This incredible bike tour takes in the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes and the Route of the Hiawatha, a pair of the most spectacular pathways in the U.S. And while history might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re talking Idaho, this trip is brimming with it, along with enjoyable and easy riding through wetlands, lakes, meadows, and forests.
The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes traces the course of an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way, reaching from the Silver Valley, near the Montana border, to Plummer, not far from Idaho’s border with Washington. The Route of the Hiawatha originates in Montana and then burrows beneath the state line through the memorable 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. We’ll pass through several more tunnels and ride over numerous trestles, some of them an impressive 200-plus feet high.
With its gentle terrain, short daily distances, and gorgeous scenery, this trip is a great choice whether you’re a beginner seeking a great introduction to supported bicycle touring or a cycling veteran craving a mellow, traffic-free adventure.
Please note: In order to participate in our Family Fun tours adults must be accompanied by a child and children must be accompanied by an adult.
|Start Date:||Jul 20, 2014||End Date:||Jul 25, 2014|
|Start Location:||Plummer, ID||End Location:||Plummer, ID|
|Total Days:||6||Riding Days:||5|
|Rest Days:||1||Level of Support:||Family Events|
|Miles:||130||Average Daily Mileage:||26.0|
|Surface:||Bike Trail/Paved||Riders:||Adult 50
|Airport:||Spokane International (GEG)||Tour Leader:||Tammy Schurr|
Plummer, Idaho. You'll meet your fellow riders, your tour leader, and staff at today's orientation meeting at the western terminus of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Following introductions and a lip-smacking catered dinner, you'll crawl into your tent and dream of the upcoming five days of carefree cycling.
Plummer to Cataldo, 42 miles. After breakfast, we'll coast along Coeur d'Alene Lake then cross the photogenic, 3,100-foot Chatcolet Bridge, with its cool stair-step design that's a blast to ride over. Built in 1921 as a railroad bridge, it's expressly for cyclists and hikers today. We'll continue along the trail at a slightly downhill grade past marshes and wetlands, squeezing between Swan Lake and Cave Lake along the Coeur d'Alene River. You'll want to be sure to keep an eye out for the incredible variety of birds, including osprey, that summer in the area. Our camp is just outside Cataldo at the Kahnderosa Campground.
Cataldo to Kellogg, 20 miles. Today we'll continue down the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, alongside the river and through pine forests to Kellogg, Idaho. Once a mining boomtown, it is now a popular resort village. Along the way, we'll take a side trip to the Old Mission State Park and visit The Sacred Heart Mission, the oldest standing building in Idaho. The Sacred Heart Mission was built between 1850 and 1853 by Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d'Alene tribe without the use of a single nail. Later in the afternoon, you'll have the opportunity to browse around uptown Kellogg. You might even choose to splash around at Silver Mountain Resort's huge indoor water park.
Route of the Hiawatha, 15 miles. Our day will begin with an optional shuttle ride to the East Portal trailhead of the Route of the Hiawatha. Don’t forget to pack your headlamp, because you’ll ride through ten extremely dark tunnels on this scenic rail-trail, including the 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. Your group will also cross seven lofty trestles offering magnificent views of the surrounding forested mountains. You’ll gradually cover 15 miles of the gravel-surfaced trail through the heart of the rugged Bitterroot Mountains, to the Pearson Trailhead before catching the shuttle back to Kellogg. We’ll then spend another night in the Silver Valley.
Kellogg to Harrison, 38 miles. We’ll zip back along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes to the delightful community of Harrison and our campsite for the evening. You’ll enjoy this quaint, quiet town and all it has to offer: Cold ice cream, the Crane House Museum, and swimming in Lake Coeur d’Alene. We’ll dine as a group for the final time tonight and, after communing around the campfire, fall asleep beneath the star-filled Idaho sky.
Harrison to Plummer, 15 miles. After re-crossing the Chatcolet Bridge, we’ll climb back up the trail to Plummer, all the while keeping a sharp eye out for eagles, osprey, moose, and elk. We’ll say our goodbyes in Plummer, thoroughly relaxed and rejuvenated after our week of mellow cycling and great sightseeing in the gorgeous and serene panhandle of Idaho.
"I think that I most enjoy ed watching the kids make friends with each other. It facilitated hav ing the adults interact. The scenery - especially on the first day of riding - was beautiful."
2013 Tour Participant
"This was great fun and my family enjoy ed getting to know the other families. We will definitely do this again. And we had the best tour leader (Tammy Schurr) ever."
2013 Tour Participant
"The whole experience was amazing! You get family time and time to meet new friends while being outdoors riding your bike on rails to trails."
2013 Tour Participant