Social distancing doesn’t mean you need to stay inside
As news of the COVID-19 pandemic persists, it’s easy to feel panic starting to creep in. Schools have been closed. Large meetings have been cancelled. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of our bodies and minds. Take time to breathe. Get outside, move, and get some sunshine. Here are five North Idaho hikes that might just soothe your spirit.
TUBBS HILL is a classic Coeur d’Alene hike, with hiking options from easier to more strenuous (or you could run the trails!). Access is from either Tenth or Third streets with restrooms and picnic spots on both ends. Do a leisurely perimeter hike or climb up for priceless view at 2,500 feet. It’s 165 acres of publicly held land right in downtown Coeur d’Alene, close to the library, dog park, playground, shopping, restaurants and with plenty of parking.
CANFIELD MOUNTAIN is maintained by the Forest Service and tucked into a residential neighborhood on the east end of town at 2305 E. Mountain Vista Drive. Although the larger Canfield trail system was designed for motorized bicycles, mountain bikers and hikers are welcome on the smaller, mile-and-a-half of moderately challenging trails with epic views clear across the prairie.
Head to MINERAL RIDGE for a 3+ mile, moderately challenging hike overlooking Beauty Bay — a popular eagle-watching spot during the late winter when the majestic birds’ feed off the local salmon. In the spring, it affords spectacular views of sparkling Lake Coeur d’Alene. Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the trail includes 22 marked interpretive signs describing native plants and animals, as well as a picnic spot, potable water and a rustic restroom. This is a must-do during the off-season.
Nearby in Post Falls, the 78.5 acre Q’EMILN PARK combines a swimming area, picnic tables, pavilion, restrooms, parking and play areas, with numerous hiking trails. Located at 12365 West Parkway, Q’emiln Park provides access to both the Q’emiln and Riverview trailheads, which meander along the Spokane River and provide unparalleled views of the falls.
If history is your thing, walk in the footsteps of those who created the PULASKI TUNNEL TRAIL, located south of Wallace, Idaho. This is the route taken by firefighters fleeing the inferno that devastated the nearby town in 1910. The well-maintained 2+ mile trail, the first 725-feet of which are wheelchair-accessible, is surrounded by forested slopes and dotted with interpretive signage.