Coeur d'Alene Trail


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Coeur d'Alene Trail Facts

States: Idaho
Counties: Benewah, Kootenai, Shoshone
Length: 73.2 miles
Trail end points: 401 Anne Antelope Rd/Coeur d’Alene Tribe Veterans Memorial Park (Plummer) and River St at 2nd St (Mullan)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015690

Coeur d'Alene Trail Description

The Coeur d'Alene Trail covers 73 paved miles through scenic mountains and valleys in Idaho's Panhandle. The area has a rich mining, railroading and Native American history, too, and there are plenty of places to stop to enjoy the scenery and visit local attractions. So take a few days and plan an outdoor adventure here, exploring the trail in segments.

Between Harrison and Plummer the trail is just over 15 miles one way and skirts the shoreline of sparkling Lake Coeur d'Alene. Immerse yourself in this landscape of rolling foothills in the Palouse prairie. A few scattered confers dot the hills. Cross the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene over the Chatcolet Bridge. It has a stair-step ramp to ease the uphill climb and makes for an exhilarating ride downhill, rollercoaster-like.

At Heyburn State Park you can stop for a refreshing swim before carrying on to the western end point in Plummer.

Between Harrison and Medimont the trail passes through Idaho's chain-of-lakes region, linked by the Coeur d'Alene River. Watch for wildlife through here, including coyotes, otters, beavers, birds of prey, moose, and maybe even a black bear.

From Medimont east, the trail travels in Idaho's Silver Valley, once one of the most productive silver mining areas in the country. The Cataldo Mission State Park is nearby, and worth a visit, although you'll have a few miles of on-road riding off the trail to reach it.

From Cataldo the trail follows the Coeur d'Alene River through the Silver Valley. The mountains are more forested here as you head toward Kellogg, the largest town along the trail. There are plenty of places to eat here. Next along the way you'll reach historical Wallace, jam packed with restaurants and cool attractions. While you're here, cycle over to the intersection of 6th and Bank Streets and get your family picture taken at the Center of the Universe, your only opportunity on Earth.

You'll know when you reach the end of the trail in Mullen (2nd and River Streets): here the trail surface turns to gravel and continues east as the NorPac Trail. The NorPac Trail runs to Taft, situated only 2.5 miles from the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha, perhaps best known for the Taft Tunnel stretching more than 8,000 feet under the Bitterroot Mountains. The scenic trail was inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame with the Coeur d'Alenes Trail in 2010.

Potable water is not available throughout much of the trail or at trailheads. Bike-friendly businesses along the way will happily refill your water bottles.

This trail is a gateway to the Great American Rail-Trail, a nearly 4,000 mile developing trail that will connect the country from Washington, D.C., to Washington state. Gateway trails represent those iconic trails that make possible the Great American Rail-Trail in each of the states it connects. 

Parking and Trail Access

You can access the Coeur d'Alene Trail from many places along its route. For more details visit Idaho Parks & Recreation.

Coeur d'Alene Trail Reviews

Plummer to Harrison

Parked at the Plummer trailhead and rode to Harrison in mid-July. Ride to Harrison is great as it’s on the downhill grade. Yay! But you know what that means. Uphill on the way back so keep that in mind. The trail itself is still I. Good shape—there are some patched cracks but they’re not as bad as some other RTTs.

Beautiful Scenery

I wrote this trail from Harrison to Plummer. I especially enjoyed the ride across to bridge. The lake views are beautiful!

Be sure to plan around wildfire smoke in the late summer.

Be sure to plan around wildfire smoke in the late summer.

gorgeous September rides

Rode this trail in three segments with the Road Scholar group in early September. Beautifully maintained


Scenic and beautiful views!

This is my top 5 of all time bike trails. It is paved and goes 73 miles one way. There are bathrooms every so many miles and fantastic views. There is a bridge with look out and other beautiful lake views. A must see trail!!

Fantastic Trail!

My husband and I went on a biking vacation and rode most of this trail. Absolutely fantastic! Frequent restrooms along the route was a pleasant surprise. The views were amazing and the trail was clean of trash and homeless camps. Loved every minute of it. Stayed in an airBnb right on the trail which was so convenient. A+ rating for the trail. Fully paved and an easy ride.

best 3 day bike ride

Wife and I went on our first exclusive trip just to complete the entire trail both ways. We completed over three days and enjoyed every minute of it. Scenery is beautiful. Loved riding easy grade paved trail along rivers, lake, and hills. Would highly recommend this ride.

New Favorite Trail

Wow…really enjoyed this trail. Well worth taking the time to get there and ride. The trail description on TrailLink is very accurate. The trail surface was great, smooth and wide. Lots of folks take advantage of the trail and many, mostly, bikers were encountered. Plenty of information panels along the route with tables, benches and restrooms. This is a well maintained trail. Abundance of trail signage, mileage, etc. Mile 0 is about a ½ mile down the trail from the Plummer trailhead resulting in the ending point mileage of 71.4 at Mullan. Between mile 8 and 54 the trail is generally level, the other portions are railroad grade, so nothing overly taxing. Thinking this might be my new favorite trail.

Go in October, that’s all.

We loved this trail!! I would say it ranks up there with Hiawatha for scenery. We saw a cow moose and calf and SO many birds. The first time we did this trail, we started at Cataldo then about a mile or so into the trip there was a moose and calf in the left in the swamp. Beautiful, breathtaking scenery and in October the colorful leaves and weather are simply divine. ¿


Stayed in Kellogg and rode most of the trail. First day Harrison-Plummer and back, then Harrison-Black Rock and back. Lots of dead trees from forest fires. Second day Kellogg-Black Rock and back then Kellogg - Osborn and back in the afternoon. Decided to skip I-90 part from Osborn to Mullan and went MTB instead for a day. Lots of wildlife - moose, birds, turkeys. Not very many people riding in the end of September especially during the week. Harrison-Plummer is probably the most scenic.

trail closed from Plummer

Forest fires still smoldering

lovely beautiful ride

Glad we went on a weekday. And seeing 5 moose made our day. The bridge is awesome also. One of my very favorite rides.

Coeur d'Alene Trail

Rode the trail in June, 2021 as the first leg of the 300k Bitterroot Loop. Left our car at Harrison, stayed overnight at the Lakeview Lodge, and rode next day from Harrison to Wallace. Stayed at the Wallace Inn & then next day continued East to Mullan, then continued on Nor Pac & Olympian trails to Haugan. Trail surface was paved & very smooth, no problem for road bikes. Great views of Coeur D'Alene Lake & River. If it fits with your schedule, ride on a weekday, it will be less crowded.

The Best Trail. Ever.

I love this ride. Rode the whole trail over several weekends, broken up into chunks. I'd go 20 miles out – 20 miles back. You are mostly out in nature on this trail. I've seen moose, deer, lots of ducks and geese, cranes, coyote, etc.. Along the way are plaques explaining highlights and history of the area. And should you need, there are clean restrooms and benches and tables (in the shade) along the way. Be sure to treat yourself to a refreshing stop in Harrison, Enaville, Cataldo, Kellog, and Wallace. I planned my bike ride so I'd hit a cafe in one of these towns at just the right time to refresh myself with a cold beer and pulled-pork sandwich. I plan to ride this trail, or at least sections of it, once every year.


I have ridden this trail twice. Very nice,relaxing,simply fantastic but that Harrison to Plummer section is one long uphill. The ice cream store in Harrison a wonderful break spot. I wish this trail was closer to my residence. Trail of the Hiawatha is also quite nice but buy or rent a very good light which WILL make or break your ride. All in all, these places are definite bucket list rides you do not want to miss!!

4 days on the CdA

Rode the trail end to end and back again, Sept 2020. Camped in local USFS campgrounds. Had to ride each segment up and back as there was no shuttle due to C19. Great ride. All segments different. Was over 100 degrees the last day and got way overheated. Trail heads are clean and well spaced and bathrooms en route. If you can meet some other riders to share shuttling that would be ideal. Really enjoyed the ride.

love it

We parked in Harrison and rode to Plummer. Beautiful ride. Yes, the last 5 miles into Plummer have an incline but not bad. Well worth it. Rode back to Harrison for lunch. 30 miles.

Smoky Air cut the trip short

Amazing ride, but I advise making this trip in the spring. We waited till September to avoid the heat, but ended up in "dangerous" air quality on account of the forest fires. Loved the paved trail. We rode from Plummer to Harrison the first day, 16 miles. Mostly downhill and lovely tree-lined hills, then the cool bridge and... pelicans! They did a flyover, welcoming us to the lake. The next day we rode to Kellogg. Enjoyed the views the first two thirds, not so much near Smelterville. Anime illness annexed the trip, salt. Still, a great, fun ride.

The trail deserves its ratings!

Two friends and I biked from Chatcolet to a few miles beyond Harrison, a round trip of 24 miles. Saw moose, birds, and little critters, ate our picnic on the trail, and enjoyed ice cream in Harrison on the way back. Gorgeous day, lovely scenery, well-maintained trail with plenty of facilities and easy to ride, and lots of friendly people!! Do yourselves a favor and ride the Trail of the CdA!

Trail of the CDA

This is a fantastic trail. Highly recommend if you like variety.

Started at Chatcolet and did a r/t of about 25 miles. Amazing views, also saw white pelicans and a couple moose munching in the weeds. No issues with the paved trail. Definitely doing this trail again.

Started at Chatcolet and did a r/t of about 25 miles. Amazing views, also saw white pelicans and a couple moose munching in the weeds. No issues with the paved trail. Definitely doing this trail again.

Trail of the Couer d’ Alene and Hiawatha

Linked these two trails together. Rode by myself on my Bike Friday Llama.
Stayed in motels 2 nights. Great ride except for getting buzzed by some punk on a quad.

We'll be back.

👍 👍 👍

Rode the whole route and it was grins the whole way. I was a self contained tourist rided 38 mm tires and it was like a smooth road with no cars. FANTASTIC.

Rode the whole route and it was grins the whole way. I was a self contained tourist rided 38 mm tires and it was like a smooth road with no cars. FANTASTIC.

E bikes not allowed

Absolutely beautiful ride!! Along the way we discovered that legislation has been passed to not allow Ebikes... what a bummer!

Century Ride!

Rode the entire trail from Mullan to Plummer back to Rose Lake and then back to Harrison to do 100 miles. Perfect weather and the scenery was so outstanding the miles just flew by! Absolutely loved this trail ! I went early July.

Outstanding Trail

I road a section of the beginning of this trail from Plummer, ID to the famous Chatcolet Bridge, and another section from Osborn, ID to Mullan, ID. This is an outstanding paved trail with beautiful scenery. The sections I road were fairly easy for riding. I will definitely be riding this trail when in the area again.

Beautiful ride on a great trail

We really enjoyed our mid-May ride of this beautiful trail . The trail itself is in great shape, cyclists facilities are plentiful and well maintained and the sights along the Trail are great to experience. I can't wait to tackle more of this trail next time we get to Idaho. Can't recommend this trail highly enough!

80 miler out and back

Departed the Enaville trail-head at dawn on July 29. 2018 and rode to Chatcolet bridge by mid-morning. Stopped at Harrison for lunch on the ride back (One Shot Charlies) and returned to Enaville in the afternoon.

Total miles was 79.5 - but we are rounding it to 80!!

Excellent ride that was cool at the start (55f at 6 am) and hot at the end (95f at 4 pm).

Three of us riding (myself, age 53, wife age 52, and daughter age 21).

It was an epic trip and I cant say enough positive things about this trail.

Rose Lake Trailhead to Chatcolat Trailhead

My wife dropped me off at Rose Lake Trailhead. I rode the trail to Harrison, had lunch with her, and then did a round trip to Chatcolat Trailhead and back to Harrison. This was a beautiful, flat ride. I enjoyed this more than any paved trail ride I have done. It was 18 miles on the first leg and then 15.5 on the ride to Chatcolat and back.

I passed some small groups of walkers near trailheads. Everyone I encountered, both on bikes and walking, shared the trail and we all enjoyed our day. Great, easy ride!

Chatcolete to Harrison

Super easy ride! We parked at Chatcolete campground, paid the nominal fee (support our parks!) and had a beautiful 16 mile round trip ride to Harrison. No hills except the bridge which is one reason I choose rails-to-trails. 1 bathroom with flush toilets at the campground and two pit toilets on the way to Harrison. Enjoy your ride!

71 Miles in a Day!

My buddy whos a biker came up with the idea of doing the whole 70+mile trip from Plummer to Mullan. Not having rid a bike for 10 or so years, was a little worried about if i was going to make it or not. The first 50miles of the trail was beautiful. Saw a moose and a bunch of other wildlife. There were these chipmunks at one of the stop who greeted us with hyperactive kindness. Climbing up or packs and runing around our bikes. Had a popped tire along mile 45, but luckily there was a walmart just a fews miles down. Overall the trip was painful (due to the fact i havent rid a bike in so long,) peaceful, fun, and super rewarding once we hit that final mile marker in Mullan. I have always loved adventure and never one to back down to challenges. I dont regret taking this trip, and we are planning on next yeqr doing a two day trip from one end to the other and back.

Ride During Western Heat Wave

Road most of the trail starting in Plummer and going to Wallace. Road 2 days – first to Rose/Bull Lake and then day 2 to Wallace. Very nice trail especially the western sections, once you get past the Pinehurst area, you are out in the open more, near I-90, and the wind can be bad. Be sure you have water since there are very few places to get water. The trail goes along the lake by Harrison where the town is mostly up on the hills above the trail, so you might have to walk up the hill if the little marina store isn’t open. Lots of “facilities” along the way. If you happen to come upon a moose give them their space. They can be dangerous. Would recommend starting early when it is going to be hot, particularly an issue on the eastern parts.

best skate path

Yes I have skated this 73 mile path. It is one of the smoothest paths in USA. I skated West and paid one of the locals ($50)to come and pick us up at the end of the trail. Gary Krupey 636-343-4898

Great group Trail

This Trail is great for the following reasons: 1-good for groups of all ages and skill level. 2-lotz of access points to service a group. we had 17 riders with me as support. i met them at several points along the way for repairs, lunch, snacks and hydration. 3. nature/scenery. 4-access at certain trail heads to parks, lakes, camping or city amenities.Ours was a boy scout troup + parents. our group did about 50 miles of this trail in a day. 5- mostly flat surfaces with trails in good shape.

A rail-trail riders dream

73 miles of smooth paved trail is about as good as it gets in the trail world. We stayed in the Harrison city campground and rode a different way each day. (By the way, Harrison is a swinging little town on the weekends.) The ride to Plummer is great. Yes 6 miles uphill at the end, but boy are you rewarded on the return trip. Didn't pedal once for over 5 miles on the downhill! Great trail.

Flat flat flat

This trail is great to do for distance. The pavement is mostly smooth and because there are no hills you can really cruise. However there are two problems with the fact that it's paved and flat. ...when I decided to do a "century" using my mountain bike on one of the hottest days of the year! as the temperature rose my tires gripped more and more to the asphalt. And as I wearily peddled back to my starting point in Kellogg, I was wishing for even a small slope so I could stop peddling for even 20 seconds! I was envious of those on road bikes who flew by me. And thankful to the kind gentleman who gave me 2 extra bottles of water when I was running low. This trail follows the river for several miles and in some spots there's a bit of shade. There's also a long stretch across a swampy area that has no shade for miles and you do NOT want to be stuck biking there when it's 105 degrees!There are plenty of potties and picnic areas, just no water. Bring lots. (I had over 5 liters and still ran out).On a normal day if the temperature is in the 70s or so a mountain bike would be fine. Otherwise when it's hot, use something with narrower tyres.Plan to do a lot of peddling. Even if you aren't doing 100km.The main reason I'm giving this a 3 star is thst I just didn't find it as scenic or historical as other rails to trails. But if you want to go for a nice long ride on a flat trail then this is perfect.

Destination Trail

This is our "go to" trail for a fun cycling vacation. It has easy access for trikes, long uninterrupted paved trail with frequent trailside rest areas. This trail is also an easy one day drive from the Puget Sound Area. We have been coming here for at least 10 years.

Yes, I'm spoiled, I live in Idaho

First rode the trail of the C D'Alenes almost ten years ago. I have told anyone who will listen, over the years; "You have to go do this. Any child can handle the flat grade." The scenery is really fine, reminiscent of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York (if that gives you a reference.) The climate is very gentle. The wildlife is continuous, from white-tails running alongside the trail before sunrise, Ospreys plucking fish out of the water before your eyes, yes there was a bear on the trail about 50 yards ahead. Turtles, even the bugling of elk in the cold mist during the Fall. I have ridden from Plummer to Wallace and back numerous times in Spring, Summer, and Fall. You have to do this. And wnile you're near, don't miss The Hiawatha Trail uphill from Avery. Same neck of the woods, same outstanding Northern Idaho. This is why you ride a bicycle.

A definite candidate for our 2016 tour of Idaho

Check out this video of the Chatcolet Bridge

Awesome Trail

Rode this trail end to end a couple of weeks ago. Trail is neat and smooth as silk. Really a beautiful ride, amazing scenery and wildlife. Probably will do it again in the spring....

Spectacular ride

We rode from Mullan to Plummer in what can be described as spectacular. We travelled from Edmonton Alberta on Sept 21/2014. The ride exceeded all expectations. Beautiful scenery and the trail is in perfect condition. Road riding without vehicle traffic is so much more enjoyable.

The bonus was also riding the Idaho Centennial Trail around Coeur d"Alene on day 2 and then riding the same trail to Spokane on day3. Also a great ride and the Washington portion of the Centennial Trail was fantastic even though we found little info on it.

To top it off we had great accommodations in Coeur d"Alene and enjoyed several great restaurants. Will definitely be returning to this charming area for more biking and to enjoy the friendly community.

When we were riding in traffic the drivers were some of the most courteous I have ever experienced.

Riding the coeur d' Alene trail

We heard so much about the trail we included it in our trip after visiting lake Louise
Only mistake we made was taking the scenic route from I-90 on 97 to Harrison.
It would have been ok with a car, but a RV was a little scary! The town of Harrison was great! I loved it! Good food, very nice people, interesting shops.small unique town. Karaoke not good at the "landing" on sat night. Too loud shouting, not singing,But so what. We stayed at the city campground right on the lake. Loved it!
Rode to Plummer and coasted back 6 miles to the park. Gradual incline from the park to Plummer 3%. Then rode from to Harrison to mile 39 the next day. Saw two moose swimming across the water a little east of the ranch with white fences. Matter a fact they ended up across the ditch from us and when they snorted we rode fast away!
Then we moved up to Osburn to the RV park right near town. Nice place. Rode back to mile 40 and back first day, then rode up to Mulford , all UPHILL! Stopped at Wallace on way down, coasted 10 miles! (I like to make a game of doing things)
Wallace is also a very interesting old town.
Some young woman stole something from a gas station so the "law" was looking for her. It was kind of funny watching them go into each business in town looking for her. We were told the description of her so we could keep our "eyes" out looking too. Did not do the Hiawatha trail, due to shuttle bus only runs on weekends in sept.
Locals all said to do it, but we were not up to riding up hill again!

Put this trail on the bucket list!

Rode from Plummer to Osburn today. Wanted to go further but the temperature was around 93 degrees and it took its toll on me. The trail exceeded expectations. Paved all the way. Gentle grade. Plenty of rest stops. Beautiful scenery. Road bike friendly.

Beautiful ride on Trail Ceour d'Alene

We biked from Chatcolet at Heyburn State Park to the Monmount trail head---about 37 miles round trip on our recumbent trikes. I have never taken a more beautiful ride. The bridge across the lake was unique and fun and the scenery was unmatched. We saw a moose, deer, lots of different birds and ton of wildflowers. I would definitely ride this trail again!!!


We biked from Osburn to Heyburn State Park, but the next time we do it, I'd prefer to do Plummer to Pinehurst. Like many others here, I wasn't especially fond of the highway presence from Pinehurst to Osburn. Other than that though, it was an exceptional ride. We biked it on one of the hottest weekends of the year, and I'd really love to experience it in the fall and spring. It's a shame that you can't camp along the way, but maybe that will change. I loved the remoteness of it and the diversity of scenery. Be sure to bring food and water.


We biked from Osburn to Heyburn State Park, but the next time we do it, I'd prefer to do Plummer to Pinehurst. Like many others here, I wasn't especially fond of the highway presence from Pinehurst to Osburn. Other than that though, it was an exceptional ride. We biked it on one of the hottest weekends of the year, and I'd really love to experience it in the fall and spring. It's a shame that you can't camp along the way, but maybe that will change. I loved the remoteness of it and the diversity of scenery. Be sure to bring food and water.

Run the entire trail

Anyone interested in running the entire trail this spring/summer ? I live a mile from the trail and feel its call to run it non-stop. If your interested feel free to email me at

Loved this trail a second time

We rode this entire trail three years ago and loved it then. We returned this year and rode a portion of it while camping at Heyburn State Park near Plummer, and it was as nice as we remembered. The scenery is wonderful and the trail surface immaculately kept. Lots of restrooms and picnic tables along the way. This is one of our favorites of all time. We did get to see a moose munching on grass along the trail near Harrison.

Plummer to Cataldo is all that is worth ridding.

We had an outfitter drop us off at Plummer. There is a steep downhill 6 mile ride to the lake. From there on it's about 10 miles to the village of Harrison, where there are all the services one would need, including restaurants, lodging, convenient store, cafe, etc. The ride from Plummer to Cataldo, is very rural and scenic with spectacular scenery. However, shortly past the "oldest bar in Idaho" you enter an industrial area and something that is marked (and only occasionally) as the "Silver Trail." Almost all of this part is within 100 yards of Interstate 90 with all of its noise and fumes.

Western 1/3 in the heat

We rode the western 24 miles from Enaville to Mullan and back on what was probably the hottest day of the summer so far, mid to upper 90s and no breeze or clouds. And I thought the mountains would be cooler! Enaville had parking and pit toilets, plus a lot of local youths headed just east down the trail to a swimming hole. We headed the other direction and didn't see how far they had to walk.

The heat plus the unexpected grade (the climb is not steady, it starts west of Kellogg) made the round-trip a bit slower and more difficult than I expected. Still, the good condition of the pavement plus adequate restroom facilities, water and picnic tables along the way make this a pleasant trail. Just pick your distance and you'll find a place to park and head out.

Others have mentioned the presence of I-90 nearby, but it didn't bother me. The rest of the trail doesn't seem to follow highways as closely or to be as steep. This is a trail I will want to ride again next time I'm in the vicinity.

Trail CdA in the Rain and the Cold

We rode this trail about 2 years ago, from Plummer, across the lake, in the RAIN and the COLD. We spent the night near CdA, this year, in some hotel (which will forever remain nameless) and PLANNED to ride more of this trail (somewhere on the eastern-end), the next morning.... - However we awoke to temperatures less than 50 F and MAJOR rain, and wind, and 'gave-up' -

BUT - that's not to say that this trail is ALWAYS in the RAIN, just happens to be for us... - the Plummer-end, we found 2 years ago, has a HILL... but the beauty of the area, the lake and the scenery around make the HILL minimal, at best.

We are definitely interested in riding this trail, from one end to the other, at some point...

Beautiful Trail

Tons of wildlife- geese, ducks, cranes, moose, deer... Lots of benches and picnic tables along the trail. This trail was absolutely beautiful!

This is Life

It is such a wonderful trail even for those of us in our 70's..The bridge is the only hard part. We did it over several days...Going out 15 to 20 miles and returning. There can be no more lovely spot...

Great family ride

We just finished up a 3 day ride on the CDA trail, great family ride! The best part was that my 5 year old son was able to ride the entire length from Mullan to Chatcolet and my 2.5 year old daughter even biked several miles at various times on her Stryder pedal-less bike, the entire length is beautiful smooth pavement! Arriving at Mullan the night before we started we got a room at the Lookout Pass motel, it is an absolute dive with mostly monthly rental guests, I'd stay there again but only with some of my dirt bag friends but it wasn't really fit even for my tough and hardened wife, kids didn't even notice but that one of their beauties, I will say that as horrible as the place is it is very cheap and the sheets were surprisingly clean. With 20/20 hind site, stay in Wallace ID (6 mile away) and just drive back to Mullan to start the next morning. Wallace is super charming and has good food to boot. The first day we rode from Mullan to Kellogg, nearly all downhill, nearly all adjacent to I90, lots of highway noise, lots of clear cuts and super fund sites...still nice in many ways though. That said will still do it again, smooth and downhill! If you stay in Kellogg you must eat at the Moose Creek Grill, an extremely high quality american bistro and the best restaurant by far we saw on the whole trip, their entrees and desserts are to die for, the service and owner are top notch and the atmosphere is great. The second day we left Kellogg and rode by some more not so nice super fund type stuff with adjacent highway but for only a short while. Once you get to Enaville the trail gets very very nice, literally a hundred yards from the "Snake Pit Restaurant" we saw our first Moose, got away from the highway finally and started really enjoying it all. We biked the beautiful and flat 38 miles to Harrison and stayed at the Lake View Lodge, really unique great rooms and views, there is a very nice public beach very close which the kids really enjoyed. The food is not so hot in Harrison, just okay bar food and pizza. The third and final day we rode about 8 miles to Chatcolet bridge, on the other side there is finally the first and only swimming beach since Harrison, what a great place to finish for us with a great swim before we returned 8 miles to Harrison for another night at the Lake View. For a shuttle we were very happy with Lou (208)818-2254, I drove the 1.25 hr from Mullan to Harrison and left our car there and Lou drove me back to Mullan all for $105, seemed very fair, there are other options too. Beware of certain young male ego maniac riders around the busy part of the trail (15 miles on both sides of Harrison), most people (all females and older men actually) showed respect and courtesy by slowing down to our young kids who were trying their best to hold their lines and obey the rules of the trail but on several occasions some TDF wannabes blazed by my little girl on her pedal-less bike at nearly 40mph without any consideration to the potential consequences of a collision. Overall this is a great ride suitable for all ages and levels of fitness.

Couer d Alene trail and hiawatha

The answer to the winter use of the CDL and hiwiatha trails in Idaho & Montana is the latter is closed in winter due to extreme snow cover, the CDL is open but due to excessive snow and ice it is only accessible with mt bike and studded snow tires. If you are from a warm southern CA environment they do make snow tires with ice studs for bikes we have them in Montana which is how we ride 12months a year. Just like a car you put them on in October and remove them in the spring
Hope this helps and see you on the trails
Montana Rider

Winter Sports on the TCdA - yep!

I see there is a question about using the trail in winter, so I checked with the local trikers there and you can ski and such...

"During the winter, the Trail is open for bikes, walkers and cross-country skiers depending on snow coverage. When appropriate, ski tracks are laid between Enaville and Wallace. In addition, the six miles between Wallace and Mullan is also available to snowmobilers as long as there is at least 3 inches of snow covering the paving."


Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is open year round

The CdA trail is open year round for winter recreation. Since the trail passed through towns, trailheads and road crossings, access is easy in most places. The east end to Mullan is open to snowmobiles, snow depth permitting. Currently (Jan 17 2012) there is about 6 inches of fresh powder snow on the trail in the Silver Valley area, except where it is plowed for walking near Kellogg, ID.

On the Friends of the Trail web page, scroll down a ways to Current conditions. This is a quote:

"During the winter, the Trail is open for bikes, walkers and cross-country skiers depending on snow coverage. When appropriate, ski tracks are laid between Enaville and Wallace. In addition, the six miles between Wallace and Mullan is also available to snowmobilers as long as there is at least 3 inches of snow covering the paving."

Let's go skiing!


World's greatest trail combination

The Couer d' alene & Hiawatha trails are two of America's premier rail-trails. Combine them, and they may be the greatest in the world. After riding on the Route of the Hiawatha in 1998, I became hooked on rail trails and now spend an inordinate amount of time riding on them and writing about them.

I noticed that Traillink shows the Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes as being nordic ski accessible but on the Friends of the CTA website, it says the trail is not accessible in the winter. If someone knows the official answer, could you post it on the comment section of the Trail of the Couer d' Alenes page on Thanks!!

Amazing trail and superb tour company

My wife and I rode the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, the Hiawatha Trail and the Washington/Idaho Centennial trail and a great self-guided tour this past summer organized by Silver Bike Tours based in Coeur d'Alene. They provided a quality hybrid bike and all the gear, made our lodging arrangements, provided luggage transfers and transportation to the trailheads as needed. All three trails are fantastic and much of the ride is along water - starting along the Spokane River from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene, then along Lake Coeur d'Alene and the Coeur d'Alene river on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. The grand finale was the Hiawatha Trail with it's long tunnels and spectacular trestles, unique in the Rails-to-Trails system. You can find out more information about the 5-day tour we did at Our favorite meal stop by the way was at the Enaville Snake Pit, a character-filled cafe along the way. Don't miss out on a visit to the historic Cataldo Mission too.

Came all the way from Los Angeles to skate this trail

I flew up from Los Angeles one weekend in october for the sole purpose of skating this magnificent trail. The CDA trail is by far the best trail for long distance inline skating in North America. The asphalt is nice and smooth all along, and the scenery is beautiful. Thank you Union Pacific Railroad Company and the people in Idaho for paving this wonderful trail.

I moved to Enaville to use this trail

First rode this trail in spring of 2006 and fell in love with it. So much so that we bought property half mile from the Enaville SnakePit to be able to park our 5th wheel and use the trail all summer long. I have just passed 8,000 miles traveled. I ride a bike, walk the dog and (until recently when I tore my rotator cuff) roller blade. My wife power walks regularly.

For uninterrupted long distance smooth road biking, it can't be beat. I recommend the Century from Pinehurst to Plumber and back: only 2 road crossings and very light usage. In fact, midweek you are more apt to encounter a moose than another person! Harrison is the only civilization and it provides a nice break at 33 and 66 mile points. The 6 mile climb to Plumber and subsequent fast descent provide variety from the otherwise flat ride.

A dream fulfilled!

We have driven across the top of Idaho several times to visit our daughter in Spokane and it has been my husband's dream to one day ride some of this trail. We accomplished it this past Labor Day weekend. We did the lake section from Harrison to Plummer and back. It was nice to do the uphill portion first knowing that our reward would be the downhill ride. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and the weather could not have been more delightful. Don't miss ice cream at the Creamery in Harrison to reward yourself. My daughter and I had hot fudge sundaes which were the best I've ever had...the shop also serves homemade fudge which was melted and then poured on the ice cream, yum!

We did several other sections of the trail as well as the Hiawatha trail. The Hiawatha trail was a bit rougher than we had anticipated. Our hybrid bikes made it fine but mountain bikes might make the ride more comfortable.

We stayed at the Guesthouse Suites in Kellog which I would recommend for location and access to the trail which is right outside the hotel. The Moose Creek Inn in Kellog is a delightful restaurant which is also just a short bike ride from the hotel, try there Lasagna which might be the best I've had in a long time!

Trail of the Coeur d' Alenes

I finally got to ride the trail in August and it was spectacular! I rode from Wallace to Heyburn State Park. I camped over night and rode back to Wallace the next day. The scenery made the ride seem like a 10 mile ride. I never thought once about the distance that I was riding. The trail was pretty busy on Saturday near Cataldo, but wasn't a problem.
I encourage everybody to get out and ride this trail if they get the chance!

Great Trip

My Wife & I just finished riding the trail from Mullan to Plumber. We took 3 days. It was a great trip. We had lunch in Wallace at 1313 a bar and grill. The food was excellent. We stayed in Enaville at a bed and breakfast called Country Lane Resort on the River (208) 682-2698. It was 6 miles away from the trail, slightly uphill. The place, people and food were fantastic. Well worth the trip out of the way. Our next night was in Harrison. Very small community, not nearly as nice as the bed and breakfast. It was a weekday, there was no place to get breakfast and we didn’t want to hang around and wait for lunch. There was instant oatmeal, coffee, and snack bars, etc. from their little convenience store. Saw lots of birds and a muskrat, but nothing larger on the trail. We enjoyed the trip, everything was clean and well maintained. Do make sure you pack lots of water with you.

Great family trail. Ultra scenic and downhill...if you do it right!

Great trail for family ride. We rode downhill from Mullan to Harrison then shuttled to Plummer and rode downhill back to Harrison. Very easy, even for 11 year old son and non-biking husband. Absolutely beautiful scenery. Much wildlife including moose, dear, birds, and wildflowers in July. Clean restrooms along the trail at easy intervals. Great bakeshops in Harrison and Kellogg for support and rentals. Very friendly locals in small towns along the trail. Great little restaurants and bars along the way for refreshments. Highly recommend this trail!

Great trail

We biked this trail in three days in early September 2010. It is a wonderful, well-maintained trail. Glad we did it.

Great trail

My wife and I just got back from a two day trip on this trail. We got a ride (John at Bike Peddlers in Harrison hauled us up to the top. He runs the only transport service that I could find. Talking to him for an hour and a half was worth the price!!!) up to Mullan, so the first 20 miles was downhill. The scenery was beautiful. The trail is paved the entire route. That makes for an incredibly smooth ride. We hit two minor bumps in 73 miles. We rode 57 miles to Harrison the first day and stayed in a motel with a balcony looking out over Lake Coeur d'Alene. The next day we did 31 miles up to Plummer and back. The only uphill was the 6 miles climbing up out of the lake basin to Plummer. The return trip was a rush, coasting the first 6 miles. We didn't see a moose, but several were seen on the day we were on the trail, just not by us.

The only problem on the trail is water. None of the trail heads have water because of the fear of lead pollution from the old mine at Kellogg and the fact that the railroad used mine waste to build the track on. Therefore, either carry it with you (we both had 100 oz Camelbaks and did fine). You can get water in any of the small towns that you go thru. From Enaville to Harrison, though, there are no towns. NOT allowed because the scenery is too beautiful!!

Great ride for mountain, street, or hybrid bikes. We have a hybrid Trek tandom that was really fun to ride on this trail. Wish I lived closer so could do this ride often. The best trail that I have ever been on overall.

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in North Idaho

A cycle vacation on the 72-mile paved Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes in North Idaho is a great way to discover the beauty, rich history, culture, people, and ambiance of the seven mountain communities the trail touches. You can easily spend a whole week exploring everything there is to do. There is a handy list of FAQs at, and the Idaho State Parks and Recreation Dept. provides updates on trail conditions at 208-682-3814.

Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation and Heyburn State Park

Start at Plummer, Idaho, on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation by checking out the new metal sculpture and memorial wall at the trailhead to honor the tribe's veterans. The modern and spacious tribal Wellness Center just south of the trailhead welcomes day visitors for $5. There are no water fountains at any of the trailheads or wayside stops along the trail, except here, so get water at the stores in the towns along the way.

From Plummer, there's a nice seven-mile ride, mostly downhill, through a forested canyon. There are a couple of rest areas along the way before reaching Heyburn State Park on the south end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Camping along the trail is prohibited, except at developed sites, and Heyburn has lots of them. The three-mile hike at Indian Cliffs Trailhead is a great place to get an overview of the surrounding mountains and waters. The trail crosses to the east side of the lake in the park over Chatcolet Bridge, which once swung open to let steamboats through on their way up the St. Joe River. It was retrofitted as part of the rails-to-trails conversion with a kind of stairstep design that offers a bit of respite from the climb up and lots of woop-de-doos on the way down. The first 15 miles of the trail are on the Indian reservation so the rest stops are named in the Coeur d'Alene language and the interpretive signs point out places of significance to the tribe. Find information about the tribe's involvement with the trail at:

Harrison to Cataldo

On the edge of the rez is the quaint town of Harrison, with restaurants, an art gallery that features regional talent, historical museum, shops, live music, wine tasting, cycle rentals, flat water kayaking, a public beach, and a variety of lodgings, including a campground right on the water. There are bike racks
all over town to welcome cyclists and a lot of riders can be found parked in front of the Creamery and Gig's Landing enjoying ice cream treats.

After Harrison, there is a 25-mile stretch through a remote area with no services, other than the wayside rest areas, some of which have restrooms, so you will definitely want to make sure your water containers are full. Keep your eye out for osprey and eagles as you ride through the Thompson Lake Wildlife Management Area along the Coeur d'Alene River. You'll come out at the Cataldo Trailhead on the western edge of Idaho's historic Silver Valley. There is a spacious campground here along the river and a homey inn where you can get a bite to eat. The Coeur d'Alenes Old Mission Park is an easy three mile side trip and well worth the detour. It features Idaho's oldest existing building, a rustic, but elegant cathedral constructed by Coeur d'Alene Indians and Jesuit Priests in the mid 1800. It may be the only place you'll ever see a ceiling stained with huckleberry juice.

The North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River

Cycle on to Kellogg and Wallace in the heart of the Silver Valley for more adventures. A favorite stop along the way is the historic Snake Pit restaurant and bar where the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River flows into the main stem. There's another tempting detour here, six miles upriver to the Country Lane Resort, where guests can enjoy a fully outfitted float down the North Fork or a fishing trip to a backwoods pond stocked with trout.

Kellogg and Silver Mountain

In Kellogg, ride the gondola to mountaintop activities at Silver Mountain. Pick huckleberries, play Frisbee golf, hunt for geocaches, or trade your trail bike for mountain bike and zoom down 4,000 vertical feet back to Gondola Village. One of my favorite tours in the Valley is the Crystal Gold Mine. There is even free camping for self-contained RVs here. This is the "metro" section of the trail, in other words, you'll be riding in proximity to traffic on I-90 and have access to lots of goods and services. Don't miss the Staff House Mining Museum at the Silver Mountain Trailhead for a historical ground truthing on the area you are riding through.

Step Back in Time in Wallace

Further east in Wallace you will discover a veritable collector's paradise with shop after shop packed with fascinating antiques and one-of-a-kind finds. Is that a spaceship in front of the Red Light Garage restaurant? There is a lively theater troop here, so take in a rollicking show at the Sixth Street
Theater, check out the Northern Pacific Railway Museum, take historic tours on trolleys with guides dressed in period costumes, or just relax at a sidewalk table at one of Wallace's great restaurants and admire the Bitterroot Mountains that circle the town. A mile out of Wallace, you can hike on the Pulaski Trail along Placer Creek. This two-mile trail ends at an old mine tunnel where 45 firefighters and two horses sought refuge from the Great Fire of 1910, which burned a whopping three million acres in the Bitterroots during one horrible weekend 100 years ago. Oh, did I mention that Wallace is the alleged "Center of the Universe?" You'll just have to check this one out for yourselves.

Mullan and Backroads to the Route of the Hiawatha

The last stop on the trail is the old mining town of Mullan six miles shy of the Montana border. Add your name to the guest book of trail riders from around the world at the Bitterroot Coffee house. The Captain John Mullan Museum is the cultural highlight here, but it's only open on weekdays. Some travelers continue on to Lookout Pass and the Route of the Hiawatha through backcountry trails from Mullan. Directions on how to do this are provided by volunteers of the Friends of the Coeur d'Alene Trails at: This group of trail supporters also publishes a fine trail map, so check out their website. The Friends promote the 300k Bitterroot Loop, which includes the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, the Route of the Hiawatha, and the multi use Milwaukee Scenic Route back towards St. Maries, near Heyburn State Park.

Everyone is saying great things about the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene's, and these are just some of the gems to discover along the way.

A+ Trail of the Couer d'Alene

We have ridden this trail twice, first in 2008 and then again in 2010. I have described both approaches below.

The 72 mile paved trail extends from Plummer, Idaho to Mullan, Idaho. The natural scenery is wonderful and osprey, eagles and moose sitings are common. A trail map is available on the Friends of Trail of the Couer d'Alene website and a free trail map which includes mileage between trailheads and an overall trail elevation picture can be requested from the same website. The trail is located in Idaho's Silver Valley from which the largest amount of silver has been extracted in the world. The original rail line was built on contaminated silver mine trailings and later capped with the asphalt trail used today. Because of the contamination that is under the trail, trail users are encouraged to stay on the trail and to not drink the water. The trail itself is smooth and meticulously maintained by the Couer d'Alene tribe and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Sure, one can ride the entire trail from start to finish in one day but consider riding this trail over two or three days and take in some local activities on each day.

Our original intent was to park at the Plummer trail head (mile 0) and ride the entire trail out and back with an overnight stay in Kellogg (mile 53.8). We changed our approach after learning that a 230 foot section of the trail had washout in 2008 which we would not be able to bypass. Our new approach ended up being a great way to ride the trail.

Our new plan was to stay in Harrison (mile 15.3) the night before our ride began. Harrison has a beautiful view of Lake Couer d'Alene. Lodging options include an RV / tent site, the Lakeview lodge motel, the Osprey B&B and the Wild Boar B&B.

Day 1: We rode from Harrison (mile 15.3) to the Plummer trail head (mile 0), then returned through Harrison and onto the washed out trail section (approximately the Springston Trailhead mile 18.4) and back to Harrison.
Mileage: 39.4 miles.

We drove to Kellogg, checked into our hotel and explored Kellogg. Kellogg lodging options include the Silver Mountain resort and also the Guest Inn (other options are also available, check those out, too!). Kellogg has a ski resort and access to the world's longest gondola is literally at the front door of either of these lodging facilities listed. The gondola runs in the summer so one can ride to the top for the view or take a mountain bike up and ride down. The Couer d'Alene trail runs past these facilities.

Day 2: We road from Kellogg (mile 53.1) to Mullen (mile 71.4) then back to Kellogg (mile 53.1).
Approximate mileage: 36.6.

On our return bike ride, we stopped in Wallace (mile 64.6) and had lunch. We also took the town trolley tour and silver mine tour. The silver mine tour is lead by a miner, who operated equipment for us, and told us about the Sunshine mining disaster in the area.

We spent another night the night in Kellogg.

Day 3: We road from Kellogg (mile 53.1) to the washout (approximately Springston trailhead mile 18.4) and back to Kellogg (mile 53.1). We saw a moose enjoying the water this day.
Mileage: 69.4

The 2008 washout section was fixed in 2008 so we did not need to consider a work around in 2010. The night before we began our ride, we stayed in Harrison. We had a non-riding member who ferried us to the Plummer trailhead in the morning. The roadway to Plummer does not parallel the trail so it was a little out of the way to drive to the trail head. If we were to do this approach again, we would ride our bikes to the Plummer trail head for an additional 15.3 miles that day.

Day 1: We rode from Plummer (mile 0) to Kellogg (mile 53.1).
We had two moose sitings this day.

Day 2: We rode from Kellogg (mile 53.1) to Mullan (71.4) and returned to Kellogg (mile 53.1).
We had saw a mother and calf moose this day.

needs to be in the RTC Hall of Fame

This trail needs to be in the Rails to Trails Hall of Fame. It has one of the best combinations of scenery and good trail surface of any trail in North America.




September 23, 2009


Scenery – 5*, Trailbed – 5*, Facilities-4* … another delightful rural ride down a quiet river.

Day Three and we head out from Killarney Lake to explore. Checked out camping at Rose Lake. No camping there. You cannot trust the tent symbols on those maps unless you have a second source. This one was “iffy.” Would have been a great base. Close to freeway and the trail. Too good to be true.

The Bull Run Lake Trailhead at the top of the Chain Lakes south of Rose Lake and across the river was a very nice facility. Looks like a good place to ride up the river to Enaville TH (13.6) or down to Harrison (17.1). We moved on, exploring up the valley and landed at the Enaville Trailhead.

This trailhead has some features not found in the average facility. Across the highway is a local landmark called the “Snake Pit.” Since 1888. It may have been a cat house and rowdy groggery Back When, but there sure were a lot of bikies pedaling over. Perhaps it was the Cold Beer on the sign. The day was hot.

The next trailhead up the trail is Pine Creek, but Enaville has more charm, shade and better adjacent facilities. Park the van, assembly the folding mountain bike, equip it and head SW, down the river. Destination: River Bend Wayside & Restroom. This is a pleasant and quiet rural ride through pine forests and meadows along the river, with the hills crowding close to the trail. The river meanders in a series of loops down to the Chain Lakes. The vistas here were a little closer than found in the Chain Lakes.

Found that there is a pit stop at the Cataldo TH. The maps don’t show it, but they have a portaloo there. They also have shade, which was welcome as the day was HOT. (TB had avoided coming in summer when 100+ is the norm – or a thunderstorm. In late September it was only in the ‘90s. Improvement?)

The one adventure was on the way back: ToolBear meets Ms. Moose. Finally. Everyone else has moose pix. There were enough moose tracks on the trail. Now something ahead was browsing in a thicket along the trail. Could have been a horse. There are ranches along this stretch.

Approach slowly. Look. It looks back. Looks like a horse. However, does the average horse have one of those straggly chin beards that the teens grow? No. Ergo: moose. No rack; ergo: Ms. Moose. TB snaps a pix and slowly pedals off. Ms. Moose continues to feed.

Pedal on to Enaville, pack up and head up into the Silver Valley to explore trail heads. Things are getting civilized. Plummer Canyon, the Lake, the Chain Lakes and the River sections of the trail have been rural or forested, quiet, good scenery. Now we are heading for the Silver Valley section – cars, shops, homes, people, noise, fumes and such.


Wonders! The trail runs alongside a Wal Mart Superstore in Smelterville and the trail head has an expresso stand next door. There might be some benefits to a bit of civilization. Not only is there an expresso stand. That head frame and ore car display conceals an RV dump station in the back.

Kellogg has a rather extensive park/greenbelt running a half mile along the trail. It takes looking to find the actual trail head – which is not at the Kellogg Depot – a charming HQ for the Chamber of Commerce. It’s about 500’ west down the trail, beyond the bike shop. You get a boring parking lot and trail head sign. You can do better.

Go 0.3 miles west (off N. Hill St.) and you find a great city park complex. There is a veteran’s memorial under construction, kiddy play lot, picnic tables, covered picnic shelter and a nice restroom with water. After you check out the depot building, base here. It’s a nice facility.

TRAIL MAPS AND FACILITIES… Check out the map collection on line…

When I was researching the TCDA last winter, it took a bit of poking about to find decent on-line maps of the trail. Here are some URLS that might help your planning.

You can find this brochure and trail map at the USFS office in Smelterville, adjacent to the Wal Mart.


This one is excellent. There are eight DeLorme topo maps with trail and facilities overlays that cover the whole trail. I downloaded a set and used these for the rides.


Where to camp in the Silver Valley is an issue. Had to go commercial. Wound up at the Big Creek RV Park next to the Shont (Big Creek) Trailhead below Osburn. Exit 54 out of Kellogg.


Not bad. Not flossy, but I have a van, not a big RV. We got a tent site for the van for $10, a good price, and that included a nice hot shower. We came back on Day Four after exploring the upper valley and tourist things by van. I would expect to try them again next season.

I pedaled thru the Kahnderosa RV Park in Cataldo, between the trail and the river. Did not try them, so no reviews, but it has a handy location.

Down by the Depot in Wallace, which had an adverse review, is located just up the road from the Wallace Trailhead. You can see it from the parking lot.

Ride on!




September 21, 2009


The 73 mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes from Wallace to Plummer, ID, is one of the West’s best “destination” trails, and certainly a five star project. It is a glorious ride. Superb scenery. Excellent facilities. The depth of the facilities is amazing. There are twenty developed trailheads and seventeen trail waysides along the route. There are 73 miles of 10’ wide blacktop trail bed and most of it rates a 5* for good surface. You can roller blade this stuff.

An experienced roadie can doubtless do the whole thing in one day. Or you can take your time and enjoy the views. The trail can be divided into several sections, each a nice ride: Plummer Canyon, Along the Lake, The Chain Lakes, The River, The Lower Silver Valley & WalMart Superstore, The Upper Silver Valley (start climbing). On Day One I climbed up to Plummer, coasted back down, then headed up the lake for a bit.


Facilities – 2 to 5*. Trail bed – 5*. Scenery – 4*

The descent from Plummer is well known and fun. See it on YouTube. No one seems to do the Ascent to Plummer. The ascent is about six miles of 3% grade. Just find the right gear and do it. You gain about 455’ in 6.78 miles.

It’s a nice forested canyon with two pit stops between the ratty Heyburn park trailhead at the base and the Plummer TH. (I mean, really! A gravel parking lot with one trashcan? No loo? On the TCDA? Even the waysides have more facilities.)

I was managing about 8 mph uphill (a geezer on mountain bike loaded with gear). There is water at the Plummer trailhead at the top, so enjoy. Water points are rare. You will not find this in the remote regions. Coming down, my max speed was 22 mph and I cruised at a comfy 17 mph.


The standard wayside in this section has a vault toilet, picnic table, bench and bike rack and gets a 4* facility rating. Some have two tables and benches. Water is normally not available, so carry it.

N47.36040 W116.77973 Trailhead at Heyburn Rd. - gravel parking lot and trash can.
N47.36352 W116.79809 “Place for Racing” Wayside – vault toilet, bike rack, bench, picnic table, interpretative sign.
N47.35624 W116.84292 “Stopping Place” Wayside - vault toilet, bike rack, bench, picnic table, and interpretative sign.
N47.33993 W116.88931 “Gathering Place” Trailhead & Trail End at Plummer – double flush toilets, water fountain, bike rack, picnic tables, trail sign, art and paved parking lot.

Camping on the trail can be had at Heyburn State Park at the base of the lake.


Facilities – 4*. Trail bed – 5*. Scenery – 5*

At the base of the Plummer Grade you take the trail along the lake though Heyburn State Park to the boat launch/trail head. Ahead is the Chatcolet Bridge – which is fun. The approaches are done in a series of ramps and flats up to the swinging center section. Going down you can almost grab some air. If they would do lips on the ramps for some lift – but never mind. Then along the causeway to the shore and start pedaling up the lake shore. Really nice views. Numerous little docks and summer cabins on the slopes. These have trails to the lake. Some have causeways over the ditch. Some have drawbridges at the ends of their causeways.

I started this section after lunch at the campsite and rode it up to the second wayside – “A Familiar Place” and then back down. It would be about another ten miles round trip to Harrison, so dinner won out. About face and head back down the lake.


N47.39915 W116.74300 “A Canoe Landing” Wayside – vault toilet, bench, picnic table with cover, sign, bike rack.
N47.41711 W116.74665 “A Familiar Place” Wayside - vault toilet, bench, picnic table, sign, bike rack.
N47.449935 W116.782641 Steamboat Landing – picnic table, bench, etc.

The next day we broke camp and headed up Rt. 3 from St. Maries, thence along the Chain Lakes to the Medimont Trail Head for a ride in the Chain Lakes section.

Ride on!

The Chain Lakes section - glorious views



September 22, 2009


Day Two of our TCDA reconnaissance. Today it’s the Chain Lakes section – that stretch of lakes and wetlands from Bull Run TH down to Harrison on the lake.

We left Heyburn State Park, drove over the hills from St. Maries on Rt 3, then along the Chain Lakes section of the Coeur d’Alene River. Think: lakes, wetlands, meadows, forested hills, scenic vistas. Spotted a TCDA trailhead sign on the highway, skidded to a halt, backed up and headed down a gravel road over a causeway. Lot of those in the Chain Lakes. We fetched up at Medimont Trailhead at the base of Medicine Mountain – a high spot out in the swamps. The wife liked this one. I have the bike; she has the veto on trailheads.

This is a charming trailhead with lots of shade trees on the edge of Cave Lake. It was getting a good deal of action. I like to do an out and back ride to some place with a pit stop at the far end. Go east or go west? Heading west, this would be the Springston TH on Anderson Lake, east of Harrison. Assemble the bike, load the gear and head west over another causeway across the wetlands. On the first bend you leave the lake and have the river on the right and the swamps on the left. You will follow the river down to Harrison.

Soon there are vast meadows on the left and the river on the right with swamps beyond and forested hills beyond that. The vistas here are superb. The scenery is better than the lakes section. It is a rather remote region. The freeway is way north. There are ranches here with homes on the high ground. One meadow was given over to cows. The next one had the white board fences and a herd of horses.

Watch the trail bed for tracks. All sorts of whitish muddy paw and hoof prints go up, down and across the trail. I suspect those marks that look like a really large deer are moose marks. Small deer tracks = calf? There are moose along the trail here. Didn’t see any, but there are lots of sign, including other pix in the photo gallery.

TRAIL RATING – Chain Lakes

Scenery = 5* - Glorious vistas. Trail bed = 5* - smooth blacktop. Facilities = 4* - tables, benches, restrooms at Medimont and Springston. (No water; no 5*.) Delightful ride. Quiet and peaceful.


7.60 miles up, 15.2 round trip. Max speed 16.9, cruising speed 12-13. Moving time 46 minutes. Stopped time 45 minutes. Total ascent 164’


Waysides (with table, bench, sign) at Cave Creek (N47.46400 W116.62780), Gray’s Meadow (N47.47853 W116.68719), Cottonwood. (Don’t bother with Cottonwood. You are in sight of Springston.)

Trailheads (with road access, tables, benchs, signs, restroom) at Medimont (N47.47537 W116.60126) and Springston (N47.47846 W116.73197).


A problem with the TCDA is the lack of local public camping near the trail (there is none on it). After Labor Day it gets tight. Diligent Net research during the winter turned up a BLM campground at the boat launch at Killarney Lake. Got a lake-front site for $6 (Golden Geezer).

There was a hint of another such at Rose Lake (which would be great). We checked. Nope. Day use fishing access.

The City of Harrison Marina has an RV facility and there may be a fisherman access CG north of the river there. Something to check out next season. In season (and we never are) there is the USFS Blue Bell CG on the lake a bit above Harrision. That’s it for this section of the TCDA.

Ride on!


Mullan Coffee Shop, Wallace good, bad and ugly

We rode the entire trail - up and back. It's a wonderful trail that has to be on everyone's bucket list.
In Mullan, don't miss the Bitterroot Coffee Shop - it's a treasure. April and Mike used to work on Alaska fishing boats, so making world class lattees and scones is child's play for them. Also great breakfast croissants. Very friendly people. It makes Mullan well worth the uphill climb!

In Wallace, we had a wonderful time... but don't recommend camping at "Down by the Depot"! The proprieter operates out of a truck and is a grouch! He charges $18 for a tent no matter how small, and the rest room is locked from 7 PM til 8 AM!! We opted to stay at the Brooks Hotel instead for only $50 - well worth the difference! We also recommend the Smokehouse Saloon for great Louisianna style BBQ and the 1313 Club for breakfast.

more details to come.

Put this trail on your life list!

We just rode 40 miles of this wonderful trail. We picked up rentals at Excelsior Bikes in Kellogg. This is an adorable bike shop housed in the old train depot. They have a large selection of nice bikes at very reasonable rental fees. And the location can't be beat....right on the trail. The ride to the west is all at a slight downhill grade. The scenery is gorgeous. We even saw a moose walking on the trail! We'll definitely be back next year and try to ride the entire 72 miles.

We have ridden alot of rail-trails over the years. This is one of the best.


While biking the Coeur d'Alenes Trail for three consecutive days my friend and I discussed what Heaven would be like and agreed we had already arrived. The beauty of the Coeur d'Alenes River and Lakes takes a back seet to streets paved with gold. Gravity offers assistance while biking West, and prevailing Westernly winds offer Eastward bound travelers an easier return. The trail from Kellog west is the most scenic, and offers the most opportunity to see wild life, and unspoiled vistas. Visiting historic towns on the trail such as Harrison and Wallace offers intriguing glimpses into Idaho's past. I am a bit of the "Princess and the Pea" but also frugal, and after much research, and driving to view area accomodations we decided to treat ourselves to the SILVER MOUNTAIN RESORT in Kellog, Idaho- a bit spendy for Northern Idaho, but so well worth the price. The rooms are magnificant, well appointed, and ours faced the gondola and mountains. There is secure bike storage for each building located on the ground floor with an outside entrance. The trail is a stone's throw from the Lodge, and included in the Lodge's premises is a water park - free with your first night's stay. Book mid-week and your third night is half price. If you can only ride ONE paved trail in your life make it this one or just wait for heaven.

One of the very best

This is one of my favorite Rails-to-Trails. We drove to Harrison, Idaho from the Spokane airport in the first week of August 2005 and rented bicycles at Pedal Pushers in Harrison (reasonable prices, nice people). The weather was perfect, no rain, neither hot nor cold. We rode on the trail from Harrison one day to the northeast, one to the west. The feeling is one of seeing some nature right along the trail. Going towards Bull Run Lake Trailhead the way is flat; we passed beautiful wide-open marshes with wild birds. We did not go all the way west to Plummer as it seemed to be less bucolic. We did go across Coeur d'Alene Lake on an interesting bridge as far as the Heyburn State Park area; saw a deer on that leg. There is a small incline through the woods after that bridge. The trail is well-maintained and smooth. Much of the trail is built over contaminated soil left over from the mining days, but it is claimed to be safe, and, rightly or wrongly, we adults didn't worry about it. Children should not be allowed to play in the dirt, however. The Trail of the Hiawatha is nearby for another day of cycling through some cool (literally) tunnels.

How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm

" After you have ridden this trail, all others in America may be at best second rate. Mountains, deer, osprey, moose and more were sights we saw. The streams are so clear you can see the many trout. The mountains spectacular. Don't miss the gondola ride to Silver Mt. at Kellogg.
We rode this trail from the middle in two rides because of the length. One ride east, the other west, then both rides end downhill!"

A Great Ride

"This Trail is a credit to those responsible for making it happen - what a fantastic community asset it is!I've ridden two years in a row, and came all the way from Aussie to do so.

The scenery is superb, in particuler the section from Harrison to Plummer, while the downhill from Mullan offers a great opportunity to run neck and neck with some of the semis on I90!

Out of towners (such as myself) can easily hire gear from the cycle-shop right beside the trail in Kellog - great service at reasonable rates.

An excellent example of a well-planned rail-trail which regularly draws riders from both the local area as well as visitors from far-away.

They don't get much better than this.

(I also rode the Norpac Trail which joins the Coeur D'Alene Trail to the Hiawatha Trail via Lookout Pass. It well repays the effort involved and my reward was a sighting of a small brown bear.) "

Mullan to Plummer in 7 Hours

On 15 September my son and I rode from Mullan to Plummer in one day. Took us 5 hours of riding and 2 hours of resting & eating. The hill up to Plummer was hard but we did it! I've ridden 800 miles so far this year and this ride on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes was absolutely glorious!

Fantastic Ride!

"Made my last ride of the year on the CDA Trail 28 October. Saw 4 otters only a half mile west of Cataldo! I've logged 611 miles on this trail in 4 years, completing the trail entirely in two of the years. Rode my new recumbent this last year. What a fantastic trail!"

Trails of the Coeur d'Alene

Biked from Kellogg to Cataldo and back. The scenery was fabulous and the trail was in excellent condition. I plan to return!

Idaho Gem

"The more I bike this trail, the more I like it. The fall color in late October is wonderful. This trail is among the best I have ever done and I have done trails all over the U.S. I rode 215 miles back and forth on the trail in 2 days on my most recent visit and enjoyed every mile of it. "

Very nice trail

"We are from Michigan and have rode many trails throughout the United States.

This is one beautiful trail. We rode from Mullan to Heyburn State Park.

From Mullan to Pinehurst the trail is near the Interstate so the views are ok. Once you pass the Pinehurst the views are wonderful. The Historic Chatcolet bridge is splendid.

The trail is in great condition with many rest areas and restrooms.

For west-bound riders, the Mission Hill Inn is the last place to eat before Harrison. They had good food and service.

We will ride the trail again if we are ever in the area again."

Bridge Open!

"I received word from Pedal Pusher's bike shop in Harrison that the old railroad swing bridge at the south end of Lake Coeur d' Alene opened on Friday, April 9th. The bridge is a stone's throw from Heyburn State Park. Yippee!"

Brids & Biking: WOW

"We biked all the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes except the few miles by the interstate. We stayed in Harrison at the Osprey Inn, right on the trail. This was a great B&B and it caters to cyclists.

The trail is paved, flat and beautiful. There are miles and miles of wetlands with a gazillion birds, ospreys, ducks, little birds, big birds, and lots of unkown birds (to us). The old bridge at the southwest end of the trail was not opened yet but should be by now. Ride this trail soon and often."

Scenic trail

"This trail features great Northern Idaho scenery with a very good trail surface. There are local weather effects in the Coeur d'Alene River Valley that will result in easterly winds at night and in the morning and westerly winds in the afternoon. Keep this in mind when planning a ride on this trail.

Also, there is no food or drinking water on or near the trail between Harrison and the Cataldo Trailhead which are 27 miles apart. Also, there are no drinking fountains on the trail. Services near the trail are frequent on the eastern third of the trail between Smelterville and Mullan. Otherwise, they are limited. "

Can't wait to ride more

"I've ridden parts of this trail three times. I can't wait until the swing bridge is done! In 2004 we hope to ride the Mullan to Cataldo section. Then we'll have ridden the whole length. This trail is awesome; there are muskrat, osprey, ducks, geese and much more. There's a good bike shop in Harrison too. Near the west end the trail goes through Heyburn State Park."

West End: Construction Status

"Hello everyone! It's great to hear positive remarks about the ""Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes."" I hope everyone enjoys the trail as much a I do.

I want to let everyone know that the 15 miles of trail through the Coeur d'Alene Indian reservation is bikeable except for the Chatcolet Swing Span Trestle. This trestle crosses the lake and should be complete and passable by January or February of 2004.

The 40 unit parking lot and restroom located at the Plummer Trailhead should be completed spring 2004. And, yes, there will be road signage installed soon.

Thanks all! Have fun on the trail.

-Dean Chapman, Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Trail Manager"

Fantastic Trail

"I have to agree with the previous reviewer about the lack of trailhead signs. We were unable to find at least one of them from the main road.

However, it is a fantastic trail, so smooooth that the miles just whiz by! Watch out for those spider webs when heading up the bridge approaches though! I imagine when the bridge is finally finished that the first rider over the bridge each day will clear the way."

"Delightful, but no trailhead signs"

"I recently biked this wonderful trail after searching for trailheads. They're not easy to find since there are no treailhead signs on the Interstate or state highways. More signage is certainly needed.

Otherwise, this is a delightful trail!


Great Trail

"Nice trail; we recommend that you ride from Pinehurst (KOA available) to Harrison, or bridge and return (about 60 to 80 miles round-trip)."

Bike & Kayak

We left our bikes at the Rose Lake trailhead just across a one-lane bridge over the Coeur d'Alene River and then put our kayaks in at Cataldo. After an easy 7-mile paddle down the river we locked the boats up and rode our bikes back to the starting point. It was a nice upper body workout followed by some easy leg work peddling back. The round trip was about 3 1/2 hours. A moose greeted us along the way.

An amazing experience

"As soon as we finished a round trip (as part of a longer trip) on this trail we joined the Friends of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

I have never seen such a variety of birds in my life, the colors were really amazing. We got to watch several otters play in the water, deer run along side us (a parallel route off the trail), nesting Osprey with young and wild flowers in an endless aray.

All this on an easy smooth blacktop surface. We spent hours chatting with fellow riders and people along the trail. Well done! I plan to take my children for a tour of this trail and the Hiawatha in July."

We love it!

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes will be a great weekend ride. You can ride 70 miles up and stay in Wallace and then come back. The snow (as it was) is gone. What a beautiful and flat ride!

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Discover History on the Trail

Northern Pacific Depot Museum

The Northern Pacific Depot Museum in Wallace, Idaho, features several exhibits celebrating the railroading history of the 20th century, including a...

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