Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Route of the Hiawatha: an Idaho Classic

So how did this crazy obsession for bike trails begin?

It may have been my early biking years, but since that involved a major concussion at an early age, it seems like that would be a good starting point.

How about the high school bike trip along the Kootenai & Yaak Rivers in Montana? It was fun, but... Naaaahhh!!

I think my first Rails-to-Trails experience on the Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail in Idaho was what nailed it. My daughter was only a year old and we met my dad in either Missoula, MT or Wallace, ID to begin the journey. All those tunnels and trestles were a revelation to me. How can a bike trail be so incredibly awesome? My daughter, for her part, loved the tunnels but wasn't such a big fan of the rest of the trail.

We did the same trail a few years later with the same cast of characters plus a few more. My dad loved the historical narratives along the way. I still loved the wide open spaces of the trail and the closed-in spaces of the tunnel. My daughter still loved the tunnels but thought the historical narratives were boring.

But we all enjoyed our time together. We made memories, we got exercise, we relished the fresh air and waterfalls. Those and so many other benefits make rail-trails such a worthwhile and unique experience.

For more information about northern Idaho's Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail visit


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