Trail of Coeur d’ Alenes
The trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes is one of the most spectacular rides in the west. The paved rails to trail is 72 miles long and travels along many lakes, mountains, and valleys in Idaho’s Panhandle. The area has a rich mining, railroading and Native American history, too, and there are plenty of places to stop to enjoy the scenery and visit local attractions.
Between Plummer and Harrison the trail is just over 15 miles one way. The first 6 miles are downhill as you travel through the rolling foothills of the Palouse prairie. Then after passing through the Heyburn State Park you venture over the Chatcolet Bridge and continue alongside the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene until you reach the town of Harrison. Harrison is a full service town with many great amenities.
Between Harrison and Medimont the trail meanders through the mountainous chain lakes as it follows the Coeur d’Alene River. This segment is best for seeing wildlife such as; birds of prey, bear, beavers, turtles, coyote, and pretty regular sightings of moose.
From Medimont east, the trail travels in Idaho’s Silver Valley, once one of the most productive silver mining areas in the country.
From Cataldo the trail follows the Coeur d’Alene River through the Silver Valley. The mountains are more forested here as you head toward Kellogg, the largest town along the trail. There are plenty of places to eat here.
For the last segment from Kellogg to Mullan the trail gradually gains in elevation. Historical Wallace will be the next. This is a great place to make one last stop. Enjoy the neat attractions, restaurants, and breweries.
Wallace to Mullan You’ll know when you reach the end of the trail in Mullan here the trail surface turns to gravel and continues east as the NorPac Trail. The NorPac Trail runs to Taft, situated only 2.5 miles from the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha.for the Taft Tunnel stretching more than 8,000 feet under the Bitterroot Mountains. .
There are picnic areas, bathrooms, and bike stations along the way, however, water is not available throughout much of the trail or at trailheads. Plan ahead or stock up when you hit the towns.