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Coeur d'Alene town is situated at the north end of Lake Coeur d'Alene, one of the largest lakes in the Pacific Northwest. There are plenty of outdoor activities and fun to be found in the area including sailing, lake kayaking, white water rafting, biking, running and hiking. Every June the town gets busy with the Ironman competition and there are a number of other sporting, outdoor and athletic events throughout the year.
Lake Coeur d’Alene is home to plenty of water sports, and if you’re looking to see it at leisurely pace consider taking a three-hour long kayak tour of the region. Kayak Coeur d’Alene as well as ROW Adventures offer morning, afternoon and sunset tours. All are ideal for families and beginners. There are also advanced routes and tours available. Kayak and gear rental is available.
If you’re looking to pick up the pace, Adventures with Western Waters offers trout fishing on the Clark Fork River… and of course whitewater rafting, complete with class III rapids. There are routes available for all ages, plus advanced routes for the hardcore paddlers. Tours from May through September and fly-fishing is available on the lower Clark Fork from April through November. Coeur d'Alene based ROW Adventures has been around since 1979 and offers white water rafting trips on five rivers close to Coeur d'Alene. Closest is the Spokane River in downtown Spokane, just 40 minutes to the west. The Coeur d'Alene River about 45 minutes to the east. A bit further afield are the Moyie, two hours north near Bonners Ferry and the St. Joe about two hours east. Both these trips are early season May-June whitewater thrillers. As the summer continues there are also trips on the Alberton Gorge of the Clark Fork and ROW takes kids as young as five on this. You can read about all their trips at ROWadventures.com
For horseback riding just a few miles east of town, check out Rider Ranch. There's a fun evening cowboy music show on the Idaho/Washington border at the Rockin B Ranch. They offer a supper show and the quality of music and entertainment is outstanding.
The area is a fly fishers mecca too with the beautiful Coeur d'Alene River just east of town less than an hour and the emerald St. Joe about two hours away. Both feature excellent fishing for cutthroat trout, a native species that are famous around the world. ROW Fishing Adventures offers half day and full day fly fishing trips on these rivers as well as packages that combine them with overnight accommodations.
There are miles and miles of great bike trails in the area on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes as well as the Centennial Trail that runs from Coeur d'Alene to Spokane mostly following the Spokane River. One hour east is the amazing Hiawatha Trail with a bike path that goes through mile-long tunnels and over old railroad bridges. Guided bike tours on all the area's trails, along with combination adventures that include biking and kayaking, or biking and rafting, are offered by the ROW Adventure Center.
In the winter you’ll find what Ski Magazine has dubbed “Skiing’s Biggest Secrets,” with runs at the Silver Mountain in nearby Kellogg, Idaho. This resort features more than 1,500 acres with more than 65 trails. There are seven lifts available, which run year long. So when the summer returns you can come back and experience the trails on your mountain bike. Bikes and skis are available for rent.
North of town about two hours is Schweitzer Ski Area, also a wonderful and large area that transitions in the summer to a place with mountain bike and hiking trails.
A great resource for all local outdoor activities is right on main street downtown, at the ROW Adventure Center. The friendly folks there book trips around the area and also have advice for do-it-yourself along with books about the area. There is a good bike shop too called Terra Sports right on the main street (Sherman Avenue) that offers rentals and sales.
There is a great hike right downtown on Tubbs Hill. It's about a two-mile loop hike on a trail that follows the shoreline with some nice beaches along the way. There are some trails that climb to the top of the hill too. Further east of town the Centennial Trail continues along the lake with excercise stations along the way.
Of course there is also sailing on the lake and the local college, North Idaho College, has a few boats for rent on the City Beach right downtown. As well, on the City dock you can rent paddle boats and sit-on-top kayaks.
Overall Coeur d'Alene is an outdoor activity paradise!