Idaho Trails Family Adventure
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.
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 Adventure tours, adults must be accompanied by a child and children must be accompanied by an adult.
"This was my first ever tour. The experience was fantastic and the question is not will I do another tour, but what form it will take and for how long."
Day 1. Plummer, Idaho, 0 miles
Plummer, 0 miles. 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.
Day 2. Plummer to Cataldo, 36 miles
After breakfast we’ll coast along Coeur d’Alene Lake and 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.
Day 3. 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. 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 the shops in uptown Kellogg. You might even choose to splash around at Silver Mountain Resort’s huge indoor water park.
Day 4. Route of the Hiawatha, then Wallace to Kellogg, 27 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 10 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 16 miles of the gravel-surfaced trail through the heart of the rugged Bitterroot Mountains to the Pearson Trailhead. In the afternoon, our shuttle bus will drop us off in the historic town of Wallace for more exploration and a downhill ride back to Kellogg on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes!
Day 5. 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: 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.
Day 6. 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.
Know before you go
Information for Route of the Hiawatha::
We recommend those who may ride with tires less than 35mm in width or a tandem consider renting a bike for the day on the Route of the Hiawatha.
Information for eBike riders:
Because every rider, eBike, road condition, and elevation profile is different, it is ultimately up to the participant to judge best whether their battery will last through each tour day. We recommend using pedal assist in its lowest setting or off when not needed to maximize battery range. Bringing a second battery is also recommended, and it can be carried by staff and available at a designated stop during the day.