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Idaho :: Trail of the Coeur d’ Alene’s


Meanwhile, I had a couple of free days before my meeting. And what better way to pass the time than to ride one of the world’s best bike trails: The Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s

A couple decades back the Coeur d’Alene Indians sued the US government for not cleaning up the mining waste that covered Silver Valley. They won the lawsuit and one of the stipulations was that the government would convert an unused rail line to a bike trail. A couple years later, the result was 72 miles of perfectly paved and maintained bike trail.

Trail of the Coeur d’ Alene’s

Our plan was to ride the entire trail, though I would stop halfway back to ride to my meeting. (Overall Jeromy did 144 miles and I did a little over 100 miles.)

The morning of the ride I met my friend Jeromy at the bottom of Huckleberry Mountain. We met before dawn, while the mist was still hovering over the hay fields. We had a 1.5 hour drive to the trail head. On the way, we picked up some sports drinks and carbs for breakfast. Note to self: macaroni salad is not a good breakfast food, regardless of how many carbs there are.

The trail head, located in the city of Plummer on the Coeur d’Alene Indian reservation, has some memorials honoring tribe members who served in various wars.

Did I mention that the trail was paved and well maintained? It was perfectly smooth asphalt with bridges over lakes and rivers.


Crossing over the southern end of Coeur d’ Alene lake

Jeromy and I, psyched about our day’s ride. Did I mention that Jeromy is an Ironman Triathlete? I spent most of the day just trying to keep up with him. He’s very speedy.

Every couple of miles there were rest areas. Notice my cool “GMC” bike with the fenderpack full of waterbottles and energy bars for the both of us? I’ve even got a kickstand. 🙂

The trail meandered alongside plenty of lakes and rivers.

We just cruised along and enjoyed the perfect morning.

Wildflowers were blooming everywhere.

This looks like there should be a moose wading here.

Panoramic shot of the trail alongside the Cd’A River

Also along the way were plenty of informational signs about the scenery and historical sites. This one talked about the Cataldo Mission in the distance.

This was the state of our minds while we rode. Peaceful.

Very speedy indeed.

In Kellogg, we stopped by the Walmart to get some cold water. Perhaps I should also mention that it was the hottest day of summer, hitting 98F that day.

In Wallace, we stopped for lunch at the Red Light Garage for lunch. We both got burritos and huckleberry shakes. I introduced Jeromy to Cholula hot sauce, which I believe is much better than Tapatio brand. I wish I could get it in China!

Here’s our bikes in front of the cafe. Wallace is an incredibly beautiful little city!

Jeromy texts his wife, Stacy, every so often to update her on our progress. Jeromy is riding his Quintana Roo triathlon bike with aero bars.

Very speedy. Look at him go up the steep grade to Mullan. Well, “steep” is a relative term. It’s still a railroad grade so it’s not that steep. But in 98F weather we might as well be riding up the face of a cliff..

At Mullan, the trail just stopped. No fanfare. No crowds of people. Nothin’ but a couple rocks to tell you to turn around. Now, most people would start their ride here and ride downhill towards Plummer. But since we had to ride back to Plummer the same day, we figured we’d save the downhill part for the latter half of the ride.

There’s me sporting my Canadian bike jersey. Before you ask: it was on sale. And if you know anything about how ridiculously overpriced bike jerseys are, you know why I went for the sale. I’m practically Canadian anyway.

No, that’s not a squirrel. It’s actually a young bull moose.

2010-08-23@19-04-01 - Version 2
Let’s zoom a little closer so you can see this baby bull.

Overall, we had a wonderful ride. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alene’s is truly a fantastic ride with incredible scenery along the entire route.

Jeromy and I have already made plans to go on a longer ride when I visit Idaho again. What a great way to see the countryside!

3 comments to Idaho :: Trail of the Coeur d’ Alene’s

  • diannepierce

    Is this a no longer functioning rail line that has been made into a bike trail? I wish we could have done that with the Rock Island track on the other side of Rawls’ we could go all the way to town! Dad and his siblings walked that rr to school in the thirties since thy didn’t have school bus routes then. Dianne

  • Hey Shorel,

    Your too kind. I think you were pushing me through a good portion of that ride. Had a great time though. Thanks for having me along for the ride.


  • Wow–I enjoyed the scenery…thanks for the tour! I’m sure I didn’t burn nearly as many calories sitting here in the office, but it was still beautiful!

    Love the new Canadian jersey! 🙂

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