Outdoors

North Idaho rail trails continue to garner headlines

Boosted by publicity and interest in the 100th anniversary of the 1910 forest fire blow up, the Route of the Hiawatha rail trail set a visitation record of 34,249 this summer. (File)
Boosted by publicity and interest in the 100th anniversary of the 1910 forest fire blow up, the Route of the Hiawatha rail trail set a visitation record of 34,249 this summer. (File)

TRAILS — North Idaho continues to get a steady stream of good press from its world-class rail trails — the Route of the Hiawatha near Lookout Pass and the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes that runs from Mullan to Plummer.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publication recently published a feature about Wallace entitled, “In Idaho, Former Silver Mining Town Reinvents Itself as Trails Destination.” 

“When we use the phrase “destination trail,” the Route of the Hiawatha in Idaho is exactly what we have in mind,” the author says. “The trail itself is the draw; people come from across the country, and sometimes the world, to ride this 15-mile rail-trail through the spectacular Bitterroot Mountains and wilderness area, including a 1.6-mile tunnel.”

As recreation enthusiasts add it to their “bucket list” of adventures, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy named the Hiawatha to its Rail-Trail Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The nearby Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, North Idaho Centennial Trail and Old Milwaukee Road corridor, has meant to local populations have made “giant impact” on local communities, Wallace businessmen told the writer. The 72-mile Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes passes directly by Wallace, a geographical key to transferring trail-user numbers into commerce that fills up to 20 percent of the beds in the Wallace Inn during the summer trail season.

Info:  Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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