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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.

Selected Videos homepage updated
Thursday, September 25, 2014

     TENTH 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

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     bicycle trail conditions as of September 24, 2014
Thanks to Estar Holmes for this caution:
For anyone cycling the Bitterroot Loop Trail along the St. Joe River this fall, be advised that Avista has announced construction on Potlatch Road between Calder and Big Creek between September 8 and October 30, 2014. Signs will be posted at the entrance to Potlatch Road at Marble Creek and Calder when the road is closed. An alternative is to take the PAVED St. Joe River Road west of Marble Creek.

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.

Fall is a beautiful time to ride the Trail: changing foliage, crisp mornings, warm afternoons, waterfowl and wild game. Moose often travel along the Trail (even during hunting season), so please respect their personal space.

Another work area has been identified on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. International Line Builders will be rebuilding the Avista aerial power line crossing Coeur d’Alene Lake near milepost 9.5. Work will be occurring from Wednesday, September 24th through Friday, September 26th. Riders will need to be escorted through the construction zone, but they have assured us that any delays should be brief. Please pass this on to any other interested parties.

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 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 at (208) 686-7045.

click to enlarge photo in separate window
typical Trail users
The Route of the Hiawatha
opened for the 2014 summer season on May 24th. The 15 mile mountain bicycle Route will be open seven days a week from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, or to 5:30 PM during the peak season, June 23 to September 1. The concession closes on September 28th. The 2014 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 in July.
More information.

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 last summer by the Friends.

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

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was held on October 8, 2013
at the Rose Creek Longhouse
in Worley, 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.

Ed Renkey was selected as Mike Domy's replacement to represent the user community on the Trail Commission. The most important policy currently being implemented as a result of the October meeting is the permitting of powered mobility devices, as well as wheel chairs, on the Trail.

In October, 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.

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

Last year our Christmas Party was held at the City Limits Pub and Grill in Wallace on Wednesday, December 4. The 2013 winner of our Christmas Membership Drawing was
Lucie Pratte, #668, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Lucie may choose to receive $100 worth of merchandise and/or hospitality from one or more of our
map sponsors or business members.
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Similar to the ninth edition, the tenth 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!

We are currently producing our TENTH edition of our popular Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle. In our tenth year in existence, we will again publish 20,000 of these maps that show some of the bicycle adventures and hospitality providers in the region. To learn more about our publication, visit our map page.

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Please use our organization's Twitter feed to plan local events and bike rides. Simply email me at with your event and I'll tweet it out. Replies to my postings will appear in this feed.


Select a video (channel) to load:

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.


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).

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

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 TENTH edition of 20,000 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.

This is the same quantity as in previous editions. These 17" x 22", 20-panel color brochures (with a forest green front panel background color and the Route of the Hiawatha on the back panel) are similar to the seventh through ninth edition brochures in that they provide information on the former railbed of the Old Milwaukee Road, which we are working to enhance as a multi-use recreational road and bike trail along the breathtaking St. Joe River. Our interest in promoting the Old Milwaukee Road from the East Portal of the Taft Tunnel to Saltese, Montana, is also indicated on the map itself. We are continuing to work with Lolo National Forest personnel to make this a safe, multi-use recreational trail.

We are again pleased to have the Route of the Hiawatha as our sponsor on the back panel, and suggest that you visit for more information on this crown jewel of America's Rails-to-Trails.

Silver Mountain Resort is a repeat hospitality provider in our tenth edition. If you are a downhill biking daredevil, you will definitely want to challenge yourself on their mountain. With 3,300 vertical feet of descent possible, and 30 single track trails to choose from, everyone's skill levels maybe accommodated.

Twenty-six other food, lodging and entertainment providers located in Harrison, Enaville, Kellogg, Wallace, St. Maries and Calder will help you as you travel along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the Old Milwaukee Road.

A complete listing of these sponsors organized by town will be found on our Sponsors & Associates page. Here we welcome these new advertisers:

  • Silver Streak Zipline Tours on the mountain above Wallace
  • Sierra Silver Mine Tour in Wallace
  • Brooks Hotel in Wallace
These ads have been recreated with new information:
  • Hotel Ryan in Wallace
  • Pines Motel in St. Maries

As always, our maps are complementary, and are yours for the asking.

However, 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
  • 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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