This incredible bike tour takes in a pair of the most spectacular pathways in the U.S., featuring easy riding through wetlands, lakes, and meadows, with some fascinating regional history.
The first pathway we’ll ride is the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. Tracing the course of an abandoned Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way, the route reaches from the Silver Valley, situated near the Montana-Idaho border, to Plummer, not far from Idaho’s border with Washington. Trail number two, the Route of the Hiawatha, originates in Montana and burrows beneath the state line through the memorable 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. We’ll then 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 an introduction to supported bicycle touring or a cycling veteran craving a mellow, traffic-free adventure.
|Start Date:||Jul 13, 2014||End Date:||Jul 18, 2014|
|Start Location:||Plummer, ID||End Location:||Plummer, ID|
|Total Days:||6||Riding Days:||5|
|Average Daily Mileage:||26.0||Surface:||Bike Trail/Paved|
|Riders:||45||Airport:||Spokane Int'l (Spokane, WA)|
|Tour Leader:||Kelly DuBay||Caterer:||Culinary Insider (Anne)|
|Meals:||Catered meals||Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options|
|Physical Difficulty:||Beginner||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
Plummer, Idaho. You'll meet your fellow riders, your tour leader and staff, and your caterer at today's orientation meeting at the western terminus of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Following introductions and a lip-smacking 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 climb aboard our touring bikes and begin coasting along Coeur d'Alene Lake over 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 pointing our bikes down the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, alongside the river and through pine forests to Kellogg, Idaho. Once a mining boomtown, Kellogg is now a resort village. Along the way, we'll take a side trip to the Old Mission State Park and visit the oldest intact building in Idaho, the Sacred Heart Mission, which was built between 1850 and 1853 by Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d'Alene tribe without 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 Rapids, 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 to our ending point, keeping a sharp eye out for eagles, osprey, moose, and elk, which are common in the area. 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.
"The entire tour was fun. This was a ’father/daughter’ trip, and we really had no idea what to expect, or if we’d even like it. It was a HUGE success, and we are already talking about the next tour we will go on. It was a hugely varied group (socio-economic and world views, etc.) and we all got along great!"
2013 Tour Participant