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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Field reports: Scotchman Peak trail improved by volunteers

TRAILS – The steep, eroded gouge in the earth is history and a new rerouted section of Trail 65 is ushering hikers to the top of Scotchman Peak, a popular North Idaho day trip destination near Clark Fork.

In celebration of National Public Lands Day, the Sandpoint Ranger District of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests partnered with the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness to complete the final stretch last week.

Volunteers spent two days cutting brush and digging a new trail section to reduce the grade. The party of 29 volunteers included eight students from Sandpoint High School.

“The Scotchman Peak Trail 65 reroute makes the beginning of the hike more welcoming, provides more views early on and gives some relief to the knees and legs on the return,” said Phil Hough, Friends of Scotchman Peaks executive director.

The trail was reopened for hikers on Sept. 24.

Spokane River Clean-up

collects tons of trash

RIVERS – Despite a cool, rainy day, 692 volunteers turned out for the annual Spokane River Clean-up on Sept. 17.

Crews were dispatched to the river in Spokane Valley, the University District, the downtown river gorge area, High Bridge Park, People’s Park and Hangman Creek where they collected 3.19 tons of trash and 976 pounds of recyclables, said Mike Petersen, Lands Council executive director.

Numerous groups, schools and businesses were involved, he said.

Drawdown begins

at Lake Spokane

RESERVOIRS – A drawdown of Lake Spokane began on Saturday in connection with construction for upgrading the spillway on Long Lake Dam.

The Spokane River reservoir will be gradually lowered about 3 feet, likely for several months, Avista officials say.

Wallace history fest

includes bikes, hikes

EVENTS – A notable hike and a bicycling lecture are among the many indoor and outdoor educational activities planned this week for the Fall for History Festival in Wallace on Friday through next Sunday.

A series of lectures, history re-enactments, live theater productions and guided tours of the town and area are scheduled.

Festival highlights include lectures on Buffalo Soldiers by historian and author John Langellier, who will speak at 7 p.m. Friday at the Sixth Street Theater. The 25th Infantry Unit from Missoula was deployed to Wallace to enforce martial law during violent mining strikes, as well as to assist the community during the Great Fire of 1910.

Langellier will also speak on the 25th Regiment’s epic 1896-97 cross continent cycling treks, which spanned nearly 3,000 miles in total on 55-pound “safety bikes,” in full uniform and gear across unforgiving roads and often trackless terrain. The talk is set for Saturday at 11 a.m., but the location is pending.

A guided tour of the Pulaski Trail by Jim See, a local expert on Ed Pulaski and the historic mine tunnel where he saved is men and became a hero in the 1910 fires, is set for 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Info: Wallace Chamber of Commerce, (208) 753-7151. Email:

Mt. Spokane Park Road re-opening

PARKS – Mount Spokane Park Road, which has been closed to the general public this summer during construction, will be re-opened to one-way traffic starting Monday. Expect 20-30 minute delays.