The views are breathtaking and the seasons offer a delightful array of activities, but the best news is that you don’t have to spend a dime to have a good time in Northern Idaho’s lake playground, Coeur d’Alene. Here are seven suggestions for activities that are completely free in the lakeside retreat.
1.Hike Tubbs Hill. Tubbs Hill consists of 120 acres and is surrounded on three sides by sparkling Lake Coeur d’Alene. There are several miles of trails that offer fantastic views and secluded areas of forest and beaches. The 2.2 mile perimeter hike is ideal for families and can even be enhanced by a Junior Friends of Tubbs Hill Activity Book that is available to print from the city park website.
2.Explore the City with Mudgy and Millie. Coeur d’Alene’s best known residents just happen to be a moose and a mouse. They are the creation of acclaimed children’s author Susan Nipp, another well- known resident of Coeur d’Alene who wrote a storybook to introduce children to her beloved hometown. Following the story through town, visitors will encounter five bronze statues that depict scenes from the book. It is a whimsical way to hit the highlights of the city and enjoy a stroll through Coeur d’Alene
3. Walk Along the World’s Longest Floating Boardwalk. At 2/3 of a mile, not only is the floating boardwalk the longest in the world, it also offers some of the best views in town from the elevated bridge.
4.Use Your Eagle Eyes. With help from the Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Audubon Society, and volunteers, the Bureau of Land Management has hosted the annual Coeur d’Alene Eagle Watch Week between December 26 and January 1 since 1991. Educational displays and telescopes are available for the viewing public to enjoy the eagles. If you are not in town during Eagle Watch Week, you can still have a chance to see some Bald Eagles as you walk along the shores of the lake.
5. Go Berry Picking. Huckleberries, the official fruit of Idaho, grow plentifully in the mountains of Coeur d’Alene. The best berry patches are found are found along abandoned logging roads, where ample sunshine allows the berries to thrive. The best picking occurs from mid-June on the south facing slopes to October on the north facing slopes. Do keep in mind that bears love berries as much as people, and use caution when venturing into bear territory.
6. Drive the Scenic By-Way. Following Idaho Highway 97 on the east side of the lake, the Lake Coeur d'Alene Scenic Byway offers scenery, wildlife, and a few places to get out and stretch your legs. The Mineral Ridge Scenic Area at Wolf Lodge Bay, the Thompson Lake birding station, and Trail of the Coeur d'Alene at Harrison are popular stops along the way.
7. Catch a Free Festival: There are a variety of free and inexpensive festivals throughout the year for every interest. Don’t miss the Car d’Alene Car Show and Street dance in June, the Wooden Boat Show in August, and the Christmas at the Lake Holiday Lights Show in December.
~Coeur d'Alene Resort provided our accomodations and attractions during my stay. They did not require that I express a particular viewpoint and all opinions are my own. ~
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