The Trail passes lakes, streams, farmland and cute towns.
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is 72 miles of paved
The Trail crosses old train bridges.
We started getting into cycling when we
arrived in Idaho.
Kellogg, Idaho is a special town that has an eclectic feeling.
St. George is popular in Kellogg, ID.
One of Kellogg's chalet homes.
It winds through the woods.
Plaques describe the ecology and history of the area.
Portions of the Trail flank a wide lake.
Muddy moose tracks!
Beautifully maintained by Union Pacific, there are rest areas
and restrooms along the trail.
The scenery is stunning.
The water is blue-green because of the high mineral
We will be back.
August 26-September 2, 2007 - Leaving the North Cascades, we visited Coeur
d'Alene briefly and headed east towards Montana. In the town of Smelterville, 30
miles east of Coeur d'Alene we stopped overnight at Walmart. We noticed a paved
bike path next to the
parking lot and took out
our bikes to explore.
We soon discovered
that we were in the
middle of the charming
72-mile-long Trail of the
Coeur d'Alenes rails-to-trails bike path. We found a campground and
stayed a week so we could explore the bike path more fully. Each day
we drove the truck to a trailhead, unloaded the bikes and rode a ten
mile segment, out and back.
The valley area 30 miles east of Coeur d'Alene is one of the
richest mineral deposits in the world, and the town of Kellogg is
the heart of this area. In the 1940's it was poisoned by the toxic
silver mining process. In the 1980's the mine closed, the
railroad shut down and everyone lost their jobs. As one woman
put it, it looked like an atom bomb had gone off. A fellow who
grew up here in the 1940's said you could taste the sulphur
dioxide in your mouth all the time and the air was always hazy
blue from the smoke stacks and smelters. Rather than flee
when their world crashed in the 1980's, many townspeople
stayed. Declared an EPA superfund site, Union Pacific cleaned
up their mess by burying their toxic waste along the tracks and creating the 72-mile long paved bike path. The high school
students planted a million trees on the barren hills surrounding town in the 1980's, and today those hills are lush, the air is clear,
and the town is optimistic.
There is an artsy
flair to the town.
Someone in town
loves St. George
and the dragon: we
found them in a
sculpture and a
homes had an
alpine look to them,
and nearby there is
a ski area complete
with gondola and chair lifts. There is something upbeat and
offbeat about Kellogg that really appealed to us.
The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a gem. There are
trailheads along its length, each with display maps showing
the highlights. It passes through the historic town of Wallace,
the simple mobile home town of Osburn, the former mining
towns of Smelterville and Kellogg, and through the lakeside
town of Harrison. Some parts of the trail are busy and others
are very quiet. Mostly alone on the trail, there were times
when we shared it with cyclists, dog walkers, and inline
skaters, but there was never any congestion.
In one lonely area, far from civilization, we discovered
some moose tracks. I had been reading a book that talked
about how moose like to eat the roots of lilies, and this part
of the Trail passed a large lily pond. Some workers
painting a train trestle further down told us a moose had
been in the area for several weeks.
After a week in this
charming part of the world
we ventured on eastwards
to northern Montana and
the stunning Glacier