Outdoors

Route of the Hiawatha set for Saturday opening

Bicyclists peer off the Kelly Creek trestle, the tallest of seven along the Hiawatha rail-trail route.
Bicyclists peer off the Kelly Creek trestle, the tallest of seven along the Hiawatha rail-trail route.

The Route of the Hiawatha rail-trail near Lookout Pass is set to open for the 2014 summer season on Saturday.

The 15-mile route for mountain biking or hiking follows a portion of the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad on a mostly downhill grade between the old town site of Taft, Montana, (off Interstate 90) and the North Fork of the St. Joe River near Avery, Idaho.

Top attractions include seven trestles towering up to 230 feet over the creeks and forest and 10 tunnels, including the 1.7-mile St. Paul Pass Tunnel at the Montana-Idaho border.  

Ride the route down and return on your own for a 30-mile trek, or take the downhill route and board a shuttle bus back to the start.

Trail passes, shuttle bus tickets and mountain bike rentals are available at Lookout Pass Ski Area, 12 miles east of Wallace.

Tips: Very bright forward lights are highly recommended for riding through the long tunnel, as well as a sweater regardless of how hot the weather is outside.

The trail will be open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., through Sept. 28.

Info: ridethehiawatha.com.


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Rich Landers

Rich Landers

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