Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Columbia Plateau Trail Cheney/Plaza

 This is a really pretty stretch of the Columbia plateau Trail that is accessed either in parking along the road on either side of the bridge on Cheney Plaza Rd or Parking at the trailhead on Cheney-Spangle and walking west for about 1 mile. I for years used to park along the very wide turn in at the north end of the bridge, not blocking anything and well back of the no parking signs, but an overzealous park employee decided to give me a ticket. They are canceling the ticket but still a lot of hassle. This portion of the trail is northern most part of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. Walking west you pass a lot of large ponds, lily ponds and through some areas where there are high rocks on each side. At the 3.25 mile mark from the gate there is a rest room with a hitching post for those using the trail on their horses. This area is not paved, the gravel is pretty fine but it might be hard to ride bikes with narrow tires. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Coeur d'alene Cougar Bay Preserve and John Pointer memorial wildlife sanctuary

 Went walking at the Cougar Bay Preserve and John Pointer Memorial Natural Areas at the Southwest corner of Coeur d'alene Lake. The 2 areas are connected by the paths that wander along the forest at the edge of the lake. The Cougar Bay Preserve has a parking area that is off of  highway 95 about 3 miles or so south of the city of Coeur d'alene. The paths are steep and windy so be ready to climb. The wetland with its pink water lilies, cat tail and grasses is beautiful and a nice start to the walk. The paths are sided by old growth timber, ferns, brush and tall grasses. As you get to the lake side you have some views of the lake through the trees. When you came around and start to head south again you are greeted by a fork in the trail the right one heads back down toward the parking the left heads up the hill and further east to the John Pointer Wildlife Sanctuary. Going to the left you come upon a wooden viewing deck that you can see the Coeur d'alene Resort hotel from. the view here is still obstructed by trees but you can see some of the lake. A little further up the hill and you come to a gravestone, I guess John Pointer was really buried here as it says its a cemetery and another  marker saying its the John Pointer Memorial Cemetery and Wildlife Sanctuary. I would advise you to return down past the view deck and backtrack to the fork and go back down that way. I decided to follow what looked like a path, maybe, just past the big trash bin and just ended up going over fallen tree's and through thick brush to reach the return trail the hard way.

Monday, August 16, 2021

John Wayne Trail Rosalia east

 The John Wayne/ Iron Horse trail travels the abandoned railway bed of the Milwaukee Railroad for 285 miles starting on the west slope of the cascades and ending at the Idaho border. I started in Rosalia parking in a turnout on Horlacher Road and then went east. The old train overpass is always a treat to see and pass over. You go under the freeway and then just keep going. All the wonderful patterns in the harvested fields are eye catching and folks were out working away to get the crops in. Make sure and wear a pair of stout shoes when doing the trail in this area as it is completely  large gravel and rocks, like you see under the railroad tracks. This is not a good trail for bicycles unless you have fat off road type tires.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Riverside State Park Bowl & Pitcher

 Went walking in Riverside State Park today. I started at the 1st turnout on the main road into the park off of Government Way. This area is called the Morin Trailhead, there are a couple of parking areas. I proceeded down the paved road that is the Centennial Trail here, about 3/4mile down you go right toward the river and can either travel along the river or a little further on into the forest. I am always drawn to the closest one to the river. There are areas where you can get right down to the water and even a sandy beach, A man was fishing across the river in this area. The river is very low so when I reached the Bowl and Pitcher I was able to take the pictures from almost the middle of the river because of the exposed rock shelves that are around the huge boulders that sit in the middle of the river. You continue on the path after coming up from the river, going straight instead of turning left to go to the suspended bridge. Right up a hill into the forest and you come to the main road again and follow it back. Its probably about 3-3 1/2 miles or so with a lot of climbing over rocks and up very steep hills so be ready for a challenge. 

Manito Park spring

 What a glorious space this Manito Park is! Every season is gorgeous and completely different and to be experienced! I went walking in Manit...