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Don't miss the Staff House Mining Museum at the Silver Mountain Trailhead for a historical ground truthing on the area you are riding through. Step Back in Time in Wallace Further east in Wallace you will discover a veritable collector's paradise with shop after shop packed with fascinating antiques and one-of-a-kind finds. Is that a spaceship in front of the Red Light Garage restaurant? There is a lively theater troop here, so take in a rollicking show at the Sixth Street Theater, check out the Northern Pacific Railway Museum, take historic tours on trolleys with guides dressed in period costumes, or just relax at a sidewalk table at one of Wallace's great restaurants and admire the Bitterroot Mountains that circle the town.
This two-mile trail ends at an old mine tunnel where 45 firefighters and two horses sought refuge from the Great Fire of , which burned a whopping three million acres in the Bitterroots during one horrible weekend years ago. Oh, did I mention that Wallace is the alleged "Center of the Universe? Mullan and Backroads to the Route of the Hiawatha The last stop on the trail is the old mining town of Mullan six miles shy of the Montana border. Add your name to the guest book of trail riders from around the world at the Bitterroot Coffee house.
The Captain John Mullan Museum is the cultural highlight here, but it's only open on weekdays. Some travelers continue on to Lookout Pass and the Route of the Hiawatha through backcountry trails from Mullan. Directions on how to do this are provided by volunteers of the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails at: This group of trail supporters also publishes a fine trail map, so check out their website.
Maries, near Heyburn State Park. Everyone is saying great things about the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's, and these are just some of the gems to discover along the way. We have ridden this trail twice, first in and then again in I have described both approaches below. The 72 mile paved trail extends from Plummer, Idaho to Mullan, Idaho.
The natural scenery is wonderful and osprey, eagles and moose sitings are common. A trail map is available on the Friends of Trail of the Couer d'Alene website and a free trail map which includes mileage between trailheads and an overall trail elevation picture can be requested from the same website.
The trail is located in Idaho's Silver Valley from which the largest amount of silver has been extracted in the world. The original rail line was built on contaminated silver mine trailings and later capped with the asphalt trail used today. Because of the contamination that is under the trail, trail users are encouraged to stay on the trail and to not drink the water.
The trail itself is smooth and meticulously maintained by the Couer d'Alene tribe and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Sure, one can ride the entire trail from start to finish in one day but consider riding this trail over two or three days and take in some local activities on each day.
We changed our approach after learning that a foot section of the trail had washout in which we would not be able to bypass. Our new approach ended up being a great way to ride the trail.
Our new plan was to stay in Harrison mile Harrison has a beautiful view of Lake Couer d'Alene. We rode from Harrison mile We drove to Kellogg, checked into our hotel and explored Kellogg. Kellogg lodging options include the Silver Mountain resort and also the Guest Inn other options are also available, check those out, too! Kellogg has a ski resort and access to the world's longest gondola is literally at the front door of either of these lodging facilities listed.
The gondola runs in the summer so one can ride to the top for the view or take a mountain bike up and ride down. The Couer d'Alene trail runs past these facilities. We road from Kellogg mile On our return bike ride, we stopped in Wallace mile We also took the town trolley tour and silver mine tour.
The silver mine tour is lead by a miner, who operated equipment for us, and told us about the Sunshine mining disaster in the area. We spent another night the night in Kellogg. We saw a moose enjoying the water this day. The night before we began our ride, we stayed in Harrison. We had a non-riding member who ferried us to the Plummer trailhead in the morning.
The roadway to Plummer does not parallel the trail so it was a little out of the way to drive to the trail head. If we were to do this approach again, we would ride our bikes to the Plummer trail head for an additional We rode from Plummer mile 0 to Kellogg mile We had two moose sitings this day. We rode from Kellogg mile We had saw a mother and calf moose this day.
This trail needs to be in the Rails to Trails Hall of Fame. It has one of the best combinations of scenery and good trail surface of any trail in North America. Day Three and we head out from Killarney Lake to explore. Checked out camping at Rose Lake. You cannot trust the tent symbols on those maps unless you have a second source.
Close to freeway and the trail. Too good to be true. Looks like a good place to ride up the river to Enaville TH We moved on, exploring up the valley and landed at the Enaville Trailhead.
This trailhead has some features not found in the average facility. It may have been a cat house and rowdy groggery Back When, but there sure were a lot of bikies pedaling over. Perhaps it was the Cold Beer on the sign. The day was hot. Park the van, assembly the folding mountain bike, equip it and head SW, down the river. This is a pleasant and quiet rural ride through pine forests and meadows along the river, with the hills crowding close to the trail.
The river meanders in a series of loops down to the Chain Lakes. The vistas here were a little closer than found in the Chain Lakes. Found that there is a pit stop at the Cataldo TH. They also have shade, which was welcome as the day was HOT.
The one adventure was on the way back: Everyone else has moose pix. There were enough moose tracks on the trail. Now something ahead was browsing in a thicket along the trail. Could have been a horse. There are ranches along this stretch. Looks like a horse. However, does the average horse have one of those straggly chin beards that the teens grow?
TB snaps a pix and slowly pedals off. Moose continues to feed. Pedal on to Enaville, pack up and head up into the Silver Valley to explore trail heads. Things are getting civilized. Plummer Canyon, the Lake, the Chain Lakes and the River sections of the trail have been rural or forested, quiet, good scenery.
Now we are heading for the Silver Valley section — cars, shops, homes, people, noise, fumes and such. The trail runs alongside a Wal Mart Superstore in Smelterville and the trail head has an expresso stand next door. There might be some benefits to a bit of civilization.
Not only is there an expresso stand. That head frame and ore car display conceals an RV dump station in the back. It takes looking to find the actual trail head — which is not at the Kellogg Depot — a charming HQ for the Chamber of Commerce. You get a boring parking lot and trail head sign. You can do better. After you check out the depot building, base here. Here are some URLS that might help your planning.
There are eight DeLorme topo maps with trail and facilities overlays that cover the whole trail. I downloaded a set and used these for the rides. Had to go commercial. Exit 54 out of Kellogg. Not flossy, but I have a van, not a big RV. We came back on Day Four after exploring the upper valley and tourist things by van. I would expect to try them again next season.
Did not try them, so no reviews, but it has a handy location. Down by the Depot in Wallace, which had an adverse review, is located just up the road from the Wallace Trailhead. You can see it from the parking lot. It is a glorious ride. The depth of the facilities is amazing. There are twenty developed trailheads and seventeen trail waysides along the route. You can roller blade this stuff. An experienced roadie can doubtless do the whole thing in one day. Or you can take your time and enjoy the views.
The trail can be divided into several sections, each a nice ride: On Day One I climbed up to Plummer, coasted back down, then headed up the lake for a bit. See it on YouTube. No one seems to do the Ascent to Plummer. Just find the right gear and do it. A gravel parking lot with one trashcan? Even the waysides have more facilities. I was managing about 8 mph uphill a geezer on mountain bike loaded with gear.
There is water at the Plummer trailhead at the top, so enjoy. Water points are rare. You will not find this in the remote regions. Coming down, my max speed was 22 mph and I cruised at a comfy 17 mph. Some have two tables and benches. Water is normally not available, so carry it. Camping on the trail can be had at Heyburn State Park at the base of the lake. Ahead is the Chatcolet Bridge — which is fun.
The approaches are done in a series of ramps and flats up to the swinging center section. Going down you can almost grab some air. If they would do lips on the ramps for some lift — but never mind. Then along the causeway to the shore and start pedaling up the lake shore. Numerous little docks and summer cabins on the slopes. These have trails to the lake. Some have causeways over the ditch. Some have drawbridges at the ends of their causeways. It would be about another ten miles round trip to Harrison, so dinner won out.
About face and head back down the lake. The next day we broke camp and headed up Rt. We left Heyburn State Park, drove over the hills from St. Spotted a TCDA trailhead sign on the highway, skidded to a halt, backed up and headed down a gravel road over a causeway. Lot of those in the Chain Lakes. We fetched up at Medimont Trailhead at the base of Medicine Mountain — a high spot out in the swamps.
The wife liked this one. I have the bike; she has the veto on trailheads. This is a charming trailhead with lots of shade trees on the edge of Cave Lake.
It was getting a good deal of action. I like to do an out and back ride to some place with a pit stop at the far end. Go east or go west? Assemble the bike, load the gear and head west over another causeway across the wetlands. On the first bend you leave the lake and have the river on the right and the swamps on the left.
You will follow the river down to Harrison. Soon there are vast meadows on the left and the river on the right with swamps beyond and forested hills beyond that. The vistas here are superb. The scenery is better than the lakes section. It is a rather remote region. The freeway is way north. There are ranches here with homes on the high ground.
One meadow was given over to cows. The next one had the white board fences and a herd of horses. Watch the trail bed for tracks. All sorts of whitish muddy paw and hoof prints go up, down and across the trail. I suspect those marks that look like a really large deer are moose marks.
There are moose along the trail here. Moving time 46 minutes. Stopped time 45 minutes. You are in sight of Springston. Trailheads with road access, tables, benchs, signs, restroom at Medimont N After Labor Day it gets tight. There was a hint of another such at Rose Lake which would be great. Day use fishing access. Something to check out next season. We rode the entire trail - up and back.
It's a wonderful trail that has to be on everyone's bucket list. In Mullan, don't miss the Bitterroot Coffee Shop - it's a treasure. April and Mike used to work on Alaska fishing boats, so making world class lattees and scones is child's play for them.
Also great breakfast croissants. It makes Mullan well worth the uphill climb! In Wallace, we had a wonderful time The proprieter operates out of a truck and is a grouch! We just rode 40 miles of this wonderful trail. We picked up rentals at Excelsior Bikes in Kellogg. This is an adorable bike shop housed in the old train depot. They have a large selection of nice bikes at very reasonable rental fees. And the location can't be beat The ride to the west is all at a slight downhill grade.
The scenery is gorgeous. We even saw a moose walking on the trail! We'll definitely be back next year and try to ride the entire 72 miles. We have ridden alot of rail-trails over the years. This is one of the best. While biking the Coeur d'Alenes Trail for three consecutive days my friend and I discussed what Heaven would be like and agreed we had already arrived.
The beauty of the Coeur d'Alenes River and Lakes takes a back seet to streets paved with gold. Gravity offers assistance while biking West, and prevailing Westernly winds offer Eastward bound travelers an easier return. The trail from Kellog west is the most scenic, and offers the most opportunity to see wild life, and unspoiled vistas.
Visiting historic towns on the trail such as Harrison and Wallace offers intriguing glimpses into Idaho's past. The rooms are magnificant, well appointed, and ours faced the gondola and mountains. There is secure bike storage for each building located on the ground floor with an outside entrance. The trail is a stone's throw from the Lodge, and included in the Lodge's premises is a water park - free with your first night's stay. Book mid-week and your third night is half price.
If you can only ride ONE paved trail in your life make it this one or just wait for heaven. This is one of my favorite Rails-to-Trails. We drove to Harrison, Idaho from the Spokane airport in the first week of August and rented bicycles at Pedal Pushers in Harrison reasonable prices, nice people. The weather was perfect, no rain, neither hot nor cold. We rode on the trail from Harrison one day to the northeast, one to the west.
The feeling is one of seeing some nature right along the trail. Going towards Bull Run Lake Trailhead the way is flat; we passed beautiful wide-open marshes with wild birds. We did not go all the way west to Plummer as it seemed to be less bucolic.
We did go across Coeur d'Alene Lake on an interesting bridge as far as the Heyburn State Park area; saw a deer on that leg. There is a small incline through the woods after that bridge. The trail is well-maintained and smooth. Much of the trail is built over contaminated soil left over from the mining days, but it is claimed to be safe, and, rightly or wrongly, we adults didn't worry about it.
Children should not be allowed to play in the dirt, however. The Trail of the Hiawatha is nearby for another day of cycling through some cool literally tunnels. I've ridden two years in a row, and came all the way from Aussie to do so. The scenery is superb, in particuler the section from Harrison to Plummer, while the downhill from Mullan offers a great opportunity to run neck and neck with some of the semis on I90!
Out of towners such as myself can easily hire gear from the cycle-shop right beside the trail in Kellog - great service at reasonable rates. An excellent example of a well-planned rail-trail which regularly draws riders from both the local area as well as visitors from far-away.
They don't get much better than this. It well repays the effort involved and my reward was a sighting of a small brown bear. On 15 September my son and I rode from Mullan to Plummer in one day. Columbia Falls, MT North Platte, NE bubbatect yahoo. Fat Brain Toys Burke St. GMC Services expressent aol. Adorama 42 West 18th St. New York, NY www. The Pawn Shop E. Taylorsville, NC Gold Hill, OR Fax. Portland, OR mlready gmail. Boggero Services Penn Ave.
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