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Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Nestled in the forested mountains of northern Idaho, a grove of cedar trees lay quietly in wait- the oldest of which has been doing so for some 1,200 years. Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars is a gorgeous trail through the spellbinding forests of the Gem State. Hikers and bikers have been enjoying passage through the centuries-old cedars for years. The crisp, clear Coeur d’Alene river runs through the ancient grove, making the location perfect for picturesque hikes and bike rides for couples and families.

Hiking

About 40 miles from our Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast by car and noted by trail enthusiasts as the easiest in the area to reach, the ancient cedar grove has been protected by the federal government to prevent loggers from damaging and removing the staid trees. The forest is monitored and maintained by the US Forest Service of Coeur d’Alene. There, experts in forest tree cultivation have studied the age of the trees and the various natural disasters they have withstood in order to stand the test of time. These experts say that it is likely that the area never succumbed to forest fires due to its propensity for frequent flooding during periods of heavy rain.

There are many things to see and do in Settlers Grove, and it is a perfect day trip for the whole family. Exploring the natural wonders of crystal clear rivers and trees topping off at 120 feet is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. A family bike trip may lead up the trail to a shady spot by the river, where a picnic lunch brings opportunities to quietly enjoy the calming nature around you. Continuing down the trail, perhaps there will be a bird-watching excursion- you can delight in watching the grove’s well known American dippers dip and dive through the trees and into the river.

Dog Hiking

The trail through Settlers Grove spans five miles from start to finish and has an elevation gain of 700 feet. A hike takes an estimated minimum of three hours. The best months in which to visit the grove are May through October. Don’t leave your beloved family pet at home- she’s more than welcome on the trail, as Settlers Grove is pet friendly and a favorite of many dog owners who love a good hike. If you’d prefer to extend your stay in the grove, many individuals and families choose to go camping and fishing among the ancient giants.

Coeur d’Alene is full of unique, exciting opportunities to have fun and explore the natural beauty of the pristine area. If you’re going to be visiting the area, don’t miss out on the splendor of the ancient cedars in Settlers Grove. Measuring up to 10 feet in diameter, these massive trees are a once in a lifetime sight not to be missed. If you truly want to take in all that the Gem State has to offer, hike the trail through Settlers Grove and marvel at the natural wonders that have stood there for centuries.

The Route of the Hiawatha :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

While there are plenty of places to experience nature in a tame setting during your visit to Coeur d’Alene, a trip to the Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail leaves most visitors seriously in awe of the power of nature to sculpt the land on which we live. The trail can be traveled in two ways- one spans a total of 30 miles, and has an elevation gain of 2,000 feet; the other is a 17 mile downhill track of compressed dirt with a 1,000 foot elevation loss. At the end of the downhill trail, a shuttle awaits riders and transports them back to the trail head.

Bikers

An adventure on the Route of the Hiawatha trail is one that is appreciated by locals and visitors alike. Experienced bikers travel significant distances to ride the beautiful trail, which is adorned with all the trappings of northern Idaho. Tall, dense pine trees cradle beautiful songbirds and the hills in the distance seem to shimmer. The trail follows a section of abandoned rail bed, but was turned into a non-motorized trail by the Taft Tunnel Preservation Society. Riders will travel through many tunnels, over railroad trestles and will see a waterfall and stunning overlooks during their journey.

Orange Biker

The Route of the Hiawatha Bike Trail is perfect for experienced mountain bikers looking for the thrill of a new adventure. Grab an adventurous friend or family member and forge on to the trail’s head, where you can test your strength and endurance while making your way up the incline, or experience the incredible adrenaline of the downhill ride. You will enjoy the precision construction of the railroad tunnels and trestles and enjoy the magnificent natural vistas the trail presents to you.

When staying at our downtown Coeur d’Alene inn for business or pleasure, any adventurous mountain biker should make a journey to the Route of the Hiawatha bike trail. There are so many things to see and do in the Pacific Northwest, but for someone who truly loves nature, a good trail ride is one thing that should never be missed. Bring a camera to capture pictures of some of the Gem state’s native flora and fauna to share your journey with friends and family. Grab your bike, strap on your helmet, fill your CamelBak up with water and get ready for the ride of a lifetime!

Q’emiln Trail :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

If you’re looking for a unique selection of outdoor activities in northern Idaho set on a backdrop of gorgeous mountains, natural wildlife and a sandy waterfront beach, look no further than Q’emiln Trail. Located a short drive west of our boutique Coeur d’Alene hotel, the scenic 78.5 acre piece of protected land includes a spectacular park, areas for grill pits, pavilions for picnicking, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, concession stands and more. This park heads off the scenic trail, which actually contains twelve small hikes which equal a grand total of four miles.

While visitors to Q’emiln Trail may come for the spectacular park or the hiking, many others come for the rock climbing. The geological formations in the area are a perfect place to practice their sport of choice, and rock climbing lessons are even offered by some area climbers. The trails themselves are verdant and easy to navigate, full of gorgeous northern Idaho wildlife and easily navigable by hikers of most skill levels. A hike on the Q’emiln Trail will take the average visitor anywhere from one to two hours. Packing a picnic and staying the day is encouraged, but visitors must travel somewhere else to camp.

Cold

The unique rock climbing features of Q’emiln Trail make it a favorite for adventurers from near and far who wish to pursue their craft. If you love rock climbing or have always wanted to learn more about it, inquire about climbing guides who can help teach or guide you through the process of rock climbing safely. Rock climbing on Q’emiln Trail could be a fantastic couples’ adventure full of adrenaline and thrills. Even for families who prefer a tamer experience, the trail’s winding paths and charming wildlife are sure to delight visitors of any age.

If you’re visiting the Coeur d’Alene area and enjoy rugged outdoor adventure, rock climbing on the Q’emiln Trail is a must. The experience is unlike any other and truly makes a trip to the Gem state one to remember. If you’re looking for a diverse trail with tons of fun activity options for a family day trip during your stay in Coeur d’Alene, look no further than the trail and park area. Enjoy games, sunshine, a delicious grilled picnic and a day that will always be remembered. Gorgeous trees, a lakeside breeze, wildlife and adventure are all waiting for you at Q’emiln Trail.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Northern Idaho is widely renowned for its natural beauty, and the stunning Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is no exception. Located just 20 miles from the Canadian border, the refuge is gently framed by the Selkirk mountain range and the powerful Kootenai River. This patch of land is federally protected, guaranteeing that there is a safe natural space for over 300 types of vertebrate. The reserve is a diverse stretch of pristine natural resources. Initially designed to provide a habitat to aid in waterfowl migration, the 2,774 acre resort is an amazing cross section of all the creatures and plants the Gem state has to offer.

Outdoor Couple

No matter the time of year, there is much to see and do at Kootenai National Wildlife Reserve, which opens at sunrise and closes about a half an hour after the sun sets. In the Spring, you are likely to see flocks of waterfowl taking refuge during their lengthy northern migration, as well as black bears emerging from their hibernation and native elk and moose wandering the land. As Summer approaches, bald eagles and other majestic birds nest in the serene preserve. The many waterfowl that make the land their own have hatched their eggs and are teaching their young to swim.

Black Bear

In Autumn, a stunning display of Northern Idaho’s mammalian population can be seen in the refuge. Beavers are seen near the Kootenai River, coyotes prowl about searching for food and white-tailed deer find nesting space on the forest floor. As waterfowl begin their Southerly migration, raptors such as osprey and bald eagles that find their home in the refuge can be seen hunting small prey for sustenance. At this time of year, the majestic elk wander the land in herds of one-hundredfold or more.

With events being staged throughout the year to delight and fascinate visitors, the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit if you are a nature lover staying in beautiful Coeur d’Alene. More than 30,000 people visit the refuge annually to enjoy regulated hunting and fishing, nature hikes on the four trails the refuge offers, wildlife observation, photography, and educational information regarding ecology, wild animal populations and environmental science. There is much to be seen and done during your visit to the Gem state, but this peaceful reserve with its rolling hills and stunning wetlands offers a beautiful sampling of all the nature northern Idaho has to offer.

Book your stay at our historic Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast in the heart downtown for the ultimate getaway!

Tubbs Hill :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

 

A favorite scenic spot for local hikers and vacationers alike, the beautiful two mile trail loop at Tubbs Hill near Coeur d’Alene is but one hiking trail at the site that has something for everyone. The trail spans a heavily forested peninsula which extends into Lake Coeur d’Alene, providing a charming trail rich with the wildlife native to the northern Idaho area. Tubbs Hill is centrally located on the northern shore of the lake, and is only a few minutes away from our downtown Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast.

Hike

The popular area has an unusual name, which originates from Tony Tubbs, a German immigrant who developed some of the area’s first property back in 1884. Today, the majestic features of the peninsula set it apart. Its unique geographic features keep new visitors coming all the time to experience the sights. Natural caves formed in rock which tower three stories tall are interspersed throughout the peninsula’s winding trail system. The metamorphic geological formations underfoot and in the bed of the lake which seem to shimmer ever so slightly are highlighted by mica, colloquially known as ‘fool’s gold’.

If you visit Tubbs Hill, you will be greeted by the majestic natural splendor of northern Idaho no matter the season. The peninsula is praised by visitors as being spectacularly full of sights to see no matter the season; Spring flowers burst into bloom, animals run and play in Summer sunshine, the red and gold leaves of Autumn set the sky ablaze, and the cool crispness of winter draws out eagles, osprey and other stunning predators.

Rocks

If you are visiting Coeur d’Alene and looking for a spot for a scenic day trip, look no further. Your family will thrill at the chance to explore the exciting Tubbs Hill peninsula with its towering Ponderosa pines, unique geological formations and beautiful wildlife. On the shore, the family can set sail for a fishing trip or kayaking jaunt, coming back for a picnic later. On shore bird watching is a lovely way to conclude the day as the shorebirds and waterfowl dart about artfully.

The trails at Tubbs Hill are good for all experience levels, and dogs are welcome.

This pristine haven of nature has been a huge draw to the Coeur d’Alene area for many years and is certainly worth a look while you’re in the area- bring your swimsuit and enjoy making a day of it.

Horseback Riding at Rider Ranch :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Part of the cowboy mystique of the West is the idea of a rider and their horse setting out on a journey together. At Rider Ranch, only 8 miles to the east of Coeur d’Alene, visitors to the Gem state can reclaim a part of that magic. There, guests are able to experience the thrill of riding on horseback. Whether a first time rider or an experienced equestrian, the ranch hands at Rider Ranch are always eager to help and happy to teach.

Two different kinds of rides are offered by the ranch, depending on the type of experience the rider would prefer. The first is a pleasure ride, generally offered at the hours of 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM with some time flexibility available. The minimum age for attending this ride is eight years old. On the trail ride, which spans between 60 and 90 minutes, ranch hands will guide you and teach you about the plants and animals you will see. Deer, turkey, squirrels, wildflowers and ranch dogs all bring the beauty of the Idaho ranch into perspective along the ride. After the ride, guests are welcome to stick around the ranch for homemade refreshments and relax on their charming porch.

Horses

The second type of ride, a unique experience to be sure, is an evening dinner ride- it would be a spectacularly fun family group outing or for Perfect for a romantic getaway in Coeur d’Alene! The rides begin at 6 pm, with times starting earlier in September as the weather begins to change. Like the pleasure rides, the minimum age for this ride is 8 years old. On this exciting jaunt, you’ll enjoy an hour of trail riding along the backdrop of the Idaho sunset. Nearing the end of the ride, you will reach a meadow, where a steak dinner with fresh bread, potatoes, beans, salad, coffee, and even dessert await you.

Horseback riding is a delightful way to experience the scenic beauty of nature at any age, and is especially lovely in the scenic northern hills of the Gem state. It allows you to escape from the pressures of life and truly relax. Book your stay at our historic Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast and be sure to add Rider Ranch to your list of adventures for a unique and memorable vacation experience.

Higgins Point :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

A spectacular detour from the beautiful North Idaho Centennial Trail, Higgins Point rests in scenic splendor along the northeastern coast of crystal-clear Lake Coeur d’Alene. The popular site finds a home along the Gem state’s famous Coeur d’Alene Parkway, a 5.7 mile parkway bordering the lake which offers the option for a variety of non motorized recreational enjoyment. Also known as Blue Point, the spot is a boat launch for those who wish to kayak, fish or simply enjoy the wildlife of the beautiful Idaho parks system.

The boat launch at Higgins Point is open year round, with cycling and picnicking commonly enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. As Autumn comes to a close, many people are attracted to Higgins Point because it is a favorite spot of bald eagles. Wildlife enthusiasts come from far and wide to view the majestic birds at this rare gathering spot. The gorgeous lakeside views make the point an ideal place to relax and take in the splendor of nature.

Kayak

For a couple or a family, Higgins Point is an ideal day trip when planning a getaway to charming Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The point is just to the east of the city, a short trip for such spectacular scenery. Because the point is located off of the North Idaho Centennial Trail, it makes an ideal place to begin and end a family hike followed by an afternoon kayaking excursion. Rich with the many species native to northern Idaho, Higgins Point is a wonderful spot for observing wildlife with children and teaching them about ecosystems and the preservation of nature. It is also a beautiful place to take nature photography, as the many birds and animals in the area certainly aren’t shy about showing their faces.

There is much to do and see in lovely Coeur d’Alene, but if you’re a nature lover who has heard about Idaho’s crystal clear lakes and scenic boating, you will no doubt want to head down to the point and see for yourself. Once you get that kayak out on the water, your worries and cares will drift away, replaced by a sense of serenity. If you want to get back to nature during your visit to northern Idaho, a trip up to Higgins Point to get your feet wet and see the sights is a necessity. Book your stay at our historic Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast in the heart downtown for the ultimate getaway!

Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises

Coeur d'Alene Lake Cruises

Any visitor to the Coeur d’Alene area will no doubt take note of the magnificent lake that the city borders. Lake Coeur d’Alene is a popular spot for those vacationing in the area to go swimming, sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding and fishing, but for those who prefer a drier experience, there are alternative ways to experience the lake. Boat cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene are a fantastic way to take in the remarkable beauty of the northern Idaho landscape from an entirely new vantage point and enjoy a sophisticated experience on your trip.


 

Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruise Package : 2 Cruise Tickets for $40

Enjoy a scenic 90 minute cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene for a special discounted rate. Just book your favorite room at our downtown Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast and add your tickets at checkout. One night minimum stay required.

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Many different styles of lake cruise are available through Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises. Visitors may choose a scenic journey or a sunset dinner; perhaps they may prefer a Brunch cruise or a holiday cruise. Whatever they choose, cruise passengers enjoy a climate controlled environment with a full bar, sound system and picture windows, so they won’t miss a thing. Throughout the year, many different holiday and theme cruises are available. The Christmas cruise, perhaps the most famous of these, has been featured on Good Morning America for its’ unique vantage point of the Coeur d’Alene Resort Holiday Light Show.

lake-roosevelt

There is plenty to see and do on a boat cruise across Lake Coeur d’Alene. You might spend your daytime cruise on the deck, spotting wildlife and bird watching with the kids. A sunset dinner cruise might find you and your spouse at a cozy corner table sipping wine and enjoying the stunning romantic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. On a Holiday cruise, you could start a whole new beloved family tradition. If you have a big family or a business, cruises can even be chartered for an event during your trip.

Coeur d'Alene ID hotelTraveling to the Coeur d’Alene area sometime soon? Reserve your seats on a Lake Coeur d’Alene boat tour today. Public daytime cruises are available, but specialty cruises such as the holiday trips and brunch and dinner offerings fill up quickly. Don’t miss the Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar during Sunday brunch or the seasonal eagle watching cruises available on the lake during the Winter season. There are many exciting things to see and do in the Coeur d’Alene area, but if you want to experience Lake Coeur d’Alene and nature itself from a truly unique vantage point, take a boat cruise across the lake and see for yourself.

Exploring Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars

Awe-Inspiring Ancient Trees

Exploring the Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars is an experience not to be missed during your stay at our Coeur d’Alene bed and breakfast. Some of the trees in Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars are more than 500 years old. That makes most of the trees older than the painting of the Sistine Chapel, older than painting of the Mona Lisa, and older than Christopher Columbus’ third voyage to the New World. These ancient trees have survived war, drought, fire, logging (though they are protected today) and the advancement of the Western Civilization. If only these cedars could talk!

settlers grove of ancient cedars

Photo courtesy of fs.usda.gov

Take a Walk or a Bike Ride Back through Time

Walk or bike along the winding trail through enormous, ancient trees with leaves that rustle in the gentle breezes and whisper of times gone by. Remote, peaceful and very similar to how it looked a millennia ago; Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars is a breathtaking journey into the past and a steadfast reminder that we alone do not inhabit the earth, that, in fact, we share it with these graceful giants that tower over the forest and loom like staunch guardians.

Spend a Day Here with the Family

Whether you choose to hike or bike ride through it, Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars is a meandering route that takes you across the wooden bridges that still stand over the West Fork Eagle Creek. View nature in all its serene glory and also take advantage of the newly added amenities of a restroom and widened parking area to make your day even more pleasant.

A Cedar Tree’s Resilience against Impossible Odds

Cedars are a remarkable species of tree and sometimes their age is difficult to determine; various aspects like the tree’s environment, the amount of moisture available to the tree and weather patterns all factor in. However, some of the trees in this Ancient Grove stand more than 120 feet tall and are hollowed out. The resilient Cedar, however, overcomes the fire or disease damage and grows itself over the decayed area. Think of what we could learn from these trees!

Stand Next to a Living Time Machine

Where were you 1,200 years ago? And what will you be doing 1,200 years from now? The oldest trees in this Ancient Grove are about nine feet in diameter, making them 1,200 years old. That means that when one of these ancient titans was scarcely breaking through the soil, algebra was just being invented, and Charlemagne was being crowned Emperor. And what about the seedlings that are just now sprouting out of the earth, will they last for another 1,200 years from now, when it’s 3,200 A.D. What will they have survived?

Be Prepared to Have Fun!

When traveling along the Coeur d’Alenes, whether it’s along the trail that leads from Mullan to Plummer or the Settlers Grove of Ancient Cedars trail, be prepared not just to have fun, but also for every eventuality.

Idaho is a place of great beauty but can also experience weather changes so be prepared and bring plenty of liquids, carby snacks, appropriate clothing and bike gear.  Most of all, remember that whatever you take into the park, you must also bring out!

Directions

From our downtown Coeur d’Alene inn, head east on I-90 east for approximately 29 miles to the Kingston Exit 43. Take Coeur d’Alene River Road 23 miles towards Murray / Thompson Pass and veer right at the fork. In a couple miles watch for signs for the Settlers Grove turn-off. When the blacktop ends, a gravel road lead you in about 5 miles to the parking lot and from there you can take hiking trails into the Grove.