Friday, August 7, 2009

Take a Hike or Ride Your Bike

North Idaho's parks and back country are laced with trails, many leading to lakes or streams, and most offering magnificent viewpoints. Here are just a few to explore:

North Idaho Centennial Trail is a paved course for walkers, runners, cyclists and skaters. From the Washington state line, the trail roughly follows the Spokane River through Post Falls, along Northwest Boulevard through City Park and downtown Coeur d'Alene. The eastern end of the trail hugs the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene with numerous picnic tables, exercise stations, and rest stops all the way to Higgins Point. Download map

Tubbs Hill features outstanding viewpoints, woodland habitats and historical focal points. The self-guided walk follows a two-mile loop, beginning and ending at the south end of the parking lot between McEuen Park and the Coeur d'Alene Resort.

Mineral Ridge Trail is a 3.3 mile path that is an outdoor classroom in the forest. There are 22 stations numbered along the trail identifying features found naturally at Mineral Ridge. East of Coeur d'Alene off Hwy 97.

Q'emiln Trail is comprised of 14 trails starting at Q'emiln Park in Post Falls and winding through four miles of the Spokane River gorge.

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a rail to trail conversion which began as a path originally used by the Coeur d'Alene Indians that evolved into a mining transportation rail line operating from 1887 until 1992. It has 72 miles of paved path that stretches from Mullan to Plummer. The trail crosses 40 bridges and goes through 13 towns. Download map

Silver Mountain Resort is an all season outdoor adventure, with a number hiking and biking trails and the world's longest gondola. The Silver Mountain Nature Trail is a 2.8 mile loop, accessed at the base of the mountain at the gondola villiage.

The Pulaski Trail is a two-mile interpretive trail that tells the story of 1910 Ranger Edward Pulaski. The trail begins one mile south of Wallace and culminates at the abandoned mine where Pulaski saved his crew.

Canfield Mountain Trail System features more than 32 miles of paths and dirt roads. This is a great trail for beginning riders and hikers.

The Route of the Hiawatha ranges from easy to difficult and takes bikers over alpine lakes and through former railroad tunnels. The route is best known for the long, dark St. Paul or "Taft Tunnel" that burrows for 1.7 miles under the Montana/Idaho state line. One of the best backpacking trails is Coeur d'Alene River Trail #20. Trailhead is at the last Coeur d'Alene River bridge 49 miles from Kingston on Forest Hwy 9. Outstanding 200-300 foot rock formations including Steamboat Rocks and Catherdral Rocks. Download map

Farragut State Park features two bike trails - The Shoreline Trail and the Northside Loop.

Priest Lake Lakeshore Trail #294 is a popular and highly used trail in the area. A simple hike, it is crossed by five streams while paralleling Priest Lake.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort has a vast trail system for hiking or biking.

Spirit Lake-Larch Mountain, a 7.1 mile loop trail that takes you high enough for panoramic views of historic Spirit Lake, both the town and the lake. North on Hwy 41 from Rathdrum. Access the trail from the public boat launch/city beach area.

Hiking & Biking Links
CDA Cycling & Fitness, 2402 Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, 208.667.BIKE
Helmet Outlet, 5648 Gov't Way, Coeur d'Alene, 208.762.3668
Two Wheeler & Ski Dealer, 9551 Hwy 95, Hayden, 208.772.8179
North Idaho College Outdoor Pursuits Program
ROW Adventures - use promo code KAGEY1
Idaho Panhandle National Forests
Idaho State Parks & Recreation
Idaho Bureau of Land Management

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