Typical flora and fauna: 
Idlewild is home to an arboretum, a rose garden, and a plethora of plants and wildlife.

The following are a few of our favorite highlights.

See the community submission section below to view additional wildlife sightings found at this park, and submit your own favorite naturalist sightings through iNaturalist!

Click here to document your own biodiversity observations from this park on iNaturalist.

Any observations noted along the Truckee River, please share with the Truckee River Guide here.  

Submission Box for Biodiversity Sightings:

General Park Information:

Idlewild Park is a 49-acre park with restrooms open all year. Dogs allowed on a leash only.

Amenities Include: Playgrounds, skate park, volleyball court, softball field, swimming pool, parcourse fitness station, rose garden, kids' train, water play feature, rentable shelters, walking/bike riding paths (part of the Tahoe-Pyramid bikeway), duck ponds, The Sensory Garden, The California Building, The Idlewild Park Arboretum, and The James D. Hoff Peace Officers’ Memorial. Idlewild Park is also home to the 53rd Whispering Giant sculpture carved by Peter Wolf Toth.


View the slideshow to see some of Idlewild Park's amenities!  

General History:

Idlewild park is a 49-acre park that was once just a few ranches owned by Bennett, Murray, and Ferris. In 1907, the property that is now Idlewild park was purchased by James Newlands (nephew of former US Senator Francis Newlands). In 1921, the City of Reno purchased this property from Newlands for $23,500.  

There used to be a fish hatchery in Idlewild Park where the current day Snowflake Pavilion is now located. There also used to be carnival rides (now the Lion’s Den children's playground), an ice skating pond, a zoo (currently the Rose Garden), and (reportedly) Mark Twain's cabin (a cabin was transported in 1924 to Idlewild park from Aurora, Nevada that was reportedly Mark Twain’s. This cabin stood where there is now only an island of trees near the upper pond).


Idlewild Park Entrance

Image by Haley McGuire 


Submission Box for Personal Stories/Photos:  

Do you have personal photographs or stories about this park and are willing to share your memories with your community? Stories and photos can be recent adventures in the park, old memories of what the park used to be like, or fond remembrances of what this park has meant to you in the past. Sharing your photographs and memories will help to build our shared history of these important public places. Click here to submit your stories and/or photos!


community submissions 

Biodiversity Submissions:

Community Stories and Photos:

Your Name

Idlewild Park

Tell us your stories about this park or share your photographs to add to the growing record of our shared park history! 

Your Name

Idlewild Park

Tell us your stories about this park or share your photographs to add to the growing record of our shared park history! 

Your Name

Idlewild Park

Tell us your stories about this park or share your photographs to add to the growing record of our shared park history! 

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volunteer highlights


To view this project, click here. 

Doggie Ambassadors Volunteers:

jeff and eileen .jpg

Jeff and Eileen Bidwell have been volunteering with the Parks Foundation since 2017. They started serving as two of our earliest and most dedicated Doggie Ambassador volunteers. Thank you Eileen and Jeff for keeping our parks free from dog waste! 

Rephotography Site Stewards:

To view this collection, click here.

Eric Vincent

Eric Vincent is one of the Site Stewards for Idlewild Park. He has been involved with The Parks Rephotography Project since 2014!


Thank you Eric for your lasting dedication to the Parks Foundation!

Nathan was co-founder and previous Executive Director of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. Nathan enjoys spending time in parks and noticing the changing of the seasons. Being a Site Steward for the Parks Rephotography Project was his ideal way of documenting changes in order to better understand the health of our parks. 

Nathan Daniel


References/more info

  • Download a one-page Idlewild Park Guide here!

  • Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation: Idlewild Park Video 

  • Information on renting the California Building found here. 

  • Information on the Rose Garden found here.

  • Information on the swimming pool found here.

  • Information on the Peace Officer's Memorial found here. 

  • Information on Wa-Pai-Shone statue found here.

  • Information on Food Truck Fridays found here.

General Park Resources:

Truckee River and Biodiversity Resources: 

  • Want to learn more about the trees in Idlewild's arboretum? Stop by the Parks Foundation to pick up your own copy of the arboretum tree guide! (Copies cost $2 and proceeds go to the City of Reno). 

  • Truckee River Guide. 

  • One Truckee River.

History  Resources: