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Outdoor Recreation and Activities in Coeur d'Alene Idaho


Located on the north shore of Idaho's magnificent Lake Coeur d'Alene, Coeur d'Alene is the quintessential lake resort community. Coeur d'Alene has something for everyone and is particularly rich in opportunities for outdoor recreation. The lake itself, stretching for 25 miles and with almost 110 miles of shoreline, is a hotspot for boating, fishing, and paddling. Nearby Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, and St. Joe Rivers provide additional opportunities for recreation and scenery.

Biking in Coeur d'Alene

North Idaho Centennial Trail
North Idaho Centennial Trail (source: Idaho Tourism)
Whether you enjoy scenic cruising along a relatively flat surface or the challenge of a rugged mountain bike route, you'll find a great bicycling trail in or near Coeur d'Alene. Bicycle trip guides, outfitters, and rentals are available at several Coeur d'Alene shops.

North Idaho Centennial Trail
This 24-mile improved recreation trail runs through Coeur d'Alene west to the state line. In Washington, the trail continues on another 35 miles as the Spokane River Centennial Trail, passing through Spokane then north to Riverside State Park.

Canfield Mountain Trail System
This National Forest Service system of 25 hilly trails, while most popular for mountain biking, is also open to motorbikes and hikers.

Route of the Hiawatha Trail
Accessed a good hour's drive east of Coeur d'Alene, the Route of the Hiawatha is a rail-trail gem that passes through long tunnels and over historic bridges.

Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
This 72-miles long paved rail-trail has several trailheads that can be access from the sooutheast side of Lake Coeur d'Alene or east of Coeur d'Alene off of I-90.

Boating in Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene is a vast watery playground, perfect for waterskiing, powerboating, sailing, jetskiing, and watercraft of all kinds. Here are some resources for boaters:

Coeur d'Alene Boat Launches and Docks
This map leads to detailed information about each of the dozens of county boat launches and docks around Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Lake Coeur d'Alene Marinas
A directory of boat marinas around the lake, including details about the services offered.

Boating in Idaho
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation provides boating education, registration, and regulation information for the state.

Charter boats, boat rentals, and scenic cruises are available.

Fishing in Coeur d'Alene

Chinook salmon, cutthroat trout, northern pike, and large mouth bass are among the species found in Lake Coeur d'Alene. Nearby rivers and stream provide great fly fishing.

Where to Purchase a Fishing License
Find out about local CdA shops that sell fishing licenses.

Idaho Fishing Seasons and Rules
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game website provides everything you need to know about regular and special seasons, regulations, licensing, stocking, conditions, and more.

Idaho Fishing Outfitters and Guides
A list of fishing charters and guides from the Idaho Outfitters & Guides Association (IOGA).

Golfing in Coeur d'Alene

View of Floating Golf Green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course  ©Angela M. Brown 2009
View of Floating Golf Green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is one of the top golf destinations in the Northwest. In the West. In North America. The floating golf green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course is well known in the golf world. Your golfing opportunities in and around Coeur d'Alene include these public courses:

Hiking & Walking in Coeur d'Alene

Sign Along the Mudgy Moose Trail ©Angela M. Brown 2009
Sign Along the Mudgy Moose Trail
The gorgeous natural scenery in and around Coeur d'Alene combine with long sunny summers to create the perfect conditions for a walk or a hike. Walking is a great way to take in the charming downtown and nearby residential areas, the local parks, and the lake and river shores. In addition to all the biking trails listed above, here are some of the best places to walk and hike in Coeur d'Alene.

The Mudgy Moose Trail
A local children's book, Mudgy and Millie, tells the tale of Mudgy Moose's search for his friend Millie Mouse. The 2+ mile Mudgy Moose Trail passes through Coeur d'Alene, following Mudgy's route. Along the way you'll find colorful signs and full-size bronze Mudgy statues.

Tubbs Hill
Hiking trails wind through this forested hill, which is surrounded on three sides by Lake Coeur d'Alene.

Coeur d'Alene Boardwalk
Take a fun lazy stroll around Coeur d'Alene's colorful marina on the world's longest floating boardwalk.

Mineral Ridge Trail Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the 3.3-mile Mineral Ridge Trail is both scenic and educational. Along your hike you'll learn about the local forest and mining history. The area is also a hot spot for bald eagles each late November to early January.

Cougar Bay Preserve
With trails for hikers and for paddlers, the 88-acres of Cougar Preserve are under the protection of The Nature Conservancy.

Paddling & Rafting in Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene is a huge lake with a varied shoreline. Kayaking, canoeing, and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) are all popular water activities. Float and water trips are available on nearby rivers, including the Spokane and St. Joe Rivers.

Boat, board, and gear rental is available at various local vendors. Paddling and rafting trip guides and outfitters are available to transport you and the equipment to local put-ins and rivers and to provide lessons. I recommend these adventure guide companies:

Wildlife Watching in Coeur d'Alene

The mountains, forests, rivers, and lakes in North Idaho are wonderful places for birding and wildlife watching. Local marshes and wetlands are perfect habitat for moose and beaver. Birding opportunities abound and include not only waterfowl but birds of prey such as osprey and bald eagles. Osprey sightings are common on Lake Coeur d'Alene, which has a large nesting population. Dozens of bald eagles find the area around Wolf Lodge Bay a winter feeding area.

Your wildlife watching opportunities begin right in the city, with Tubbs Hill being a fine place to observe osprey, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. Here are some Coeur d'Alene wildlife-watching resources:

Cougar Bay Preserve
Surrounded by meadows and forest, these wetlands are rich in waterfowl, song birds, moose, beavers, and other wildlife.

Idaho Birding Trail: North Idaho
An interactive map to Coeur d'Alene and North Idaho stops on the Idaho Birding Trail, with links to information about species, habitat, and driving directions.

No matter what kind of outdoor activity you participate in around Coeur d'Alene, you're sure to enjoy some kind of wildlife sighting.

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