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20762
Idaho

Biking the Idaho Panhandle on Rails to Trails

Spend five days biking the renowned Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, learning about regional history, diverse wildlife and the fascinating story of the Idaho Panhandle as you go!
Rating (4.92)
Program No. 20762RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,629
Idaho

Biking the Idaho Panhandle on Rails to Trails

Spend five days biking the renowned Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, learning about regional history, diverse wildlife and the fascinating story of the Idaho Panhandle as you go!
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,629
Length
7 days
Rating (4.92)
Starts at
1,629
Program No. 20762RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 5 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
1,629
Sep 11 - Sep 17, 2022
Starting at
1,629
Sep 18 - Sep 24, 2022
Starting at
1,629
Jun 4 - Jun 10, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Jun 11 - Jun 17, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Jun 18 - Jun 24, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Sep 4 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Sep 10 - Sep 16, 2023
Starting at
1,949
Sep 17 - Sep 23, 2023
Starting at
1,949
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 5 - Sep 11, 2022
Starting at
1,919
Sep 11 - Sep 17, 2022
Starting at
1,919
Sep 18 - Sep 24, 2022
Starting at
1,919
Jun 4 - Jun 10, 2023
Starting at
2,269
Jun 11 - Jun 17, 2023
Starting at
2,269
Jun 18 - Jun 24, 2023
Starting at
2,269
Sep 4 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
2,269
Sep 10 - Sep 16, 2023
Starting at
2,269
Sep 17 - Sep 23, 2023
Starting at
2,269

At a Glance

Former railroad trestles stretched across fir-filled valleys and train tunnels plunging into rocky mountainsides form the milieu for a cycling adventure in northern Idaho’s panhandle. On the Couer d’Alene, Hiawatha and Centennial Rails to Trails routes — all of them top-notch recreational bike trails — pedal through charming villages and areas of fascinating history, unique geology and diverse ecology with interpretation by local experts.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Choose Your Pace
Bike 10–30 miles at a leisurely pace on streets with minimal traffic and elevation gains. Many rides offer varying distance options. Several bike paths above 3,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn about and take in the small-town ambiance of local mining towns Wallace and Kellogg.
  • Bike the Hiawatha trail, crown jewel of our nation’s Rails to Trails routes, through nine train tunnels and across seven trestles with views of the towering Bitterroot Mountains.
  • While you bike, observe moose, deer, eagles, osprey, turtles and plants along the way.

General Notes

Comfort bike and helmet provided. Recommended are padded bike pants/shorts, bike gloves, comfortable bike shoes (no cleats), handlebar bag, rain gear. Program requires signed liability release waiver. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Mullan Road: Carving a Passage through the Frontier Northwest. 1859-62
by Paul D. McDermott and Ronald E. Grin
Focuses on John Mullan as he worked in the Idaho Panhandle from 1859-62. Book available at Amazon.com
Silver Linings
by KSPS-PBS
We recommend you watch Silver Linings a 60 minute video produced by KSPS-PBS which provides a good historical perspective of the Silver Valley where we will biking and visiting during our program. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOaC3OzpkT0
John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder
by Keith Peterson
Portrays the history of the area in 1850-1870's. Book available at Amazon.com
The Big Burn
by Timothy Egan
Describes the beginning of the National Forest Service in preserving much of our natural area as well as the 1910 forest fire that burned much of the area.
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7 days
6 nights
14 meals
6 B 5 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Wallace, ID
D
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the Wallace Inn Meeting Room to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: At the Wallace Inn, in our private dining area, we will enjoy a barbecue buffet. Water, tea, coffee included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: 7:15 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Breakfast is served daily at 7:00 a.m. Be sure to carry snacks, water, warm clothes, and rain gear in daypacks while riding. We will ride to trailheads by shuttle, which will carry our gear and will be available at our lunch spots with extra water and snacks. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes: Mullan, Kellogg, Cataldo
Wallace, ID
B,L,D
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving about 60 miles; approximately 1 hour total. Cycling 7.5, 18, 25, or 30 miles depending on personal preference. First leg to Wallace; second leg to Kellogg; third leg to Cataldo. Minimal elevation gains.

Breakfast: At the Wallace Inn, we will enjoy a breakfast buffet. Juice, water, tea, coffee included.

Morning: After a pre-cycling orientation, we will take a quick shuttle trip to the bike shop in Kellogg to get fitted for our personal bike and helmet, included in your program fee, for the week. We will then shuttle to our starting point in Mullan, from where we will bike at our own pace on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. We may choose to go 7.5, 18, or 25 miles, depending on personal preference. The first leg of the journey will bring us to Kellogg to make any adjustments to our bikes and enjoy lunch in the neighboring Kellogg City Park. Those who choose to only bike the 7.5-mile leg to Wallace will be shuttled to Kellogg for bike adjustments and lunch.

Lunch: At the Kellogg City Park, we will enjoy a catered sandwich buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, bread, spreads, veggies, fruit, and cookies. Water and lemonade included.

Afternoon: From Kellogg, we will continue biking on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes to Cataldo. Here, we will gather and load our bikes and shuttle back to the Wallace Inn. The Rails to Trails Conservancy named this 72-mile trail one of the top 25 in the United States. In Wallace, we will visit the Northern Pacific Railroad Depot Museum and enjoy a presentation by the museum director in period costume.

Dinner: At a restaurant in Wallace, we will enjoy a plated dinner from a set menu. Coffee, tea, water included. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At the Wallace Inn, we will enjoy a presentation on local history from our Group Leader and a local expert.

DAY
3
Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes: Plummer, Harrison, Medimont
Wallace, ID
B,L
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving about 121 miles total, approximately 2.5 hours: to trailhead is about 81 miles, 1.5 hours; back from Medimont to Wallace Inn is about 40 miles; approximately 1 hour. Cycling 16, 26, or 30 miles depending on personal preference. First leg to Heyburn State Park; second leg to Harrison; third leg to Medimont. Minimal elevation gain.

Breakfast: Wallace Inn buffet.

Morning: We will shuttle to the trailhead at Plummer, then bike the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes based on personal preference. The first 8 miles of this route are through beautiful forests. We will stop at Heyburn State Park for a short presentation on the area from an Idaho State Park Ranger as we enjoy beautiful views of Chatcolet Lake. From here, we will cross the lake on the trail bridge and follow the lakeshore to Harrison for lunch. Let’s keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife including beavers, eagles, osprey, and moose!

Lunch: At Kellogg City Park, we’ll have a catered sandwich buffet with punch and water included.

Afternoon: We will spend some time after lunch enjoying the quaint little town of Harrison, with attractions to enjoy on our own like the Great Ice Cream Parlor or a swim in the lake. We will finish biking to Medimont on flat, paved trail. Those with the legs and desire can bike past Medimont a little further and return to Medimont at a predetermined time. We shuttle back to Wallace to freshen up a bit before gathering for an expert-led walk through Wallace with the “Prime Minister of Wallace,” a local expert. Founded in 1884, Wallace is nicknamed the Silver Capital of the World for the silver mining that dominated this region for about a century. We will see local architecture, hear more local history, and discover how a manhole cover in the town came to be declared the Center of the Universe.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in Wallace. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: Back at the Wallace Inn, we will watch a movie on the The Great Fire of 1910, or better known to locals as The Big Burn. This fire had a huge impact in the Pacific Northwest as it burned 3 million acres spanning 10 forests. It swept right through Wallace Idaho. The impact of this blaze and historical significance is still felt all around.

DAY
4
Route of the Hiawatha Trail
Wallace, ID
B,L
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle. driving about 23 miles each way to/from trailhead; approximately 1 hour total. Cycling 15 to 30 miles depending on personal preference. This is 15 mile out-and-back trail. Option to bike 15 miles to the end of the route of the Hiawatha trail and shuttle back to the trailhead is $10, not included. This particular trail does not lend to designated pickup spots. Cycling through tunnel; headlamp provided. No particular legs to this trail.

Breakfast: Wallace Inn buffet.

Morning: After packing lunches for the day, we will shuttle to the Route of the Hiawatha trailhead located in East Portal Montana. This is the crown jewel trail of the Rails to Trails movement. We will then bike the trail depending on our preference. This Rails to Trails route includes 10 former train tunnels and 7 trestles, some as high as 300 feet and from which we can enjoy spectacular views of the Bitterroot Mountains. We will ride through a 1.5-mile tunnel, using a provided headlamp, and we may choose to stop along the way at small parks and waterfalls, according to your preference. We can ride the whole 30 miles down and back, meet up with the shuttle before the tunnel, or feel free to turn around at any time to create our own length of ride. We will meet up with the shuttle after lunch, at 2:00 p.m. back at the trailhead. We can also choose to ride to the end of the Route of the Hiawatha (15 miles) and take the park shuttle back up at our own cost to the trailhead.

Lunch: Along the trail, we’ll pick a lovely spot to enjoy our sack lunches with punch and water included.

Afternoon: We will finish riding the Route of the Hiawatha trail at our own pace, returning to our shuttles by 2:00 p.m. for transfer back to Wallace. The rest of the afternoon is free for us to enjoy in town, with visits to points of interest like the Sierra Silver Mine, the historic Wallace Stairs, the Pulaski trail, and more.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like in Wallace.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Coeur d'Alene, North Idaho Centennial Trail
Wallace, ID
B,L
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving a total of about 100 miles, approximately 2 hours: 50 miles in the morning and 50 miles back in the evening. Cycling 9, 13, or 24 miles depending on personal preference. There is one hill with roughly 200 feet in elevation change early in the ride and is an easy incline. Start at Higgins Point; first leg to Coeur d’Alene Park; second leg to Riverstone Park; third leg to Post Falls.

Breakfast: Wallace Inn buffet.

Morning: We will shuttle to Higgins Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene and start biking the North Idaho Centennial trail along the lake, according to personal preference, on paved roads and bike paths. We will stop at Coeur d’Alene Park in downtown for lunch.

Lunch: At Coeur d’Alene Park, we’ll have a catered sandwich buffet with punch and water included.

Afternoon: We will set out on a short bike ride of the historic city of Coeur d’Alene, led by a local expert. Originally settled by the Couer d’Alene tribe, the city was founded in 1878 around a fort built by the US Army. The city was the site of several silver mining labor strikes and uprisings at the turn of the 20th century. Arriving at Riverstone Park, we can choose to ride back to Coeur d’Alene Park, shuttle back to the park, or ride the rest of the trail to Post Falls to complete the long ride. The rest of the afternoon is ours to enjoy as we choose in Coeur d’Alene. We may walk the local hills, walk the longest floating dock in the world (3/4 of a mile!), take a boat ride on the lake, or visit the Museum of North Idaho, among many other activities.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy the local fare of Coeur d’Alene.

Evening: After returning to the inn by shuttle, the rest of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
6
Trail of the Coeur d'Alene
Wallace, ID
B,L,D
Wallace Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving about 60 miles, approximately 1 hour total: about 40 miles to Medimont and 12 miles back to Wallace. Cycling 8, 20, or 35 miles depending on personal preference. First leg to Bull Run trailhead; second leg to Cataldo Mission; third leg to Kellog.

Breakfast: Wallace Inn buffet.

Morning: We will watch a short video on the Cataldo Mission in the Wallace Inn meeting room. We will then shuttle to the Trail of the Couer d’Alene in Medimont and bike varying distances on paved roads and bike paths, depending on personal preference. We will bike to the Cataldo Mission, where we will walk the grounds of the historic mission and eat lunch.

Lunch: At Cataldo Mission, we’ll have a catered sandwich buffet with punch and water included.

Afternoon: We will enjoy an expert-led visit to the historic Cataldo Mission, the oldest standing building in Idaho and part of the Old Mission State Park. The current mission was built by Jesuit missionaries and local Native American tribes between 1850 and 1853. We will then return to Kellogg, by bike or shuttle according to personal preference, where we will return our bikes. We will then shuttle as a group back to Wallace.

Dinner: Wallace Inn plated meal.

Evening: We’ll share stories, photos, and experiences from the week during a closing program. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Wallace, ID
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Wallace Inn buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.