Northern Idaho's

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
bike path

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes bike path follows the Union Pacific Railroad's right-of-way from Mullan, a mountain mining town near the Montana border, to Plummer, a town on the prairie near the Washington border. About 72 miles of paved path takes you from high mountain splendor, through the historic Silver Valley, into the chain lake region, along the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene, over a bridge to Heyburn State Park and then on to the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation: an adventure for the entire family!

click to see Photo Album

The photo shown below was selected at random from an ever-expanding Photo Album.
Click on the photo to go to the Album.

This websuite is being reconstructed.
Last update on August 02, 2018.

For the latest Trail conditions, please visit the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails website.

For possible answers to your questions about the Trail, see their Frequently Asked Questions page.

    If you have the FREE Google Earth program installed, you may "fly it before you ride it." Notice that in contrast to the above mountain-to-prairie description, the following presentation starts on the prairie and heads east into the mountains. This is because of an effort by the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails to tie the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes and the Route of the Hiawatha together by developing the Old Milwaukee Road railbed along the Saint Joe River.

Such a 190 mile loop trip (AKA the "Bitterroot 300K Loop") could reasonably start in Plummer or St. Maries, but a base of operations in Wallace is also worthy of consideration. Then the tough climb would be on Day One, and when you complete the loop, you have a variety of fun things to do in the historic mining town to celebrate. Among the attractions are zipline tours high above the town and underground silver mine and history tours, as well as many unusual shops. If you time it right, you may be able to incorporate one of Wallace's EIGHT SUMMER FESTIVALS into your bicycle adventure.

  • prairie to lake segment from Plummer on the Palouse Prairie to Harrison on Lake Coeur d'Alene (downhill then flat for 15.3 miles)
  • river and lakes segment from Harrison along the Coeur d'Alene River to Enaville (flat for 31.8 miles)
  • Silver Valley segment from Enaville along the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River to Mullan (flat then uphill for 24.3 miles)
Why settle for just one activity on your vacation? Why not stop in picturesque Harrison and visit their art galleries, or rent a kayak or fishing boat for a few hours. Watching birds of prey fish as you paddle along miles of isolated lake and river shoreline will only enhance your continuing bicycle adventure.
click to see photo album

The last part of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes to be completed was the Chatcolet Bridge that crosses the St. Joe River as it flows into Lake Coeur d'Alene.

click on Don Smith's photo to enlarge it in a separate window

Don Smith took this picture of the newly opened Bridge from a boat on Chatcolet Lake, in Heyburn State Park, looking east in April, 2004. See more of Don's photography and commentary.

click on Mike Peak's photo to enlarge it in a separate window

As this photo taken by Mike Peak shows, the ramps to the raised and now stationary swing bridge were designed to ease the climb for folks on bicycles and skates. The stair-step construction makes the decent very exhilarating. See more of Mike's photography and a map of Hayburn Park on the west side the historic trestle.

The Grand Opening celebration for the entire Trail happened on June 5, 2004.

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes map opens in a separate window, and shows TWO other local bike trails. It is part of the second edition of a brochure entitled Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle produced by the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails.

In the spring of 2014, the TENTH edition of 20,000 Recreational Trails of the Idaho Panhandle maps went into wide circulation. These 17" x 22", 20-panel color brochures are similar to earlier editions, except for additional information on the former railbed of the Old Milwaukee Road, which the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails are working to enhance as a multi-use recreational road and bike trail along the breathtaking St. Joe River.

The current brochure includes information on 14 lodging possibilities, 8 eating establishments, 3 bicycle shops and 4 adventure providers found along the Bitterroot 300K loop. They are complementary and yours for the asking: email the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails using the form below for your free brochure and map.

You may also view or print a simplified PDF overlay of the above map that lists the trailheads, wayside tables and restroom locations along the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. If you haven't done so already, acquire Acrobat Reader to view or print PDF files.
This same overlay map is used to organize the The Friends Photo Trail which starts in Mullan and finishes in Plummer.

This websuite at was developed as a prototype for the larger website created for the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails organization, incorporated as an Idaho Not-for-profit organization in 2003. As a founding member, I hosted the official website until 2016, when a leadership shake-up ocurred, and I left the organization. The new establishment reconstructed the website in 2016.
Greg Marsh, Ph.D., Marsh Scientific Services

Click to see 2010 Silver Valley population by city

The Silver Valley is in Shoshone County (population 12,765) between Fourth of July Pass and Lookout Pass. It contains Interstate 90, the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River, and several small towns.

The 1990, 2000 and 2010 populations of these towns can be known by clicking on the topo map. The historic silver mining town of Wallace is particularly fascinating.

About 80% of the county is public land, making the population density 5 people per square mile, and the all-season recreation possibilities enormous.

click to see more weather details

This Doppler map provided by KHQ TV shows both the current weather over the entire Inland Northwest and the easy Interstate 90 access to The Silver Valley, located halfway between Spokane, Washington, and Missoula, Montana.

Click on the map for a detailed picture of the current weather over the region, including a camera view of the Interstate at the Idaho-Montana border, as well as information gathered from other websites, local mountain bike trails and maps.



Jump to Wallace homepage

Marsh Scientific Services is Greg Marsh ©1998-2018, Marsh Scientific Services, Greg Marsh, Ph.D.
last update on Thursday, August 02, 2018