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Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Blog, Cycling Routes, Pacific Northwest, Rural Rides | 2 comments

Traversing Idaho on the CdA

This spring I took another weekend away from biking Puget Sound to traverse an entire state in one ride. That can be done in northern Idaho on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.

Named for the Native American tribe that used this route before it was a railroad and now a rail-trail, the “CdA” is a 72-mile-long paved path with plenty of nature and a few creature comforts. It’s pretty far between espresso stands, so come prepared.

Read my Seattle Times story for the full report. Here are some more photos to accompany it, and further resources.

Pedal Pushers bike shop

These whimsical bike sculptures alongside the Pedal Pushers bike shop in Harrison were crafted by Cathy Britschgi for the owner, John Kolbe.

Trail Ranger

Chuck Carlson keeps the restrooms clean and the trail free of debris. If you see him on the trail, give him a high-five for his meticulous work.

Chatcolet Bridge

The Chatcolet Bridge had to be raised on new pilings to finish the trail, which resulted in a fun set of ramps to ride on each side.

Wallace Main Street

Downtown Wallace hosts a number of buildings that survived the big 1910 fire, and one of them houses a microbrewery.

Bordello Museum

Wallace acknowledges its rowdy past with the Oasis Bordello Museum.

Red Light Garage

The Red Light Garage in Wallace offers food and drink in a fun, kitschy diner, and welcomes cyclists with hanging bikes.

Training women

Amy and Tarra from Coeur d’Alene tackled the trail for a century ride while training for an Ironman (should be Ironwoman) competition. This scene — trees on one side, water on the other, few riders on the smooth asphalt — is typical of the south half of the trail.

Old Mission

The oldest building in Idaho is this church at Old Mission State Park in Cataldo. Its visitors center also serves as the central trail office.


State of Idaho visitor information about the trail

Idaho Parks & Recreation trail information

Nonprofit group Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Trails

Website for Estar Holmes, author of the detailed Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes Unofficial Guidebook





  1. As a correction…the whimsical bike sculptures in Harrison weren’t crafted by John. I made those as a gift for John because he gave me a lovely pile of scrap bicycles.

    • Cathy,
      Thanks for the correction. I asked the young staff on duty there, and I guess they didn’t know the history. The sculptures are wonderful!

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