May 20, 2009 in Outdoors, Region

Route of Hiawatha to open May 30

By The Spokesman-Review
Jesse Tinsley photo

Bicyclists, dwarfed by the trestle and the surrounding beauty of the national forest, stop to admire the view Thursday, June 26, 2008 from one of several railroad trestles along the Route of the Hiawatha, a trail that follows the path of the long-gone railroad through the region on the Montana-Idaho border. The trail’s main draws are the gentle downhill slope and the trestles and tunnels on the route. JESSE TINSLEY THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW
(Full-size photo)

The Route of the Hiawatha rail trail is scheduled to open for the season on May 30.

Lingering snow patches are preventing a Memorial Day weekend opener for the popular 15-mile bike route that follows the old Milwaukee Railroad grade along the Montana-Idaho border near Lookout Pass.

The Hiawatha Trail, which includes 10 tunnels plus seven trestles as high as 230 feet, will be open daily through early October, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., said Phil Edholm of Lookout Pass Ski Area.

Lookout Pass runs bus shuttles for cyclists who want to pedal the trail downhill and catch a ride back to the trailhead.

Visitors also can rent bikes, helmets and headlamps — mandatory for negotiating the darkness of the 1.7-mile-long Taft Tunnel. Reservations are suggested.

For more Information, call (208) 744-1301 or visit

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