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Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails

Idaho Panhandle

 
Official Idaho Vacation and Travel Guide
North Idaho Tourism Alliance
Mission Statement:

The purpose of this Idaho not-for-profit corporation is to promote, educate, encourage and assist in the development and maintenance of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. In addition, the corporation intends to coordinate and share efforts in support of new and existing trail systems in the Saint Joe and Coeur d'Alene River basins and throughout northern Idaho and neighboring states.

homepage updated
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Selected Videos

ELEVENTH Edition of Trail Map Bookmark and Share
click to see the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
click to see the Route of the Hiawatha
Route of the Hiawatha
click to see the Old Milwaukee Road
Old Milwaukee Road
Frequently Asked Questions Our Trail Map North Idaho Centennial Trail
Other Documented Trail Maps Contact Us Links to Related Enterprises
Membership & Merchandise

Sponsors & Associates

 
new item
bicycle trail conditions as of May 23, 2016

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
is a year around recreational opportunity. The Trail, and the restrooms and wayside rest stops along its 72 mile length, are routinely cleaned.

Naturally everyone is now waiting for more warm sprng weather to enjoy the various bike trails in the area. However this year we will again see construction on I-90 between Mullan and the Montana State line and that may cause you to take alternate routes, as described below.

Please call Kathleen Durfee, Old Mission State Park Manager, at (208) 682-3814 for more information about specific parts of the Trail, administrative questions or concerns.

Remember that Idaho State Parks and Recreation only manages the Trail from Mullan to Harrison. For information on conditions between Harrison and Plummer you need to call Andrew Davison, Trail Manager for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe at (208) 686-7045.

click to enlarge photo in separate window
typical Trail users

The 2015/2016 ski season was fairly mild, and the Route of the Hiawatha will open on Friday, May 27, 2016, and began normal 7 days/week operation through September 25, 2016. The 15 mile mountain bicycle Route will be open every day from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, or to 5:30 PM during the peak season, June 20 to September 5. The concession closes on September 25th. The 2016 Day Use Pass for the Route is again $10 for people over 13, and $6 for those between 6 and 13.

A shuttle bus between Roland and Pearson Trailheads operates daily throughout most of the season. An extra late afternoon shuttle run will be added during the peak season.
More information.

The Route of the Hiawatha
closed after another record breaking season on Sunday, September 27, 2015. During last summer, 39,401 bicyclists enjoyed the Route. The previous record was set in 2011 with 37,502 bicyclists. The 2014 season resulted in 35,037 visits.

Remember that there is a lot of great riding at lower elevations in this area before and after the Route opens. One exceptional ride follows Loop Creek BENEATH the trestles that define the Route. The Pearson-Avery Figure 8 ride is another possibility that might involve overnight camping beside the North Fork of the Saint Joe River. Both rides would begin near the Pearson Trailhead on the other side of Moon Pass from Wallace on Forest Road 456.

IF you have the free program Google Earth installed, then you can, by downloading wallace2pearson.kml, fly above Forest Road 456 from downtown Wallace to the Pearson Trailhead, observing several hiking/bicycling trailheads and possible casual campsites along the way. You may also open or save pearson2avery.kml, which shows the scenic Alternate Milwaukee Road signed a few summers ago by the Friends.

click to enter the Route of the Hiawatha
one of the tunnels on the Route

 
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Current Events
Friends Headquarters in Wallace
The New Friends Headquarters
413 Sixth Street, Wallace, ID 93873
for more information
 
Bicycle shuttle for cyclists resumes
Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2016 12:00 am

COEUR d’ALENE — Cyclists will again be shuttled through the Interstate 90 construction zone in North Idaho as the reconstruction project continues this summer from Mullan to the Montana state line, which includes the popular Lookout Pass recreation area.

This service is designed to enhance safety through the work zone, which is particularly dangerous for bicyclists. The shuttle also was offered last summer during Phase I of the reconstruction. The work is expected to resume April 11 and finish by this fall. ITD is offering the shuttle to take cyclists to the top/bottom of the project. Many touring cyclists are planning their trips for this spring, summer and fall. The shuttle phone number will be the same as last year: (208) 755-3230. This phone will be activated April 4. Alternative routes to avoid the shuttle and I-90 construction are as follows.

Northern route (going westbound):
Exit I-90 at Regis, Mont. Go east on Highway 135 to Highway 200. Go north to Thompson Falls. Turn west onto Montana Secondary Highway 471 to Thompson Pass. Continue over the pass into Idaho, passing through Murray, Prichard, Enaville and Kingston. Rejoin I-90 at Exit 43. The road is paved all the way, is very scenic and frequently used by cyclists.

Southern route (going westbound):
Note: There is no viable southern option for road cyclists. However, if bicycles are set up for gravel, such as a mountain bike or a bike with at least 700x32cm tires; there is a much shorter detour. The NorPac Trail is only 11.5 miles long. Going westbound, the trail starts at the Lookout Pass Ski Area on I-90. A NorPac Trail map with milepost descriptions is available.


Mullan Trailhead Rest Room, new in 2015
The Friends helped the City of Mullan build a much needed facility.
Mullan Trailhead Rest Room, new in 2015
Mullan Trailhead Rest Room
New in 2015!
Click to enlarge the photo in a separate window.

John Wayne Pioneer Trail Interested in following the Milwaukee Road corridor across Washington state? Someday Washington and Idaho may be able to connect two great cross-state trails that are now only 12 miles apart! Learn more and help us save the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Go to www.johnwaynepioneertrail.org.
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Our annual Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails Holiday Gathering was held at Noah's Canteen, Silver Mountain Ski Resort, on Wednesday, December 16, 2015.

As usual we drew the name of one of our 2015 members (#775-818) to receive $100 worth of merchandise and/or hospitality from one or more of our
map sponsors and/or business members.

This year's winner is
#805      Julianne Dickelman      Spokane WA

Christmas Membership Drawings
2015 #805 Julianne Dickelman Spokane WA
2014 #730 Dan Brown Flemington NJ
2013 #668 Lucie Pratte Calgary Alberta
2012 #588 Patrick Noonan Port Angeles WA
2011 #556 William J. Carmack Spokane Valley WA
2010 #533 Gwen Mitchell Moscow ID
2009 #399 Tim Standal Seatlle WA
2008 #357 Richard Taniguchi St. Maries ID


TRAIL OF THE COEUR D'ALENES
TRAIL COMMISSION MEETING
was held from 9:00 AM to noon
on Tuesday, October 6, 2015,
at the Pinehurst Public Library
107 Main Street
Pinehurst, Idaho

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe entered into a long-term agreement to establish a partnership for ownership, management and operation of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. As part of that agreement the governments established a six member commission responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the development, funding, management and operation of the Trail are conducted in a consistent manner. Commission meetings are open to the public and trail enthusiasts are encouraged and welcome to attend.

The commission is made up of three representatives from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, and three representatives of the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Mac Cavasar is now representing the IDP&R user community on the Trail Commission. Trail topics discussed:

  • Hn'ya')pqi'nn "Gathering Place" Trailhead Fire Danger Warning Sign
  • Veterans Memorial Park Construction Update

Plummer Trailhead  
If you begin your adventure at the Plummer Trailhead and Veterans Memorial Park, you are actually beginning at MilePost -0.7! MP 0 is where the Union Pacific started the Trail near Plummer Junction. The Coeur d'Alene Tribe added the extension and the tailing a year or two after Union Pacific finished the trail.
 
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As a result of the October, 2013, meeting, the Commission amended the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes General Management Principles and Operating Guidelines (GMPOG) to comply with laws and policies regarding Trail use by the mobility disabled who require more than a wheel chair to travel. The 16 pages of Amendments to the GMPOG, dealing with Other Power Driven Mobility Devices, establishes rules governing the expansion of options for the mobility disabled.

For further questions please contact the Coeur d'Alene Tribe at (208)686-1800 or Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation at (208)769-1511.

 
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In the spring of 2014, we produced 20,000 copies of our popular Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle. This was our tenth edition in as many years. However, in the spring of 2015, we decided to enlarge our audience by attending the Sea Otter Classic (bicycle races and exposition) in Monteray, California. To do this we reprinted 5000 more tenth edition maps, 1500 of which were handed to bicycle enthusiasts who stopped by our booth. We have now published our eleventh edition with minor enhancements to the map itself and new advertizers. This time, we published 15,000 maps that show some of the bicycle and other adventures in the region, and current hospitality providers. To learn more about our publication, visit our map page.

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Similar to the tenth edition, the eleventh edition of our "Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle" map indicates the continuation of the NorPac trail and the Olympian-Hiawatha trail to Saltese, Montana.

The 31.1 mile Route of the Olympian Project begins at the East Portal Trailhead of the Route of the Hiawatha and runs to the town of St. Regis. The USFS Decision Notice issued in March, 2013, for the Route of the Olympian Project (map 1), breaks the route into six segments.

  • Milwaukee 1A, 3.7 miles from Hiawatha trailhead to the Dominion trestle (map 2)
  • Milwaukee 1B, 4.9 miles from the Dominion trestle to Saltese (map 2)
  • Northern Pacific 1, 4.0 miles from Dominion Creek to Saltese (map 2)
  • Milwaukee 2, 4.0 miles from Saltese to the National FS land boundary ~2 miles west of Haugan (map 3)
  • Milwaukee 3, 7.1 miles from the FS land boundary west of Haugan to the FS land boundary ~3 miles east of DeBorgia (map 4)
  • Milwaukee 4, 11.4 miles From the FS land boundary east of DeBorgia to the intersection with the Little Joe Road (#282) near St. Regis (map 5)
The multi-use character of the Route of the Olympian was emphasized on June 22, 2013, when the Inaugural Trail Rail Run was held. Our non-profit bicycle organization served beer to the 197 runners who completed 12K, 30K and 50K runs along the Olympian to St. Regis. And then there were the 34 runners who ran from the beginning of the NorPac trail near Mullan, over Lookout Pass and on to St. Regis, a total of 50 MILES! All the results are posted, but special attention should be paid to female 50 mile finisher Carmel Abblitt of Post Falls, ID, with a time of 8:55:48.15 for a pace of 10:43/mile, and George Erickson of Missoula, MT, with a time of 7:45:55.05 for a pace of 9:19/mile. WOW!
 
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Please use our organization's Twitter feed to plan local events and bike rides.
Simply email me at greg@friendsofcdatrails.org with your event and I'll tweet it out.
Replies to my postings will appear in this feed.

 


Other Twitter Feeds of Interest
to North Idaho visitors and locals alike!
  • Marketing northern Idaho
  • Other Regional Attractions
  • USA Cycling: Mountain Biking
  • USA Cycling: Criterium Calendar
 

Select a video (channel) to load:


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The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the Route of the Hiawatha were named to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's new Rail-Trail Hall of Fame on October 8, 2010. These were the only Idaho Trails to be inducted into the 25 member Hall of Fame. The importance of the these trails and how the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails organization has helped to enhance them is discussed in a Coeur d'Alene Press article (extracted as a pdf file) entitled Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Route of the Hiawatha honored. The relationship between our organization and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is further elaborated in an article on their website (extracted as a pdf file) entitled Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Helps Open 20 New Trail Miles in Idaho.

 
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes the 'Moose' bicycle jersey available from the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails
the "Moose" jersey

Our original Friends jersey featuring a moose and the bridge over Coeur d'Alene Lake has become quite popular with folks who have enjoyed their time on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. However, there are other unique bicycle adventures available here in northern Idaho. So we have enlarged our offerings to give you a selection of designs. One features the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum in Wallace and the associated NorPac Trail that connects Mullan, Idaho, and Taft, Montana, gateway to the Route of the Hiawatha. Our organization has been working with the Forest Service in Montana to extend the Milwaukee Road railbed trail from the Hiawatha's East Portal parking lot all the way to St. Regis. This 45 mile stretch of multi-use trail is called the Olympian-Hiawatha Trail. There will not be a fee for riding this trail.

The jersey_shirt.html and membership.html webpages and the associated membership and merchandise order form have been revised to reflect these additional offerings. All jersey designs are available for the same $79 donation. Members may have jerseys for $64 donations. Short sleeved cotton shirts with these themes are available for $22 donations (members $20).

Northern Pacific Trail
the 'Wallace' bicycle jersey available from the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails
the "Wallace" jersey
Olympian-Hiawatha Trail
the 'Olympian-Hiawatha' bicycle jersey available from the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails
the "Hiawatha" jersey
 
Our Frequently Asked Questions page has been expanded to answer 15 questions that have been frequently asked during the last decade. We always want to answer unique questions, but please read this page before writing to ask us a question as your concern may have already been addressed. Thank you.
click to enlarge photo by LAUREN TANDY October 18, 2007: Rick Shaffer, Wallace Inn manager, hands over a plaque to Jon Ruggles, Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails president, while Jeff Legg, Bank Street Printing owner, and Del Sanborn, Friends promoter, hold up their award-winning map. Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails worked with Legg to produce the brochure/map Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle. The tourism resource was chosen for the Council's Choice Award given by the Idaho Travel Council through the National Idaho Tourism Alliance (NITA) in recognition of "Outstanding Marketing Promotion." The brochure was made possible by tourism grant money from the state's 2% lodging tax. Shaffer accepted the award at this year's Governor's Conference in May.
    Rick has agreed to make his cell phone number available to anyone who has a complex or immediate question that does not lend itself to normal email correspondence. However, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page before consulting our busy Prime Minister of Recreation. Please remember that Rick lives in the Pacific Time Zone if you
call (208) 691-9169.
Please visit our Sponsors and Business Associates page to see those local businesses that support our efforts. Some of our supporters also have their websites displayed on our Links to Related Enterprises page, along with the websites of other local and national organizations of interest to the bicycle community. Please support those who support us. Thank you!

click to enlarge the osprey seen in the chain lakes area Coeur d'Alene Audubon has compiled a checklist of birds for the bike trail. It is available as a PDF file that can be printed out from our website www.cdaaudubon.org.

Thanks,
Lisa Hardy
Coeur d'Alene Audubon

Remember, Heyburn State Park, on the west side of the Chatcolet Bridge, is now charging a $4 parking fee.

As stated on our map, any group wishing to host a special event on the Trail must have authorization from proper authorities. Start by calling the Idaho Parks and Recreation office at the Cataldo Mission, (208) 682-3814. They will direct you to Forest Service or Tribal authorities if required by your event's location.

click to see the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
click to see the Route of the Hiawatha
Route of the Hiawatha
click to see the Old Milwaukee Road
Old Milwaukee Road
Frequently Asked Questions Our Trail Map North Idaho Centennial Trail
Other Documented Trail Maps Contact Us Links to Related Enterprises
Membership & Merchandise

Sponsors & Associates

click to enlarge photo by LAUREN TANDY We just published our the ELEVENTH edition of 15,000 Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle. These updated maps are now in distribution to local Chambers of Commerce and other local organizations. You may use the form on our Contact Us page to request one or two free copies of these maps. Requests for larger quantities are handled on a case by case basis; call Rick at (208) 691-9169 to inquire.

While our maps are complementary and are yours for the asking we do include a membership form with each map in the hope that you will return the favor by joining us as we work to build a unified 185 mile bike loop that includes the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes (paved for bikes and blades), the Northern Pacific railbed (dirt for multi-use), and the Milwaukee Road railbed (mostly dirt for multi-use), which includes the Route of the Hiawatha (dirt for mountain bikes and boots). We have dubbed this adventure the "Bitterroot 300K Loop" to entice our Canadian riders.

 

A MILWAUKEE ROAD suite has been added to this website. It features our work to incorporate the Milwaukee Road railbed as part of an 185 mile loop that promises to gain worldwide attention for the variety of scenery and topography that it encompasses.

The websuite includes
  • Google Earth animations giving a bird's eye view of the entire loop for study and day dreaming.
  • Photo Trail for the Old Milwaukee Scenic/Alternate Trail between Pearson (lower trailhead for the Route of the Hiawatha) and Marble Creek on the Saint Joe River, 24 miles away.
  •     June 2013: four day itineraries designed for either tent camping or motel stays, beginning and ending in St. Maries

The world famous Route of the Hiawatha continues to grow in popularity every summer. However, even when the Route is closed for the season, you may bike and hike for free up Loop Creek, beneath the trestles, as soon as the snow disappears in the spring and as long as weather permits in the fall. You may also freely travel from the East Portal to the town of Saltese, Montana, also on the Milwaukee Road railbed. Or, you may ride free from the East Portal west on the Northern Pacific railbed to Lookout Pass, where you have the choice of two routes down to Mullan and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Finally, you may continue on from the Pearson Trailhead to Avery and the St. Joe River following the Milwaukee Road railbed south.

We are working with the national Rails to Trails Conservancy to place signs along the rest of The Old Milwaukee Road from the Pearson trailhead to Avery and beyond. This is the initial part of our effort to complete a 185 mile bike loop in our region.

The Pearson-Avery Figure Eight
was ridden on Saturday, September 16, 2006.

This fun 22 mile bicycle ride on fairly flat terrain followed both dirt roads that connect Pearson (the lowest Route of the Hiawatha trailhead) and the town of Avery. A map of the Pearson Avery Figure Eight, complete with milepost commentary and photos, is now on our Other Trails page.

click to enlarge this photo by Ed Renkey The riders stayed at the North Fork (of the St. Joe) Campground. To get there from Wallace, follow Forest Road 456 over Moon Pass, and travel past the Pearson Trailhead. There will be TWO trestles that you must pass over before getting to Avery: one over Big Dick Creek, and the other over the North Fork of the St Joe River. Take the ramp at the south end of the trestle over the North Fork. The campground is ½ mile downstream, near Milepost 24. It is well marked, as shown by the picture. If you are coming from St. Maries, take Forest Road 456 in Avery, but do not cross the first trestle, take the ramp instead.

This beautiful and isolated route between Pearson and Avery may be seen from the air... IF you have the FREE Google Earth program installed.

Renovation work on the North Fork Joe Campground has been completed so there are 5 camp units available for summer 2009. Vault toilets. "Pack It In, Pack It Out" refuse policy. No developed water. Trailers are not recommended. Although not yet reflected on the Forest Service website, the name has been changed to "Telichpah Campground" after a local Indian woman. Seven other campgrounds are nearby, beginning a few miles east of Avery along the spectacular St. Joe River Gorge, which is known for great fly fishing, white-water kayaking and rafting.
$21K Trail Enhancement Grant awarded to the
>Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails!
 
Northern Pacific Railbed Restoration Project
    See
  • July 2004 News for details on how this will extend the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes experience from Mullan to Lookout Pass, from 72 to at least 81 miles!
  • August 2004 News for elevation information and photos of the route
  • September 2004 News for photos of an alternative route for experts only
  • Fall 2004 News for progress report through winter 2004
Here are some photos of accomplishments:

click to enlarge this photo by Del Sanborn click to enlarge this photo by Del Sanborn In August 2005, Zanetti Bros. helped us pour a cement pad for an interpretive sign beside the new restroom at the Stevens Lake trailhead.

click to enlarge this photo by Greg Marsh click to enlarge this photo by Greg Marsh Located about a mile below Lookout Pass, this is one of two tables that we have placed at scenic spots along the historic railgrade. Notice the cement pad waiting for an interpretive sign during a September sunset.

    This impressive mountain pass traverse between Mullan, ID, and Taft, MT may be seen from the air... IF you have the FREE Google Earth program installed.
click to see the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
click to see the Route of the Hiawatha
Route of the Hiawatha
click to see the Old Milwaukee Road
Old Milwaukee Road
Frequently Asked Questions Our Trail Map North Idaho Centennial Trail
Other Documented Trail Maps Contact Us Links to Related Enterprises
Membership & Merchandise

Sponsors & Associates

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Webworks by Greg Marsh
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