The etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD) is multifactorial, and both genetics and environmental exposures are risk factors. While mutations in leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2) that are associated with increased kinase activity are the most common cause of autosomal dominant PD, the role of LRRK2 in iPD, independent of mutations, remains uncertain. In this review, we discuss how the architecture of LRRK2 influences kinase activation and how enhanced LRRK2 substrate phosphorylation might contribute to pathogenesis. We describe how oxidative stress and endolysosomal dysfunction, both of which occur in iPD, can activate non-mutated LRRK2 to a similar degree as pathogenic mutations. Similarly, environmental toxicants that are linked epidemiologically to iPD risk can also activate LRRK2. In aggregate, current evidence suggests an important role for LRRK2 in iPD.