cervus canadensis) have been known to frequent the area. Noble reserve is also home to Five Mile Creek which has large cottonwood and locust trees going alongside it. Many species of animals use this creek for its water and shade during the summer months.

In 2008, the City used $800k of Land & Water Conservation Funds (royalties given to the US government based on off shore drilling receipts) to assist the Bureau of Land Management in purchasing the 110 acre Oberbillig property.  The Oberbilligs owned another separate 10 acres nearby and the City used $20k from the Foothills Levy to purchase those 10 acres and swap with the Johnston family in order to have a total of 120 contiguous acres.  There is no public access to the Johnston parcel or the Oberbillig land that is now owned by the Bureau of Land Management due to the terrain and the lack of roads in that area of the foothills.

Health of the Reserve

In 2018, ecological health of the reserve was assessed by field technicians. Monitoring plots were strategically located across the reserve, data was collected at each point to include a species inventory, percent cover of structural functional groups (like invasive species vs. natives), shrub density, erosion and soil stability assessments, and others. Those data are summarized below and help to guide future management treatments and practices for Nobel Reserve.