Notes and Resources - Heart of Silver, Heart of Bitterroot - CycleBlaze

Notes and Resources

Despite being retired, Jeff and I continue to have obligations at home in California. Also, we each have a wife back there, although perhaps by now they'd forgotten their bicycling husbands. Just in case they remembered us, we decided to begin our sixteen-hour drive homeward shortly after we completed our out-and-back ride on the Route of the Hiawatha on Friday.

Before covering too many miles, we stopped in Wallace to visit the office of the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails. We had already stopped by the office on Thursday while pedaling to Mullan, but it was locked up. Only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Today we found the bright, neatly organized office manned by helpful Jon Ruggles. A few other visitors bounced in and out while we were there.

In gratitude for the work done by the Friends, Jeff and I forked over a few bucks to enlist in the organization on the spot. These trails don't happen by themselves, and we shouldn't take them for granted.

Among other good deeds, the Friends maintain a useful website and make themselves available to answer questions about the trail, accommodations, etc. They know more about this stuff, but here are some of my thoughts.

(1) First, it's a terrific trail. Don't miss any opportunity to give it a whirl.

(2) Despite our convoluted route, we essentially rode an out-and-back, and we enjoyed pedaling it west-to-east as well as east-to-west. Including a little extra wandering around, that amounted to approximately 150 miles.

(3) If you don't have enough time for quite that many miles, I'd recommend riding the length of the trail—about 72 miles—from Mullan to Plummer. That could be one fairly long day or two short days.

(4) For a shorter taste of the trail, I'd suggest starting in Wallace or Kellogg and riding to Harrison or Heyburn State Park. Don't miss the Chatcolet Bridge.

(5) As part of a longer tour, the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes can be connected to the Centennial Trail, Northern Pacific Trail, Route of the Hiawatha, Old Milwaukee Railroad Trail, etc.

Whatever you decide, here are some worthwhile resources:

→ Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails Start here. In addition to the useful website, upon request they'll send a free packet with maps and other information on lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, trailheads, etc. This covers all the trails in the area, not just the CdA.

→ Route of the Hiawatha This commercial trail is operated by the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area folks. They charge adults $10 for a day pass. They also rent bikes to those who need them. Helmets and lights are mandatory, and they'll be glad to rent you those items as well. Finally, they'll also be happy to sell you a ticket for the shuttle so you don't need to pedal from the bottom of the trail back to the top.

→ Visit North Idaho More information about visiting the entire panhandle of Idaho, in case you want to do more than just ride your bike.

→ The Cycle Haus Bicycle shop in Harrison with bike rentals.

→ Excelsior Cycle Bicycle shop in Kellogg, but not sure if they have rentals.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Jeff prepares to hand over his cash to join and support the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails. That's Jon Ruggles behind the counter, a very friendly and knowledgeable guy. Local bicyclist Steve Langer looks on.

More about Jon Ruggles

The office also sells some bike gear, including T-shirts and nice looking jerseys.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Route of the Hiawatha jersey.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes jersey.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Northern Pacific jersey.

Heart 0 Comment 0

On the wall of the office of the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

More tours, day rides, articles, photos, information, resources, and links at Bill Bikes.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 1
Comment on this entry Comment 0