May. 26, 2017

14. Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

To be honest I stumbled upon the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes because I had to use the restroom. We were headed out of Wallace and I had just finished a huge cup of coffee at the Red Light Garage. I saw a visitor’s center with a public restroom so I stopped. Walking back to my car I noticed historical signs and various other memorabilia that seemed out of place, but not out of place. Then it hit me where I was. I spend the next hour walking along the walking trail wishing I had to time to bike it all the way to the border.

The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes was created through a unique partnership with the Coeur d’Alene tribe, Union Pacific Railroad, the US Government and the State of Idaho. It was a railroad route historically. Now the hiking/biking trail follows the path of the railroad. It is 72 miles long and begins in Plummer, Idaho. It ends in Mullan, Idaho. I was on a section of it just outside of Wallace. It is paved with 10 ft wide asphalt.

It’s a very unique day hike or, if you are a hiker, more. There are some amazing machinery displays at the site outside of Wallace. They are very intriguing to look at. Make it more than a restroom stop…it’s worth the stroll.

Location: Between Plummer and Mullan, Idaho. To start at the head of the trail the easies way to get there is to go to Plummer. Take ID-55 out of Boise for about 100 miles. Turn right onto US-95 N and stay on it for about another 245 miles. There are 20 developed trailheads that provide entry points along the trail.

For more information and a trail map visit http://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/trail-coeur-d-alenes

Hours: You can hike at any time, but walking in the dark isn’t advised.

Lodging: There is no camping on the trail; however, there are lots of campgrounds within walking distance of the trail.

Special Notes: You can hike/bike/snowshoe this trail. Be respectful of other visitors.

Kids would love the exploration of the trail and stopping at the trailheads. Take them to the visitors center in Wallace for hands on exploration of the railroad machinery.
Pets are allowed on the trail on a leash.
Handicap accessible – the path is 10 ft wide
Suggestions: Bring lots of water, a daypack, sunscreen, a first aid kit and a trail map

It gets cold in the evenings so be sure to bring something warm for when the sun goes down. Happy Hiking!

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