North Idaho LifeStyles Magazine - Riding bikes is a perfect Northwest pastime, a peaceful way to get to your destination, avoid the growing traffic, or just enjoy the scenery. There are many places in the area to go road biking, mountain biking, or cruising, though none match the scope or magnitude of the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes
The trail is enchanting, winding along the Coeur D’Alene River and Lake, past mountain creeks, marshy swamplands, and tranquil lakes. There are 36 bridges and trestles, abundant wildlife, and glorious flora - cottonwoods, willows, and aspens provide sporadic shade. There are dozens of places to pull off the trail and take a swim to cool down
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The Trail of the Coeur d' Alene's - Coeur d' Alene Idaho

Coeur d’Alene River upstream from Bull Run Lake.
Photo supplied by www.friendsofcdatrails.org

Riding bikes is a perfect Northwest pastime, a peaceful way to get to your destination, avoid the growing traffic, or just enjoy the scenery. There are many places in the area to go road biking, mountain biking, or cruising, though none match the scope or magnitude of the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes  The Trail of the Coeur d' Alene's

  Riding bikes is a perfect Northwest pastime, a peaceful way to get to your destination, avoid the growing traffic, or just enjoy the scenery. There are many places in the area to go road biking, mountain biking, or cruising, though none match the scope or magnitude of the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes.

  The Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes is truly a one of a kind resource right in our backyard. It spans a distance of 73 miles across the Idaho panhandle, from Plummer to Mullan. The trip my companions and I took was a two day, one night, 80-mile stretch from Enaville to Harrison and back, though there are 20 trail heads along the way, so anyone can personalize their trip, from an easy day ride, to an overnight bike bonanza.

  Start from Sandpoint by heading south on the 95 to Coeur d’Alene, turn east onto the I90, and south on the 97 to Harrison. There is a little place to set up camp on Lake Coeur d’Alene, if you prefer not to lug all of your gear along the trail. From there, drive along highway 3 up to Enaville, where this ride begins.

  What once was a portion of railroad tracks used to haul mining plunders back and forth through Silver Valley has now become a pleasingly paved path for pedestrians. It has been created as an innovative solution to the environmental problems caused by early mining endeavors. When the rail line was built in 1888, mine waste containing heavy metals was used as the rail bed, and the area was even further contaminated by accidental ore concentrate spillage.

  A partnership has been formed between the Union Pacific Railroad, the U.S. Government, the State of Idaho, and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe to clean the area and make it usable again. A thick layer of asphalt and gravel barriers serve to isolate the contaminants, and extensive clean up efforts have taken place all along the trail. The result is a scenic and spectacular Northwest treasure, open for all to enjoy.

  Start the 32-mile bike ride at local Enaville gem, the Snakepit, where the ambiance is a cacophony of antlers, saddles, stuffed wildlife, barstools, and random western motif memorabilia, the food is cheap and good, the beer cold, and the service friendly. It’s a great way to kick off the day.

  The trail is enchanting, winding along the Coeur D’Alene River and Lake, past mountain creeks, marshy swamplands, and tranquil lakes. There are 36 bridges and trestles, abundant wildlife, and glorious flora - cottonwoods, willows, and aspens provide sporadic shade. There are dozens of places to pull off the trail and take a swim to cool down.

  After several hours of leisurely pedaling, at a pace of about 10-12 miles an hour, you will arrive in the quaint little town of Harrison. One Shot Charlie’s is a fun restaurant and bar, with burgers, pizza, beer, cocktails, and occasional live music. A perfect place to celebrate the first leg down.

Wake up early to have a delicious breakfast with a view at Rose’s Café. From there is an option to ride further south on the trail, to the multi-million dollar historic Chatcolet Bridge, which has been built specifically for bikers and crosses the southern most part of Coeur D’Alene Lake. It adds an additional 16 miles to your 32-mile day, but it is worth seeing. The way back to Enaville is lovely, and the wind is generally at your back on day 2..
South Fork of Coeur d’Alene River; looking toward Smelterville from Pine Creek Trailhead. Photo supplied by www.friendsofcdatrails.org

The Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes is truly a one of a kind resource right in our backyard. It spans a distance of 73 miles across the Idaho panhandle, from Plummer to Mullan. The trip my companions and I took was a two day, one night, 80-mile stretch from Enaville to Harrison and back, though there are 20 trail heads along the way, so anyone can personalize their trip, from an easy day ride, to an overnight bike bonanza
Looking down ramp to Heyburn State Park . Photo supplied by www.friendsofcdatrails.org

  Wake up early to have a delicious breakfast with a view at Rose’s Café. From there is an option to ride further south on the trail, to the multi-million dollar historic Chatcolet Bridge, which has been built specifically for bikers and crosses the southern most part of Coeur D’Alene Lake. It adds an additional 16 miles to your 32-mile day, but it is worth seeing. The way back to Enaville is lovely, and the wind is generally at your back on day 2.

  A few hours more of riding and you will be back at the Snakepit, in time to rest your weary bones and celebrate victory - 2 days, 80 miles, and countless memories. This is just one option on a trail with infinite possibilities, so check it out for yourself, and create your own adventure. Happy pedaling!

  To learn more about the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, call or email the State Trail Manager at 208-682-3814 or old@idpr.state.id.us
Or reach the Tribe Trail Manager of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe at 208-686-7045 or dchapman@CDAtribe-nsn.gov 
www.friendsofcdatrails.org

Wake up early to have a delicious breakfast with a view at Rose’s Café. From there is an option to ride further south on the trail, to the multi-million dollar historic Chatcolet Bridge, which has been built specifically for bikers and crosses the southern most part of Coeur D’Alene Lake. It adds an additional 16 miles to your 32-mile day, but it is worth seeing. The way back to Enaville is lovely, and the wind is generally at your back on day 2.
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