The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Running from Montana westward across northern Idaho into Washington state, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a scenic bike trail that is beloved by pedal pushers near and far. The trail follows the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad across the state, and for visitors to Coeur d’Alene, it is an easy access trail that features all the natural highlights of the Pacific Northwest from plants to animals. The trail spans 71 miles and is paved for non-motorized vehicle use, making it the perfect spot for a long, scenic bike ride through the Gem State.


Winding through the mountains and down into Silver Valley, the trail provides a challenging ride that is still family friendly. Throughout the trail are a variety of attractions that riders can stop to see while learning about the Native Americans that once lived in the area as well as the mining and railroading industries that once thrived there. Plenty of northern Idaho’s wildlife make themselves known on the trail, including moose, beavers, coyotes, otters and birds of prey. The Douglas Firs and Ponderosa Pines that line the bike trail are hallmarks of the state’s beautiful, dense forests.

Bike in Sun

For someone who loves adventure and history, it wouldn’t be out of line to dedicate a few days to exploring the trail from start to finish. Whether high atop a mountain, low in a valley or pedaling through the prairie, the natural wonders of the Gem State will unfold before your eyes, giving you a glimpse into the wonder of northern Idaho. Plan to explore those steep overlooks one day, and return the next for a picnic in the valley. Document your journey in photos, and create an adventure you’ll never forget.

For an intrepid adventurer paying a visit to the Coeur d’Alene area, the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is a spot that should not be missed. The trail is packed with opportunities to learn about Native American and American Industrial history as well as to observe the richly populated land for native wildlife and plants. Setting forth on a journey on this lengthy trail requires dedication, but riders are rewarded with incredible sights and amazing memories. Hike the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes to swim in Heyburn State Park, visit the Center of the Universe and experience Idaho like you’ve never seen it before.

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

Cougar Bay :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Only minutes from our downtown Coeur d’Alene’s bed and breakfast, a majestic wildlife preserve holds all of northern Idaho’s most beautiful treasures. Cougar Bay Preserve contains 88 acres of verdant lakeside land, with emerald hills and a sapphire waterfront creating an ideal environment for Idaho’s precious wildlife. Nature trails run throughout the preserve’s dense pine forest and around beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene’s northwestern shore. Waterfowl migrating North in Spring raise their young beside the lake, as do the beaver and otter native to the area. Deer and moose are also commonly spotted among the trees, a joyful sight as they gently graze in their habitat.

Visitors to thLake Couplee Cougar Bay Preserve have at their fingertips a source of endless potential; there, they may enjoy a stroll along five miles of beautiful winding hiking trails. On the trails, they will find countless opportunities to observe and photograph the flora and fauna of northern Idaho in its most healthy and natural state. For those in search of an adventure, kayaking and regulated fishing are permitted in bordering Lake Coeur d’Alene. The pristine preserve is a regarded spot for bird watchers- many different species of waterfowl, songbirds and shorebirds make Cougar Bay their home.

The preserve is a popular spot for nature lovers visiting Coeur d’Alene, and for good reason- open in every season and close at hand for traveling, Cougar Bay is a fantastic spot for families. Children will love experiencing the amazing birds and other wildlife that thrives in the Gem state while adults will marvel at the majesty of nature and enjoy the serenity of open air. A trip out onto the lake to fish can bring memories the whole family will never forget. Family photos from this trip will be a beloved addition to albums with this unique natural backdrop. Book your family vacation to Idaho at our family-owned Coeur d’Alene hotel today, we offer several family-friendly suites!

Bird Watching

The forests and lakes of northern Idaho offer many hidden gems for those who seek them, and Cougar Bay Preserve is one of the best. Conveniently adjacent to downtown Coeur d’Alene, Cougar Bay is a must visit on any trip to the area. Plan to spend a day of your trip on this gorgeous piece of land to really take it in. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket, put on your hiking shoes, grab your camera and your fishing pole and head down to the preserve for a day of hiking, fishing and fun you will never forget!


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

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

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.


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

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

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.


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

Friday, November 27th, 2015

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.


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

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

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

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015


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.


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.


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

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

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.


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.

Tina’s Turn

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

First of all I’d like to thank the people who have posted on this blog while I have run screaming in the opposite direction! I am not the greatest when it comes to sitting down in front of this box (computer) and spending time composing anything of interest or that makes any sense. But after much nagging, I mean encouragement, I have decided to give it a go. For anyone who has read this blog in the past it may take on a different feel. Not only will I tell of things going on at our Coeur d’Alene, Idaho inn, but I want to talk about things that impress and inspire me. I hope you enjoy!
In the mean time here is a picture of the finished patio that John and his brother Scott completed in April. We have had several,weddings,evening managers receptions there, as well as guests just enjoying the area and shade of the Norwegian maple trees. Stay tuned for more.

Higgins Point :: Exploring Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Friday, September 25th, 2015

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.


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!