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The North Idaho Centennial Trail is a non-motorized, multi-use trail that meanders 24 miles between scenic Higgens Point State Park on Lake Coeur d'Alene (6 miles east of the city) and the Idaho–Washington border, where it joins the Liberty Lake Stateline Trail. The North Idaho Centennial Trail hugs the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene and parts of the Spokane River, offering spectacular scenery along the way. The trail passes through the Lewis & Clark State College and North Idaho College campuses and follows well-marked back streets in Coeur d'Alene. You'll find plenty of rest areas, scenic views and interpretative signs along the way. In 1999 Hillary Clinton designated the trail a Millennium Trail.
At Riverstone you can pick up the Prairie Trail.
Parking and access for the North Idaho Centennial Trail are available at numerous places along its route, including Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene and Higgens Point State Park. For more information, consult the map.
We rode the entire length of the North Idaho Centennial Trail as part of a self-guided tour in the area. From its western terminus at the beautiful bridge over the Spokane and the artwork in a tunnel, we enjoyed every minute. It didn't bother us that we were along I-90 for several miles; it was just great to have a separate paved trail to get us from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene. And we got to share the interstate's rest areas! We didn't even have a road crossing until Post Falls. Signage was excellent. Even though it was a very hot Saturday in late July, we didn't mind sharing the trail with all the beachgoers.
East from CdA the trail is separated from traffic and has several rest stops. It does climb to its eastern terminus. Beautiful trail.
This is a fine urban trail and the city of Coeur d'Alene and surrounding areas should be commended for providing a long paved corridor with a lot of easy access points. However, as one previous reviewer sort of put it, "Welcome to the I-90 bicycle lane." Along the northern route you have industrial areas on one side and freeway noise on the other.
In Coeur d'Alene itself, the trail is shared with pedestrians, dogs, skateboarders, and beachgoers. It was impossible to bike safely on this trail in the city during the weekend. On the week day, it was much more manageable. Past Coeur d-Alene, the trail undulates and in some parts you are right next to the road. It is not unsafe and the trail is quite wide, but if you are looking for a bucolic and peaceful trail, the Centennial Trail may disappoint you.
As some have mentioned, this trail does go along 90 quite a bit, but so does Trail of Coeur D'Alene. The pavement on this trail is awesome, and you get a few nice hills thrown in if you want some! (I did - some rail/trails are a bit too flat!) The signage is mostly good - a few places where you have to really look around to figure out where you need to go, but if you do, you can figure it out. You get some nice long riding, and a few places with frequent stops for street crossings. Despite being by the highway, I loved it and didn't notice the traffic noise at all - was just happy to be riding such a great surface. I went to the Washington border and turned around, but have been told you can go a lot farther and really enjoy it!!
nice trail, lovely trees along most of the ride. a few short steep spots but overall pretty easy terrain. pavement was in great shape
My husband and are are in our late 50's and found the trail to be super easy! Total elevation gain from downtown Couer d'Alene to Tony's Restaurant was 36 feet. East of Tony's there is a very steep hill that is for advanced riders or folk in excellent shape. Enjoy your bike ride!!
Most of this trail is really beautiful through Coeur d'Alene, along the river and lake. Part of it can be loud towards the state line with traffic but overall it is a very nice trail.
If you like riding a bicycle beside an interstate highway--this is your trail.
On one of the detours, there was not so much as even a bicycle lane! Just a sign that said the trail ended and would resume a few yards up the road--near I 90, again!
I rode this trail the first week of April, 2013. Took it from downtown CDL to the end several miles into Washington. For me, anytime I can ride on asphalt away from automobile traffic is a good ride. Yes, part of the ride parallels the interstate and part of the ride is on city streets, but overall, it is a good path. Not as well marked as it could be, so be wary about your turns on the streets.
Pavement is excellent, except for a short stretch of construction, (which should be finished by now). Unless you have a MTB, you'll have to walk this short stretch.
I can imagine that the path would be very crowded on weekends. During my mid-week ride, I met several, very friendly people, but mostly I had the path all to myself.
This path and the other bike paths in Northern Idaho has me almost convinced to move to the area.
The best section is at the east end of trail - from CDA golf course to Higgins point (about 6 miles of hilly lake front ride). From the west end of the trail, one starts at WA/ID border, riding through the town of Post Fall to north of CDA, these first nine miles are very forgettable. While the black top path are in excellent shape, one sees mostly parking lots, commercial residential areas, along with sections right next to Interstate 90. From Riverstone (mile 9) to downtown CDA is decent, the path hugs the Spokane river then unto lake CDA, though the cyclist has to use public road, and even a stretch of side walk. Overall, it is not quite as sterling a trail as its Washington counterpart.
In your Trail Facts box you list the CT (Centennial Trail) as 15 miles long where it is 23 miles.
I am a local cyclist who rides the trail regularly and I find any reviews posted before 2006 are no longer valid. Yes the CT roughly follows I-90, but the only place really close to it are two sections of about one mile total in Washington State. The Washington Centennial trail is a totally separate trail, even though they join at the state line.
There are a few areas where the trail follows residential streets with one difficult road crossing, the problems of which are being addressed. Several sections of the CT in Coeur-d'Alene have been resolved since the last reviews. The CT has now been re-routed around the new Riverstone development negating the whole Seltice Way/Northwest Blvd intersection. and has also been re-routed along the Spokane River through the Lewis & Clark College and North Idaho College areas, It goes through well marked back streets of Coeur d'Alene and along the lake to Higgins Point.
Intersecting the CT at Riverstone is the brand new 4.5 mile Prairie Trail which opens up a whole new segment of the city and gives acess to the country roads of the Rathdrum Prarie.
As a whole I and my wife find the North Idaho Centennial trail a safe and outstanding bicycling opportunity, and I am writing from 50 years of cycling experience.
Good ride compared to many.
"There is about a mile central section of the North Idaho portion of the Centennial Trail that is on secondary arterials and residential streets, but it is mostly separate paved bike trail. There are also two sections within sight of I-90, but ""ten feet"" is inaccurate."
The only parts of the trail that aren't ten feet away from 70-mph I-90 are on main roads. I would not recommend this ride to anyone.
We pulled BOB trailers on the trail from the border to the end of the trail as part of a longer tour. The trail was quite well marked except at the beginning of the city of Coeur d'Alene.
The people and businesses along the route that we encountered were universally plesant. I loved the views of the lake and the mountains beyond.
Some kind of formal hook between the end of the trail and Rt 97 would have been nice.
Once the trail approaches Coeurd'Alene the road is difficult to follow. There are few signs that direct trail users to the next portion of the road.
The trail at the Rathdrum enterance is very difficut to locate (you have to weave your way through ab out 1/2 mile of road construction) and then you have to find the trail on your own.
"We rode this trail in July. Highway noise and occasional city segments detract from the trail. However, if you travel to the region to bicycle the other sensational trails in the area, and have a day to spare, then it is a worthwhile ride."
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