Ten Surprising Attractions in Northern Idaho

Sometimes a lesser-known attraction ends up being a diamond in the rough.  We’ve listed some off-the-beaten-path Idaho favorites that deserve a look.  From chapels to memorials, wildlife to railways and hops to history, these special places contribute greatly to the fabric and experiences of northern Idaho.

Interested in moving to North Idaho? – Visit NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

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Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Wildlife enthusiasts or bird watchers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge near Bonners Ferry.  The refuge hosts more than 230 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 22 species of fish and more scenery than can be absorbed in a day. The refuge lies along the Pacific Flyway, attracting tens of thousands of migrating ducks, geese and swans each fall. With luck, one may spot big game such as elk, deer, bear or moose. The refuge also has a system of foot trails, including Myrtle Falls trail. This well-maintained trail is winding and steep but the view of the falls makes the hike worthwhile. Also in the area, the McArthur Lake and Boundary Creek Wildlife Management Areas offer more wildlife viewing opportunities.

Mission of the Sacred Heart.
Mission of the Sacred Heart.

Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park in Cataldo is home to the oldest building in Idaho. The Mission of the Sacred Heart, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed between 1850 and 1853 by Catholic missionaries and members of the Coeur d’ Alene Tribe. Guests may also see the restored Parish House and historic cemetery. The world-class Sacred Encounters Exhibit includes artifacts from the Smithsonian and Museum of Natural History and tells the story of how Jesuit missionaries came to the interior Northwest at the invitation of the Coeur d’ Alene and Salish tribes and the profound effects this sacred encounter had on both cultures.


Interested in moving to North Idaho? – Visit NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

The Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center in Sagle showcases the contributions of aviators and innovators who have helped create modern technology and celebrates those individuals who have forever changed the way we live. The museum was founded by Dr. Forrest Bird, inventor of the medical respirator, and his wife Pam in 2007. Allow plenty of time to see Dr. Bird’s personal collection of aircraft, invention displays, and flight exhibits. Be inspired! It only takes one person to change the world.

A train funneled through Sandpoint follows the lakeshore.
A train funneled through Sandpoint follows the lakeshore.

Sandpoint Rail Funnel.  Sandpoint has the great honor to be the site where the east and westbound railways in the northern states converge, better known as a railway funnel. For train-spotters and railfans, Sandpoint is the place to be with more than 50 trains chugging through town daily. Railfans from around the world travel to Sandpoint to watch and photograph the trains, some more than a mile in length, as they traverse the bridge over Lake Pend Oreille and through the forested mountains.

Sunshine Mine Disaster Memorial
Sunshine Mine Disaster Memorial

To learn about northern

Idaho’s mining history, head to the towns of Wallace and Kellogg. The Wallace District Mining Museum’s artifacts, models, photographs, paintings and displays of mining activity and techniques take you back in time and deep into the history of one of the most lucrative mining districts in the country.  In Kellogg, the Shoshone County Mining & Smelting Museum or (Staff House Museum)  occupies a two-story American-revival style house constructed in 1906 for a mining company executive. It has 12 rooms of exhibits, a gift shop and outdoor displays including a 73.5 ton Nordberg air compressor. Learn about the human cost of extracting the earth’s riches with a visit to the Sunshine Mine Disaster Memorial in Kellogg.

Interested in moving to North Idaho? – Visit NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

Scenic Hiking Trails.  With the breathtaking scenery around Sandpoint, we are most fortunate to have hiking trails that offer access to some exceptional vistas. Bring a camera when hiking these two trails.

Mineral Point Interpretive Trail contours along Lake Pend Oreille about 14 miles south of Sandpoint near Garfield Bay with magnificent views across the lake to the Green Monarch Mountains. View the map and details at Forest Service Mineral Point Trail No. 82.

Views of the Green Monarch Mountains.
View of the Green Monarch Mountains.

One of the closest and nicest hikes adjacent to Sandpoint, the Mickinnick Trail is a challenging trail that rises more than 2,000 feet in its 3.5-mile length (seven miles round-trip). The workout is worth it, affording splendid views as you climb through big granite features ending at a rocky knob commanding a view of Sandpoint, the Long Bridge, the Cabinet Mountains, and Lake Pend Oreille. Click to see the Forest Service map and elevation profile.

Bonner County Historical Museum.
Bonner County Historical Museum.

The Bonner County Historical Museum in Sandpoint has numerous displays including Native American artifacts, an extensive collection of Ross Hall photos, a pioneer kitchen and more. Exhibits tell the story of the longest residents of Bonner County – the Kalispell and Kootenai people – and how early residents interacted with the landscape to make a living at farming, logging, and mining.

Interested in moving to North Idaho? – Visit NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

Elk Mountain Farms north of Bonners Ferry grows hops for parent company Anheuser-Busch. The intricate system of poles and trellises is impressive, as are the vines that grow 20 feet tall. Harvest is in late August to early September. To view the field, drive north on Highway 95 to Highway 1 and turn left on Copeland Road. Drive to the Westside Road and go south for outstanding views overlooking the fields. The operation can also be seen from Porthill.

The Panida Theater.
The Panida Theater.

Sandpoint’s historic performing arts center, the Spanish Mission style Panida Theater, has a rich winter season filled with concerts, plays, fine art films, and events. The Panida opened as a vaudeville and movie house in 1927 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Then, as now, its name reflected its mission: to showcase great performers and performances for audiences of the PANhandle of Idaho.

Discover the fascinating history of the Coeur d’Alene region at the Museum of North Idaho, located at the front of Coeur d’Alene’s City Park. Exhibits explore steamboats, railroads, communities, recreation, the U.S. Forest Service, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Farragut Naval Training Station, and the Ice Age Flood. Guests may also visit the Fort Sherman Chapel.  Built in 1880 by the U.S. Army, the chapel is Coeur d’Alene’s oldest church, school, library and meeting hall. Scheduled historic walking tours of Fort Sherman Chapel depart from the Museum.

Interested in moving to North Idaho? – Visit NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc

1616 E Seltice Way | Post Falls | ID | 83854

Original Article Appeared on VisitIdaho.Org



Posted on October 8, 2019 at 4:16 am
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene History, Idaho Fun Facts, Idaho History, Northern Idaho Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Northern Idaho Waterfront – New Site For All North Idaho Waterfront Properties

Experience all of the beauty Northern Idaho has to offer! One of the premier vacation destinations in the US, North Idaho is attracting tourists from all parts of the world looking to vacation among the vast trees, lakes, rivers, and wildlife. Because of this, right now is the perfect time to invest in in-demand, waterfront property.

Our team is excited to launch NorthIdahoWaterfront.com, an easy to use site featuring premier waterfront properties. Updated by the official Realtor®’s database every 5 minutes.  NorthIdahoWaterfront.com features the best lakefront, river frontage properties and waterfront lots available in Northern Idaho. It is the only site you will ever need!  You can save searches, and get daily email alerts of new listings, price changes, sold data, and market reports. Our Interactive Map Search allows you to view properties on a map or refine your search by drawing the boundaries around the area you desire.

—– Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

Once you find your utopia, please allow us to help you with the next steps.  You will have a hand-selected team of all-star agents, with years of experience, that will represent you on your waterfront purchase. Behind our talented team is Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc.  Proud to have received numerous awards over the years including the Northwest Business Journal’s “Best Of” Real Estate Office awards for the last 8 years!

In addition, when you work with our team, you help make an impact in children’s lives!  Every time you complete a transaction with Windermere, we make a donation to the Windermere Foundation.

Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc., and Windermere Hayden, LLC have made a sincere commitment to improving the lives of children, families, and neighbors in crisis through their volunteerism, monetary gifts, and the Windermere Foundation.

Thank you for visiting NorthIdahoWaterfront.com




Posted on October 6, 2019 at 5:23 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, North Idaho Waterfront, Northern Idaho Destinations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Beautiful Coeur d’Alene Resort

Coeur d'Alene Resort

The Coeur d’Alene Resort is a luxury resort hotel in the northwest United States, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Seated on the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene by Tubbs Hill, the resort features a marina, convention facilities, spa, as well as a notable 18-hole golf course.

The hotel has 338 rooms and suites, and its main tower has 18 floors. At 216 feet (66 m), it is the tallest building in Northern Idaho and the third-highest in the state.

The “North Shore Resort” opened 54 years ago in 1965 and completed its seven-story tower in 1973; it was acquired by Hagadone Hospitality in June 1983 in a takeover of Western Frontiers, Inc.  Duane Hagadone soon announced plans for resort expansion, and the North Shore closed on New Year’s Day in 1986 for several months; it reopened in the spring with a new name: “The Coeur d’Alene: A Resort on the Lake.  The new 18-story addition, known as the Lake Tower, was built by Hagadone and Jerry Jaeger and opened 33 years ago in May 1986.  Designed by architect R.G. Nelson, the hotel features a 0.75-mile (1.2 km) floating boardwalk around the marina. Considered the longest floating boardwalk in the world.

—Search for Coeur d’Alene Waterfront Homes Near Resort—

The golf course is about a mile east (1.6 km) of the resort and was originally the site of the Rutledge sawmill,  which operated from 1916 to 1987, closing on October 31.  The Hagadone Corporation bought the property from Potlatch Corporation in March 1988 via a three-way land swap, and its buildings were allowed to be burned in June; local fire departments used it as a training exercise.

The golf course and the floating green were developed, and the course opened for play 28 years ago in 1991.  Its construction required environmental clean-up of the debris left from the lumber industry and had stalled in August 1988.  With environmental concerns allayed, the project was well-received in January and course construction began in 1989.

—Search for Coeur d’Alene Waterfront Homes Near Resort—

The seven-story Park Tower (1973), completed a renovation in 2000,  as did the signature Lake Tower (1986) in 2006.

Helpful Resort Resources:

Coeur d’Alene News

Recent Coeur d’Alene Resort Renovations 

Coeur d’Alene Resort Wiki

Coeur d’Alene Golf – The Floating Green


Interested in buying in Coeur d’Alene?

Scott Shepard

Realtor | SP49359

Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty, Inc.

Direct: (208) 797.0633






Posted on October 4, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene Resort, North Idaho Waterfront, Northern Idaho Destinations |

Top 3 Ski Resorts in Northern Idaho


High above scenic Sandpoint, Idaho, in the Selkirk Mountains, Schweitzer Mountain Resort offers a variety of terrain for all skill levels – from smooth, corduroy groomers to wide-open bowls and tree-lined runs. And with lodging, food, and shops in Schweitzer Village, you’ll find all the ski-in, ski-out excitement your family craves. Or, just a short drive down the mountain, there’s even more fun to be had in the heart of downtown Sandpoint.



In the sea of voices claiming to have the best snow, Lookout is legit, providing the easiest access to over 400 inches of powder per year – powder that’s perfect for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. Their family-friendly reputation is backed by their famous Free Ski School for kids, while they also offer lessons and programs for people of all skill levels. And if you and your family decide to stay and play a little longer, Lookout is surrounded by lodging options, from hotels & motels to B&Bs and camping facilities.



This year-round resort in Kellogg, Idaho, offers something for every season. Tons of trails, open bowls and off-piste terrain open for skiing and snowboarding of all skill levels in the winter. Then when the snow melts, the region’s best lift-served bike park comes to life and lets you send it all summer long, not to mention gondola rides, hiking and surfing at Idaho’s largest indoor water park. There’s also plenty of lodging in the heart of the gondola village along with family-friendly entertainment and enough dining options to satisfy every appetite.


Posted on September 18, 2019 at 7:46 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, Northern Idaho Destinations, Uncategorized |

15 Things You Might Not Know About Idaho

1. Idaho’s known for its potatoes, but its official nickname is the Gem State. Some 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones have been found there.

2. One of them is the star garnet. It’s only found in abundance in two places in the world: Idaho and India.

3. Idaho also supplies the majority of the nation’s trout.


Welcome to Idaho

4. Wondering how the state got its name? So are its residents, as a number of sources claim the name’s provenance. Lobbyist George Willing alleged Idaho meant “gem of the mountains” or “the sun comes from the mountains” in the Shoshone language. Others said the name came from the Apache word “ídaahę́,” meaning enemy, or a Nez Perce phrase that translates to “land of many waters.” Willing eventually copped that he totally made up the word “Idaho.”

5. In 1861, Idaho wasn’t even called Idaho. Originally, Congress dubbed the land the Colorado Territory. Idaho finally became a territory all its own in 1863 and became the 43rd state in 1890.

6. The state horse, the Appaloosa, was brought over by the Spaniards in the 1700s and embraced by the Nez Perce tribe. Settlers called the spotted equines “Palouse horses” after the Palouse River, and the name stuck.

7. At 7,993 feet deep, Hells Canyon in western Idaho is the deepest river gorge in North America. In comparison, the Grand Canyon is only 6,000 feet deep.

Thinking of moving to Idaho?  Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty

8. Thirteen U.S. states are split into two time zones, and Idaho’s one of them. The majority of the state’s area and population fall under Mountain Time. The area above the Salmon River is part of the Pacific Time Zone.

9. Idaho’s state seal is the only one in the U.S. designed by a woman. Emma Edwards Green entered a statewide competition for the honor in 1891 by using only her initials.

10. Also impressive: Idaho’s State Capitol Building is the only one in the U.S. heated by geothermal energy. The heat comes from hot springs located 3,000 feet underground.

11. Idaho’s most famous crop (the potato) isn’t native to the area. The first potato in America was actually planted in New Hampshire, in 1719. A missionary named Henry Harmon Spalding brought the potato to Lapwai, Idaho, in 1836 to teach the Nez Perce tribe how to grow their own food. They were the first to cultivate and sell spuds in the area.

12. If you’re curious whether someone’s from Idaho, try asking him or her to pronounce “Boise.” Natives and longtime residents tend to pronounce it “boy-see,” while outsiders usually say “boy-zee.”

Thinking of moving to Idaho?  Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty

13. Firefighters call this axe-like tool a Pulaski, after the Idahoan forest ranger who popularized it. Edward Pulaski was a hero of the Great Idaho Fire of 1910, which spanned three million acres, killed 87 people, and remains the largest wildfire in U.S. history. He led 45 firefighters to an abandoned prospect mine and fought off the flames at its mouth until he passed out, saving all but five men. A year after the disaster, Pulaski combined an axe and an adze to create the perfect tool for building firebreaks.

14. If you’re dog tired and traveling through Cottonwood, Idaho, you can spend the night at Dog Bark Park Inn, a bed and breakfast shaped like a giant beagle.

15. Or, here’s an even bigger adventure: Sail from the Pacific Ocean to Idaho (or vice-versa) via the Snake and Columbia Rivers. You’ll finish (or start) in Lewiston, the farthest inland port on the west coast.

Thinking of moving to Idaho?  Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty

Original article by Amanda Green

Posted on September 16, 2019 at 9:02 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , ,

William T. Sherman – The Man Who First Discovered Coeur d’Alene

William Tecumseh Sherman was a Union Army general during the Civil War who was both famous and infamous. In Georgia he ordered his troops to pillage, plunder and burn the countryside from Atlanta to the sea, and then told the people that he’d help them get back on their feet if they’d just give up the fight.

The New York Times called him “the grim reaper of the Union war effort.”

Before all that, he was also a scourge to Native Americans in the West.

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“The more Indians we can kill this year the fewer we will need to kill the next,” he said, “because the more I see of the Indians the more convinced I become that they must either all be killed or be maintained as a species of pauper. Their attempt at civilization is ridiculous.”

During an inspection tour in the Northwest, Sherman came to Coeur d’Alene in 1877 and camped at today’s site of North Idaho College. He loved the scenery and recommended a fort be built there, called Camp Coeur d’Alene. It was renamed Fort Sherman in 1887.

History books tell a great deal about this military officer, whose career was punctuated by both genius and self-doubts.

Today, we’d call him bipolar. But despite wide mood swings, he became one the Union Army’s ablest commanders during the Civil War.

Early in the war, he begged Lincoln not to give him a big command — feeling that he was unfit for such responsibility — requesting “extreme desire to serve in a subordinate capacity, and in no event to be left in a superior command.”

Nevertheless, after Sherman did so well at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, Lincoln promoted him to brigadier general. Then when he was given command of Union troops in Kentucky and Tennessee — a job he didn’t want — he started getting edgy, and asked to be relieved of command.

Historians have since speculated that he was suffering from depression or nervous exhaustion. Some newspapers at the time called him insane.

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Shortly thereafter, he was reassigned to the Western Theater under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and following Sherman’s victory at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862, the two generals — friends since West Point days — worked well together for the rest of the war.

In the summer of 1864, after Grant was promoted to general-in-chief of all Union armies, he put Sherman in charge of defeating Confederate Gen.Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee. (Johnston was soon replaced by Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood.)

Grant ordered Sherman to capture Atlanta, and then strike through Georgia — the Confederate heartland.

And strike, he did.

The siege of Atlanta started on July 22, and lasted four months in battle after battle.

Sherman came from a politically elite family and knew how politics worked and why politically the Atlanta campaign was important. Lincoln was up for re-election that year, and capturing Atlanta would boost northern morale and help get Lincoln re-elected.

Finally, on Sept. 2 the city surrendered, with the mayor asking for “protection to non-combatants and private property.”

The Atlanta mayor’s request was granted, but what followed was less charitable. On Nov. 15, Sherman began his infamous March to the Sea — sending his troops slashing and burning across Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah — and then the Carolinas.

Sherman had forewarned that he “would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy,” boasting “I can make this march, and I will make Georgia howl!”

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Before heading for Savannah, Sherman ended a letter to the mayor of Atlanta with: “But, my dear Sirs, when peace does come, you may call on me for anything. Then will I share with you the last cracker, and work with you to shield your homes and families against danger from every quarter.

Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble, feed and nourish them, and build for them, amid quiet places, proper habitations to shield them against the weather until the mad passions of men cool down, and allow them in peace once more to settle their old homes at Atlanta.”

Then the tragic March to the Sea began.

During the six-week rampage, the Union forces destroyed military and industrial targets, torched homes and businesses, stole food and livestock, and wrecked the infrastructure — especially the railroads vital for Confederate supplies — heating and bending each rail over the burning wooden ties so they couldn’t be used again.

But Sherman conducted his campaign as a trained warrior of his times — not as a monster. He was taught to fight, to win and get it over with.

He was not Patton saying, “Compared to war, all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance. God help me, I do love it so.”

Sherman said, “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine,” he said. “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is all hell.”

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Greatness and genius do not always come in traditionally neat packages.

Nassir Ghaemi, professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine claimed in his book “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness,” that depression was not necessarily a handicap, but could generate the resilience and determined focus needed to battle tough challenges.

Winston Churchill — whose bouts with depression are well known — still had the focus to deal with Hitler; and other moody geniuses like Beethoven and Mozart could produce their incredible music.

“It is sometimes those who are seen as quirky, odd or with a mental disorder that show the greatest leadership,” Ghaemi said. “Mania enhances creativity and resilience to trauma, while depression increases realism and empathy. Churchill was a creative, resilient and realistic leader.”

Though some claim that William Tecumseh Sherman was the originator of “total war,” he was not. The Bible in Samuel 15:3 records God’s order to utterly destroy the Amaleks, descendants of Esau and enemies of Israel: “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

In World War II, both sides followed a “scorched earth” policy, such as the rape of Nanking by the Japanese, the bombing of Dresden by the Allies, Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S., and Germans in Russia.

Hitler’s “Nero Decree” even ordered mass destruction in Germany as the Allies closed in, but the order was ignored.

Wars are started by people and fought by the military. Sherman explained his infamous March to the Sea: “My aim was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us.”

North Idaho’s Premium Waterfront Homes

His tactics worked. The Confederacy was indeed demoralized, and five months after Atlanta, General Robert E. Lee surrendered. The Civil War was over.

Amazing how many great personalities in world history like Lincoln and Churchill accomplished great works while suffering from mental problems. Churchill said he was constantly hounded by “the black dog of depression,” yet dealt with Adolph Hitler.

Others include Ted Turner, founder of CNN, painter Vincent Van Gogh and writers Edgar Allan Poe and Leo Tolstoy.

Tolstoy considered suicide but got over it by becoming a born-again Christian.

In Hollywood: director Francis Ford Coppola, Mel Gibson, Vivian Leigh (“Gone With the Wind”), Burgess Meredith (“The Penguin” in TV’s “Batman”), Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Britney Spears, Catherine Zeta-Jones and many others.

Idaho too had its talented celebrities who were tortured with depression.

In 1962 at age 16, actress Patty Duke of Coeur d’Alene won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker.” Later she wrote best-selling “Call Me Anna,” telling the world about her long-kept secret of being bipolar.

Sadly, in 1961 at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, the great writer Ernest Hemingway could not deal with his depression and took his own life.

In Coeur d’Alene, Sherman Avenue is named after a historic American general who, though deeply flawed and wracked with contradiction, still helped end our nation’s most anguishing war.

Original Article – CDA Press

Posted on September 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene History |

12 places to go and things to do around Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

At the southern end of the Idaho Panhandle near the Washington Border, Coeur d’Alene is a scenic city filled with fun things to do. The city’s most defining feature is the massive Lake Coeur d’Alene backdropping the downtown district to the south. Waterfront attractions like Tubbs Hill and Coeur D’Alene City Park are located here, and popular recreational activities surrounding the lake include hiking trails, camping, fishing, and boating.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

A favorite spot for cycling and hiking, the 23-mile North Idaho Centennial Trail passes by the Lake Coeur d’Alene shoreline and through the family favorite McEuen Park. Other family favorites in Coeur d’Alene include the North Idaho Museum and Mineral Ridge Scenic Area. For more outdoor recreation, the Panhandle encompassing Coeur d’Alene includes national forests, state parks, and year-round mountain resorts. Plan your trip with our list of the top things to do in Coeur d’Alene.

1. Lake Couer d’Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d’Alene – www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com

Creating a beautiful backdrop for the city, Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the largest natural bodies of water in Idaho. Campgrounds, hiking trails, and beaches line the shores of the 25-mile lake, and popular activities atop the water include jet skiing, fishing, kite surfing, and launching a watercraft at one of twelve public boat launches. Abutting the city, the north side of the lake is the most developed for tourists, with spots near the water like McEuen Park and The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

Simply looking out over the water from the beach at Coeur d’Alene City Park adds to the experience of visiting the city, especially when seaplanes land near the shore. A great wildlife spectacle occurs every winter on the lake when hundreds of bald eagles fly in to feed on spawning kokanee salmon, making for a great photo opportunity and reason to visit. For those looking to get on the water themselves, nearly every type of watercraft can be rented from surrounding marinas and concessionaires, as well as a variety of chartered fishing experiences.

2. McEuen Park

Avista Pavilion at McEuen Park

Avista Pavilion at McEuen Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

A centerpiece public space for the city, McEuen Park is the perfect place for the entire family to spend the day. Home to the city’s largest playground, McEuen Park also features basketball courts, impressive pavilions, and a leash-free dog park.

Public art lines the bike trails and pedestrian paths that cross through the abundant green space of the park, and a beautiful grand plaza area with landscaped waterfalls, garden beds, and a Veterans Memorial facilitates peaceful time during the day.

The trailhead for Tubbs Hill can be found at the southwest corner of the park next to the water, and the adjacent Harbor House provides summer-fun concessions and seating with a view.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

3. North Idaho Centennial Trail

North Idaho Centennial Trail

North Idaho Centennial Trail | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Stretching from the Idaho/Washington Border to Higgins Point on the eastern shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, the North Idaho Centennial Trail is a 23-mile pedestrian path that takes in some of the best sights of the region. Bicycling is a popular way to navigate the trail, and pedestrians are also commonly seen sharing the pavement.

Originally a railroad line, scenic stops on the Centennial Trail include Heyburn State Park, McEuen Park, and Mineral Ridge Scenic Area. Across state borders into Washington, the trail connects with the Spokane River Centennial Trail, which extends to some of Spokane’s top attractions including Riverside Park.

4. Tubbs Hill

Tubbs Hill

Tubbs Hill | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Near downtown and adjacent to McEuen Park, Tubbs Hill is a publicly owned natural space featuring elevation and overlooks of Lake Coeur d’Alene. Miles of hiking trails stretch up and around Tubbs Hill including a 2.2-mile lakeside interpretive loop, which circles the hill.

Great for anytime-of-the-year nature walks and bald eagle viewing in the winter, Tubbs Hill is a popular outing for families, trail runners, and photography enthusiasts. Tubbs Hill can be accessed via different trailheads from surrounding city streets, and the trailhead on the southwest side of McEuen Park and Third Street features public restrooms and concessions.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

5. Mineral Ridge Scenic Area and National Recreation TrailEditor’s Pick

Mineral Ridge View of Lake Coeur d'Alene

Mineral Ridge View of Lake Coeur d’Alene | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

East of the city center and overlooking Beauty Bay and Lake Coeur d’Alene, Mineral Ridge is a historic, scenic area and home to a 3.3-mile national recreation trail. Starting from the paved parking area and picnic shelters of the trailhead, the trail consistently ascends and switchbacks up Mineral Ridge. Interpretive markers along the trail correspond with a guidebook published by the Bureau of Land Management that details the flora, fauna, and history of this early developed recreation site.

The view overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene atop Mineral Ridge is well worth the moderate effort, and come winter, the ridgeline is a popular place to spot the hundreds of migrating bald eagles making their way through the area.

Address: 9200 ID-97, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Official site: https://www.blm.gov/visit/mineral-ridge-scenic-area-and-national-recreation-trail

6. Downtown Coeur d’Alene

Downtown Coeur d'Alene

Downtown Coeur d’Alene | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

With shopping, dining, and live entertainment, something is always happening on the streets of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Backdropped by a beautiful waterfront area, the downtown area has over 100 retail stores, including specialty boutiques, fine art galleries, and antique shops for special treasures.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

Dining can be enjoyed throughout the day in downtown, starting with breakfast spots like The Garnet Cafe and ending with Beverly’s for fine dining in the evening. Community celebrations that take place in the downtown district include holiday lighting events, festive parades, and a weekly Farmers Market throughout the warmer months of the year.

Official site: http://www.cdadowntown.com/

7. Coeur d’Alene City Park

Coeur d'Alene City Park

Coeur d’Alene City Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

On the waterfront west of downtown, Coeur d’Alene City Park features 16 acres of beach and landscaped green space complete with an inviting playground. An easy way to connect with the surrounding scenic environment, a cement promenade separating the beach and green space is lined with trees and is great for afternoon strolls. From the beach area, passing boats on the lake add to the attractive backdrop, as do the seaplanes that touch down on the water.

The historically-themed and recently renovated Fort Sherman Playground is a big hit within the city park for young children and parents alike. A center for community attractions and events, Coeur d’Alene City Park holds a variety of engagements throughout the year, including movies in the park and live music in the bandshell. Nearly connected to the park a block away, the historic Fort Sherman Chapel is the oldest church in Coeur d’Alene and is accessed with a short and scenic walk through a charming neighborhood.

8. Silver Mountain Resort

Mountain biking at Silver Mountain

Mountain biking at Silver Mountain | Justin Brockie / photo modified

Forty minutes east of Coeur d’Alene, Silver Mountain Resort is a family-friendly getaway featuring skiing, mountain biking, and year-round retreats into nature. Over 70 named ski routes define much of the winter fun at Silver Mountain, and other cold-weather attractions include winter festivals, day camps, and North America’s longest gondola.

Lift-accessed mountain biking and hiking trails provide miles of fun things to do during the warmer months of the year. Tee-times are recommended at the adjacent Galena Ridge Golf Course, and the indoor Silver Rapids Waterpark at the resort appeals to young swimmers throughout the year.

Address: 610 Bunker Avenue, Kellogg, Idaho

Official Site: www.silvermt.com

9. Museum of North Idaho

Museum of North Idaho

Museum of North Idaho | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Adjacent to Coeur d’Alene City Park and the downtown district, the Museum of North Idaho presents multimedia exhibits covering the history of the Coeur d’Alene region. From railroads to recreation and including logging history and artifacts of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, every aspect of Coeur d’Alene is on display at the museum. Photos and information about the 1941 Playland Pier and 1958 introduction of Hydroplane Races on Lake Coeur D’Alene are particularly interesting permanent exhibits.

A museum store offers a great selection of local-history publications and handmade jewelry and crafts. Free admission is offered to the museum during the city’s Art Walk on the second Friday of each month.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

Address: 115 Northwest Boulevard, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Official site: http://www.museumni.org/

10. Coeur d’Alene National Forest

Coeur d'Alene National Forest

Coeur d’Alene National Forest | D. Taylor in Idaho / photo modified

Encompassing the large swath of forest directly east of the city, Coeur d’Alene National Forest is part of the larger Idaho Panhandle National Forest, which covers 2.5-million acres of land between Idaho, Washington, and Montana. Numerous recreational activities stem from the forest land throughout the year, including miles of multi-use trails; rustic campgrounds; freshwater lakes; and opportunities to fish, hunt, and experience nature. One of the most popular recreation spots of the forest accessed from Coeur d’Alene, Hayden Lake is reached via a 20-mile drive from the city.

Remote spots within the forest like the Little Guard Lookout rental cabin enable unique overnight experiences, and popular developed areas to spend the night include the Honeysuckle and Bumblebee Campgrounds. Come winter, the landscape of the national forest lends to snowmobile and cross-country skiing adventures. The entirety of the Panhandle National Forest can take a lifetime to explore, and other areas of high interest include Priest Lake farther north and the St. Joe River area south of the city.

Official site: https://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf

11. Farragut State Park

Disc golf basket at Farragut State Park

Disc golf basket at Farragut State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Forty minutes north of Coeur d’Alene on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille, the largest lake in Idaho, Farragut State Park is a sprawling natural space nestled within the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of north Idaho. Hikers, cyclists, and horse riders use the miles of trails that span throughout the park, and water enthusiasts often utilize the boat launch and Beaver Bay Beach swimming access.

The park is also a well-known disc golf destination, with four professional 18-hole courses spread throughout the forest and meadows of the park, as well as one beginner-friendly nine-hole course. As one of the best campgrounds in Idaho, Farragut State Park offers over 200 sites, including access to shower houses and modern restrooms.

Address: 13550 ID-54, Athol, Idaho

12. Falls Park

Falls Park

Falls Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Ten miles west of Coeur d’Alene, Falls Park is a family-friendly and universally accessible play area. This popular city park is based around the Post Falls Dam, which helps regulate water levels in nearby Lake Coeur d’Alene. Alongside viewing platforms of the various hydrodynamics, Falls Park also features a large playground area including an ADA-compliant swing.

Ready to move to Coeur d’Alene – Visit www.NorthIdahoWaterfront.com 

The half-acre children’s fishing pond is also popular at the park and features accessible fishing bridges, shoreline, and platforms. Other nature trails in the park and interpretive information make Falls Park a fun destination or detour for a day.

This article originally appeared on Planetware.com

Posted on August 25, 2019 at 1:40 am
Scott Shepard | Posted in Coeur d'Alene, North Idaho Waterfront, Northern Idaho Destinations | Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Most Epic North Idaho Waterfalls Road Trip Is Here — And You’ll Want To Do It

The Most Epic North Idaho Waterfalls Road Trip Is Here — And You’ll Want To Do It

Northern Idaho, we have arrived.

The Idaho Panhandle is awesomely blessed with an abundance of tree-lined mountains and a cooler climate. This near-perfect combination of natural elements not only makes for an idyllic getaway but combines to create some absolutely breathtaking waterfalls around virtually every corner. During spring run-off these falls are at the height of their glory as they come cascading over rocky precipices in stunning ethereal sprays.

In fact, so filled to the brim with waterfalls is our northern region that this road trip is by far the longest we’ve published so far, taking courageous Idaho travelers just shy of Canada’s border and back, making it ideal for an extended three or four-day weekend (see note below). At more than 350 miles and 12 hours of drive time, you’ll be guided to nine awesome cataracts, with the opportunity to see a dozen or so more along the way. So if you’re ready to check out even more of Idaho’s majestic scenery and witness some of our state’s most epic falls to date, check it out:

You’ll notice that this trip doesn’t make a complete loop as our road trips normally do. Due to the impassiveness of Idaho’s uppermost landscape, a series of detours are necessary to return to your original starting point; however, the openness allows you to make this trip your own by taking a quick hop into Canada or camping in Idaho’s hidden recesses. The choice is yours! Rounding out the trip back to Nordman will bring the trip to over 450 miles total.

When you’ve finished this adventure –  be sure to share your photos with us! We’d love to see them

Posted on July 30, 2019 at 8:03 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Northern Idaho Destinations |

10 Adventurous Things To Do In Northern Idaho

With the sun in all its summertime glory, it’s time to get outside and experience the best of the season! With vibrant cities and hundreds of miles of mountain trails spanning 10 counties, northern Idaho’s Panhandle offers an abundance of activities to suit almost anybody. While there are endless activities to choose from, we’re here to share the top 10 adventures to take in northern Idaho this summer. So, have you called your friends yet?

1. Climb Around At Tree To Tree Idaho

Tree To Tree Idaho is a new adventure park located within Farragut State Park. There are four self-guided aerial courses that get higher and more challenging (and more fun!) as you continue. It offers a kids course with two different levels, for the little climbers in training.

Each session receives an on the ground training course, with explanations of gear, and the ability to test them out on their orientation course. Tree To Tree Idaho provides state of the art climbing technology, which includes belays that eliminate all human error off the ground. In other words, this is one of the safest courses out there!

woman climbing in tree
Climb around at Tree to Tree Idaho. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

2. Take A Hike Or Swim At Farragut State Park

Farragut State Park is located on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille. Originally a naval training facility, the grounds have largely been turned into a camping and recreation site, used and loved by locals and adventure seekers alike. Here, you can swim at Beaver Bay, visit the Museum at the Brig, play at the disc golf course, go boating, and enjoy the many shoreline hiking trails.

There are over 40 miles of trails in the park alone, which means you can come back time and time again for a new experience!

woman in lake
Take a dip at Farragut State Park. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

3. Channel Your Inner Cowboy/Cowgirl at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is a full-immersion, all-inclusive guest ranch experience that gives visitors the ultimate American West vacation! The most common packages are week-long programs with lodging, activities, meals, and more provided. We were lucky enough to go on a two-hour trail ride excursion to see what life was like on the ranch!

We had the pleasure of riding with Danielle, who runs the ranch with her family. We heard incredible stories of how this property has been in her family for generations, and how she was proud to be part of such awesome heritage in northern Idaho. On our trail ride, Danielle showed us the various parts of the property, which included hidden cabins, scenic views, and so much more.

woman riding horse
Saddle up at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

4. Canoe Down The Thoroughfare To Upper Priest Lake

For unique things to do in northern Idaho, spend a few days exploring the vast Priest Lake. This place is incredible all year long, but it really shines during the summertime. Here, you can go camping, fishing, boating, and hiking – and that’s just the beginning of the list of activities available here!

On our latest visit to Priest Lake, Berty and I rented a canoe from Idaho Parks and Recreation at the Lionhead campground and paddled through the thoroughfare to see Upper Priest Lake. To reach this beautiful area, visitors have to travel the 2.5-mile channel that connects Priest Lake with Upper Priest Lake. No roads access the lake, so the only way to visit here would be via hiking or boating into the area.

Not only was the journey beautiful, but Upper Priest Lake was pristine and quiet. The water was clear and we observed tons of wildlife on the shores of the water. It was a relaxing trip with calm waters! Once we arrived, we found a secret beach and spent some time swimming and resting before our journey back.

person in a canoe
Explore Priest Lake by canoe. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

5. Hike Around Tubbs Hill

Tubbs Hill is a 165-acre park in the city of Coeur d’Alene. Located right on Lake Coeur d’Alene, this area provides 270-degree spectacular views of the water. Accessible from both the east and west sides of the park, there are several trails to explore, including a summit trail, water tower, and a trail that parallels the shoreline.

If you find yourself coming on a hot day, consider wearing your swimsuits and searching for cliff jumping spots located on the southwest corner of the park. This is a popular place for thrill-seekers! You can also climb down to the shore on various trails and have your own secret beach all to yourself.

man on rock
Hike Tubbs Hill for great views. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

6. Rent Water Gear

One of the most quintessential things to do in northern Idaho would be to rent some water gear and get out on the lake! Grab a canoe rental at Priest Lake, pick up some paddleboards on the Coeur d’Alene docks, or even a few kayaks to experience a classic Panhandle summer.

Our favorite water gear rental places:

woman on paddleboard
Hit the water. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

7. Bike The Route of the Hiawatha

The Route of The Hiawatha is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year! This 15-mile bike trail travels through 10 train tunnels, across seven trestles and past many trail markers with interesting facts and history of the route. The trail crosses the border of Montana and Idaho, which is also inside the 1.5-mile long dark train tunnel!

Grab your tickets, bike rentals, and gear equipment at Lookout Pass and then take a quick drive east to the trailhead.

The Hiawatha Bike Trail is a perfect family activity because of the diversity of scenery and the fact that it’s all downhill! A shuttle at the bottom of the trail with take you back up to the top, bikes and all, for a leisurely and fun day trip.

two bike riders in a tunnel
Pedal through history on the Route of the Hiawatha. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

8. Discover The Pulaski Tunnel Trail

The Pulaski Tunnel Trail is an exciting and historical hiking route just outside of the town of Wallace, Idaho. Here on the trail, visitors can learn about the iconic northern Idaho fire of 1910, known as “The Big Burn.” “Big Ed” Pulaski’s firefighter crew got stuck in the middle of a firestorm and sought refuge in a mining tunnel.

The easy 3.5-mile out and back hike will take you to the mining tunnel where Pulaski saved all but 6 of his 45-man firefighting crew, who ran for their lives and hid inside as the fire blazed passed them. Stop at the interpretive signs along the trail to read about this thrilling escape and the people involved.

man on bridge
Enjoy history and a hike. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

9. Go Ziplining at Timberline Adventures

Timberline Adventures has continually been rated the #1 outdoor activity to do in Coeur d’Alene on Trip Advisor. With 7 zip lines total that vary in heights, speed, and challenge, visitors are in for an exciting afternoon of flying from tree to tree!

Their staff is highly trained, professional, fun, and encouraging! Timberline Adventures makes it incredibly easy – they take care of all the logistics! Visitors arrive at their headquarters near the Coeur d’Alene Resort, get oriented, geared-up, and taken via bus to the adventure park only 12 miles away. After the zip tour, they bring you back to Coeur d’Alene, and even reimburse your parking for up to two hours! This all-inclusive service makes it very easy for a newcomer to northern Idaho to have an incredible experience!


Zip line through the trees. Photo Credit: The Mandagies.

10. Go Thrill-Seeking At Silverwood Theme Park

Ready for a day of laughter, fun, and thrills? Get ready to experience it all at Silverwood Theme Park! It is the largest theme park in the Northwest and is home to two unique wooden roller coasters. With over 70 rides, there won’t be a shortage of things to do!

Admission to the adjacent Boulder Beach Water Park is included in the admission ticket, so guests can experience two parks in one! Guests can spend all morning riding the coasters and then cool off during the heat of the day at the wave pools, water slides, and lazy river.

In addition to the rides, visitors can enjoy daily magic shows by the resident magician, Nick Norton, classic carnival games, and the biggest “single scoop” ice cream cones Idaho has ever seen at Silverwood’s Ice Creamery Shop.


Posted on July 29, 2019 at 10:56 pm
Scott Shepard | Posted in Northern Idaho Destinations |

This Little Known Natural Waterslide In Idaho Will Be Your New Favorite Summer Destination

There’s a lot to love about Idaho come summer. Despite much of the state being blazing, melt-your-face hot, we have dozens of beautiful rivers, lakes, and swimming holes around every corner to retreat to when we need to cool off (plus, plenty of waterparks to choose from).

But occasionally, Idaho’s incredible geology, mountain streams, and the power of Mother Nature combine to create something far more spectacular than acres of concrete and plastic tubes. Here, in the lush forest just outside of Priest Lake, you’ll find a perfectly formed, natural water slide, set at just the right angle for endless hours of summer fun. Check it out!

Ready to check it out for yourself?

For the adventurer who wants the rush of a waterslide without the sting of high admission prices, this hidden gem in Northern Idaho is absolute perfection! Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Getting here: Follow Highway 57 towards Coolin and the Lionhead Campground. Rather than turning left into Lionhead, turn right onto a gravel road and follow it for five miles or so of rough, high-clearance terrain. Park at the rocky trailhead and hike the remaining 1 1/2 miles to the slides, or branch off to find your own “private Idaho” in a waterfall-fed swimming hole. The initial trail here is clearly marked, and is at a low incline that offers just the right amount of challenge. Just remember to keep it clean and tread lightly to preserve these slides for future generations!

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 5:51 am
Scott Shepard | Posted in Northern Idaho Destinations, Uncategorized |