Amazing Trail And Superb Tour Company
My wife and I rode the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, the Hiawatha Trail and the Washington/Idaho Centennial trail and a great self-guided tour this past summer organized by Silver Bike Tours based in Coeur d’Alene. They provided a quality hybrid bike and all the gear, made our lodging arrangements, provided luggage transfers and transportation to the trailheads as needed. All three trails are fantastic and much of the ride is along water – starting along the Spokane River from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, then along Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene river on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. The grand finale was the Hiawatha Trail with it’s long tunnels and spectacular trestles, unique in the Rails-to-Trails system. You can find out more information about the 5-day tour we did at http://www.silverbiketours.com. Our favorite meal stop by the way was at the Enaville Snake Pit, a character-filled cafe along the way. Don’t miss out on a visit to the historic Cataldo Mission too.
Wait A Minute How Do You Get Back
You have two choices. It depends on how you feel, how much time you have, and who you are with.
Those with endless time, energy, and fewer little people, may want to cycle the 15 miles back uphill.
You may be shuddering at that thought, as I was. I was surprised at how many people I saw turn around and start riding back.
It inspired me to perhaps give it a go on our next ride on the Route of the Hiawatha. Perhaps on an electric bike?
Thankfully, for the weary, there is a shuttle waiting for you at the end which takes you back to the first tunnel. Save your energy as you will have to cycle back through the 1.7-mile Taft Tunnel at the end though.
Be warned, there can be quite the line for the shuttle. We waited an hour once we finished our ride. All worth it though as it was one of our favorite things to do in Idaho!
Plummer To Cataldo Is All That Is Worth Ridding
We had an outfitter drop us off at Plummer. There is a steep downhill 6 mile ride to the lake. From there on it’s about 10 miles to the village of Harrison, where there are all the services one would need, including restaurants, lodging, convenient store, cafe, etc. The ride from Plummer to Cataldo, is very rural and scenic with spectacular scenery. However, shortly past the “oldest bar in Idaho” you enter an industrial area and something that is marked as the “Silver Trail.” Almost all of this part is within 100 yards of Interstate 90 with all of its noise and fumes.
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Hit The Pavement: Biking The Centennial Trail
If youre looking to take in all the beauty of Idaho, the North Idaho Centennial Trail is the perfect tour guide.
The Centennial Trail runs 23 miles, from the Idaho/Washington state border to Higgins Point on Lake Coeur dAlene, and gives walkers, joggers and bikers a chance to tour the area.
The Coeur dAlene Resort sits right between miles 15 and 16 of the trail in the heart of downtown, and is the perfect starting point to bike the Centennial Trail.
The trail system is simple to use, whether you bring your own bikes or rent them in town. But before you hop out there and start peddling, here are a few quick tips for the ride.
About the trail:The Centennial Trail is free and open to the public. Bikers, walkers and joggers can hop on the trail anywhere along the 24-mile stretch.
Keep in mind this trail is a mix of class 1 and class 2 trails. This means that in some spots, the paved trail is separate from the road while in other spots, the trail runs alongside a road .
Getting started: The trail is fairly easy to navigate, but if youd like a map of the system or anything else in Coeur dAlene stop by the Coeur dAlene Chamber of Commerce office. Outside, there are tons of free maps, from the Centennial Trail system to the best burgers in town.
Smoky Air Cut The Trip Short
Amazing ride, but I advise making this trip in the spring. We waited till September to avoid the heat, but ended up in “dangerous” air quality on account of the forest fires. Loved the paved trail. We rode from Plummer to Harrison the first day, 16 miles. Mostly downhill and lovely tree-lined hills, then the cool bridge and… pelicans! They did a flyover, welcoming us to the lake. The next day we rode to Kellogg. Enjoyed the views the first two thirds, not so much near Smelterville. Anime illness annexed the trip, salt. Still, a great, fun ride.
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Rose Lake Trailhead To Chatcolat Trailhead
My wife dropped me off at Rose Lake Trailhead. I rode the trail to Harrison, had lunch with her, and then did a round trip to Chatcolat Trailhead and back to Harrison. This was a beautiful, flat ride. I enjoyed this more than any paved trail ride I have done. It was 18 miles on the first leg and then 15.5 on the ride to Chatcolat and back.I passed some small groups of walkers near trailheads. Everyone I encountered, both on bikes and walking, shared the trail and we all enjoyed our day. Great, easy ride!
I Moved To Enaville To Use This Trail
First rode this trail in spring of 2006 and fell in love with it. So much so that we bought property half mile from the Enaville SnakePit to be able to park our 5th wheel and use the trail all summer long. I have just passed 8,000 miles traveled. I ride a bike, walk the dog and roller blade. My wife power walks regularly. For uninterrupted long distance smooth road biking, it can’t be beat. I recommend the Century from Pinehurst to Plumber and back: only 2 road crossings and very light usage. In fact, midweek you are more apt to encounter a moose than another person! Harrison is the only civilization and it provides a nice break at 33 and 66 mile points. The 6 mile climb to Plumber and subsequent fast descent provide variety from the otherwise flat ride.
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What Is The Route Of The Hiawatha
Relaxed and scenically beautiful family adventure
The Route of the Hiawatha is a 15-mile rail-trail that follows a former railroad route. Now dont freak out at the 15-mile part. This bike ride is all downhill.
It runs through the Bitterroot Mountains at a gradual 1.6% average downhill grade and drops 1,000 ft over the 15 miles. Too easy!
Between 1906 1909 the Milwaukee Railway Company constructed this stretch of travel through this rugged mountainous terrain to expand its West Coast offerings. It cost $234 million dollars and took 9,000 men from nationalities over the world to build. At its time, it was a true engineering marvel.
After decades of financial struggles, the last train ran through in 1980 and one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country was abandoned.
Soon after it opened to bikers and hikers. The train track is no longer, but the route youll follow on your bike is just as it was in the 1900s when trains chugged through.
How You Gonna Keep ’em Down On The Farm
” After you have ridden this trail, all others in America may be at best second rate. Mountains, deer, osprey, moose and more were sights we saw. The streams are so clear you can see the many trout. The mountains spectacular. Don’t miss the gondola ride to Silver Mt. at Kellogg. We rode this trail from the middle in two rides because of the length. One ride east, the other west, then both rides end downhill!”
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Came All The Way From Los Angeles To Skate This Trail
I flew up from Los Angeles one weekend in october for the sole purpose of skating this magnificent trail. The CDA trail is by far the best trail for long distance inline skating in North America. The asphalt is nice and smooth all along, and the scenery is beautiful. Thank you Union Pacific Railroad Company and the people in Idaho for paving this wonderful trail.
Coeur Dalene Bike Trail
October 18, 2015 by Wade Shaddy
Can a bike trail make you faster, with more endurance? Can you imagine riding 140 miles or more in a single day? A trail exists that can help you do that.
The 72-mile Coeur DAlene bike trail in the rugged panhandle of Idaho is such a path. Designed with the hardest, smoothest blacktop you can imagine, its purpose is to cap-off heavy metals leftover from the Silver Valley Rail line. Paid for by the United States Government, the State of Idaho, and the Coeur d Alene Tribe, the 10-foot-wide, well-maintained path provides cyclists with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Gliding along with almost no effort, the Trail of the Coeur d Alene is like glass. You cant even feel your bike on this trail, and its easy to cruise at 20 mph all day. The miles drop away as you pass through chain lakes, pastoral settings, over high-bridges, and through deep, forested tunnels.and most of the people youll see are cyclists just like you, and maybe a few deer, bear, raccoon, moose, elk, herons, etc.
The trail starts at Plummer Idaho, and ends at Mullan Idaho, but theres options to enter it at regular intervals. One of the best options is to leave your rig at Heyburn State park, and start your journey by climbing the Chatcolet bridge over lake Coeur d Alene.
The remainder of the trail is relatively flat because trains cant climb. If the path climbs at all, its unnoticeable.
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Ride These Short Scenic Sections Of North Idahos Trail Of The Coeur Dalenes
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73-miles of Paved, Mostly Flat Pathway Make for Fun and Easy Riding
The Trail of the Coeur dAlenes, named one of the 25 top trails in the nation by the Rails to Trails Conservancy in 2010, is one of the longest paved biking trails in the Northwest. Much of the trail is flat with frequent restrooms and wayside rest stops, making it the perfect biking destination for anyone looking for a trip with several days worth of easy-to-moderate enjoyable bike rides.
Stretching across the Idaho Panhandle between the towns of Plummer and Mullan, the trail takes riders past lakes, along a wild river, and through woods and wetlands with frequent wildlife sightings. Riding the trail, which is designated a state park, is a unique experience during all seasons, although the cooler daytime temps, fewer people on the trails, and typically smoke-free skies make autumn one of the best seasons to plan a visit.
Harrison to Lake Chatcolet
The trail bridge near Heyburn State Park
Harrison to the Chain Lakes of the Coeur dAlene River
Starting from the Harrison trailhead right in town, enjoy the serenity of nature as the trail travels along the Coeur dAlene River, passing a series of small lakes connected to the river by narrow channels. Moose, deer, and many types of birds are frequently seen along this section of trail through the Coeur dAlene River Wildlife Management Area.
Historic Wallace, Idaho
Cataldo to Enaville
Trail Of The Coeur D’ Alenes
I finally got to ride the trail in August and it was spectacular! I rode from Wallace to Heyburn State Park. I camped over night and rode back to Wallace the next day. The scenery made the ride seem like a 10 mile ride. I never thought once about the distance that I was riding. The trail was pretty busy on Saturday near Cataldo, but wasn’t a problem. I encourage everybody to get out and ride this trail if they get the chance!
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Can’t Wait To Ride More
“I’ve ridden parts of this trail three times. I can’t wait until the swing bridge is done! In 2004 we hope to ride the Mullan to Cataldo section. Then we’ll have ridden the whole length. This trail is awesome there are muskrat, osprey, ducks, geese and much more. There’s a good bike shop in Harrison too. Near the west end the trail goes through Heyburn State Park.”
Trail Of The Month: October 2010
For trail lovers around the country, these two Idaho rail-trails hardly need an introduction: the 73-mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha. They’ve been featured multiple times inRails to Trails magazine, and in countless “Tell Us” responses, letters and summer remembrances. We receive gorgeous trail photos from family tripssome capturing the high-wire trestles of the Hiawatha, deep in the Bitterroot Mountains others catching moose and expansive lake views along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
No matter how we promote or hear about this pair of trails, the verdict is the same: they offer two of the most distinct and memorable rail-trail experiences in the country. It’s no wonder that both have just been named to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
Sweetening the pot is that recent trail developments are making it possible to ride between and beyond these two pathways, setting up the potential for an unprecedented trail loop across northern Idaho and parts of Montana.
The paved Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes begins in Plummer, a few miles shy of the Washington border, and heads northeast along Coeur d’Alene Lake and the Coeur d’Alene River until Mullan, scratching at the Montana state line. The first 15 miles are managed by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe the rest by the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.
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How To Prepare And Things To Know
A good level of fitness would always be preferable, but as its downhill, you wont have to worry too much about it.
There are a few things you want to ensure youve packed for your Route of the Hiawatha adventure.
- Jacket: Temperatures in the first tunnel average 47 degrees year-round. If it were a much shorter tunnel, you could probably zip through it without zipping up, but as it will take about 15 minutes, youll be grateful for the extra warmth.
- Flashlight: A flashlight is an absolute MUST. When they say the first tunnel is dark, they mean it.
- Pack plenty of snacks and water
- All trail users must purchase a ticket and display that ticket on your bicycle, while on the trail. You can pre-purchase online.
- Be sure to remove sunglasses and turn on lights before entering the tunnels.
- Move to the side if stopping to gawk at the views.
- Go early to avoid extra long lines at the end of the day. You also dont want to miss the last shuttle!
- Plan for at least half a day so you can amble and enjoy those views.
- You can take your own bikes or hire them from the Lookout Pass ski area. Check current prices there.
- Heavier bikes incl Fat-tire, E-Bikes are charged extra fees.
- The trail is open from approximately Mid-May through Mid-September. The trail, trailheads, and facilities are open from 8:30 AM to 5 PM PDT.
Great Family Trail Ultra Scenic And Downhillif You Do It Right
Great trail for family ride. We rode downhill from Mullan to Harrison then shuttled to Plummer and rode downhill back to Harrison. Very easy, even for 11 year old son and non-biking husband. Absolutely beautiful scenery. Much wildlife including moose, dear, birds, and wildflowers in July. Clean restrooms along the trail at easy intervals. Great bakeshops in Harrison and Kellogg for support and rentals. Very friendly locals in small towns along the trail. Great little restaurants and bars along the way for refreshments. Highly recommend this trail!
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Route Of The Hiawatha Idaho: An Unforgettable Usa Rail
Sponsored by Visit Idaho
Ring that bell, switch on your headlamp, and start pedaling. Were about to take you on one of the USAs most famous rail to trail bike paths through stunning mountains of Northern Idaho.
Family-fun biking the Route of the Hiawatha Trail
Our family is always saying yes to outdoor activities that help us unplug to reconnect and create lifelong stories to tell like
Remember that time, when we cycled through the almost two-mile, pitch-black tunnel and Savannah came out the other side covered in mud?
And that was right at the beginning before we even hit the sky-high trestle bridges with stunning views of the Bitterroot Mountains.
The Route of the HiawathaTrail in Idaho was one of our favorite and unforgettable family adventure so far in the USA. And as far as adventures go, this one was cruisy focused more on fun than exhausting physical exertion.
Trail Cda In The Rain And The Cold
We rode this trail about 2 years ago, from Plummer, across the lake, in the RAIN and the COLD. We spent the night near CdA, this year, in some hotel and PLANNED to ride more of this trail , the next morning…. – However we awoke to temperatures less than 50 F and MAJOR rain, and wind, and ‘gave-up’ – BUT – that’s not to say that this trail is ALWAYS in the RAIN, just happens to be for us… – the Plummer-end, we found 2 years ago, has a HILL… but the beauty of the area, the lake and the scenery around make the HILL minimal, at best.We are definitely interested in riding this trail, from one end to the other, at some point…
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