This daytrip to Lake Coeur d’Alene starts in Harrison, on the eastern shore of the lake. Take the curving and swerving Highway 97 south from I90, just east of Couer d’Alene and enjoy spectacular lake views all the way to Harrison. Old brick buildings line the main drag of this retired logging town, which is home to a large marina, many vacation homes and a fabulous ice cream shop.
Rent a bike at The Cycle Haus Bikes and Brews (100 N. Coeur d’Alene Avenue in the middle of Harrison) which is exactly what it sounds like: a combination bike, craft beer, wine and coffee shop. Enjoy a coffee along with a peek at the lake sitting on the front porch while you watch Harrison pass by and feel your blood pressure drop. Friendly technicians can give your personal cycle a tune up or hook you up with a properly fitted rental for the day.
The Cycle Haus also operates a shuttle service that leaves the bike shop at 8 a.m. on most days and will take you and your iron steed out to a predetermined Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes trailhead.
Then all you have to do is ride back to Harrison in your own sweet time. Please call (208) 582-2341 ahead of time for shuttle details and price.
The 73-mile-long Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes runs straight through Harrison, so you can also simply roll downhill toward the marina and pick a direction.
The trail runs from Wallace to Plummer and because it’s a converted railbed you won’t encounter any steep inclines. At one point– if you ride far enough south from Harrison – the trail takes you across the 3,100 foot Chatcolet Bridge, which is an old train trestle that deposits you on the west side of the lake near beautiful Heyburn State Park.
If you head north, toward Wallace, the trail runs along the Coeur d’Alene River and just outside Harrison you will pass the Thompson Lake Wildlife Area. This idyllic lake is covered in water lilies and home to scores of wild birds like Blue Herons, Mallards and Coots. Osprey nest on the power poles above and you may get lucky and see a couple of turtles sunbathing.
You do need an Idaho State Park pass for Heyburn State Park – they run $10 a year for Idaho residents and can be purchased online or you can bring cash and pay at the park.