Think ‘exciting cycling’ and the potato-growing state of Idaho isn’t usually the first place that comes to mind but there’s surprisingly great biking to be had in this slice of America – notably two of the best bike paths in North America, the Route of the Hiawatha and the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
Add to this a whole host of local cycling enthusiasts, some beautiful parkland, rolling hills, plenty of chances to see wildlife up close and you have everything you need for a great two-wheeled adventure.
Here’s the quick ‘cheat sheet’ guide to cycling in Oregon:
Where to ride: For our money, the gems of Idaho are in the north, through the panhandle of the state: mountains, streams and amazing bike paths through pristine nature. Towns and villages along the way tell the history of the mining and timber industries that helped populate the area. The more southern areas of Idaho are dominated by potato farming.
Don’t Miss: Don’t leave without riding at least one rail trail – the Route of the Hiawatha is easily the most spectacular – and if you’re coming in from Washington, the funky town of Moscow with its great food co-op and bike shops is well worth a day or two.
Food: Idaho is all about good, simple home cooking, although in the bigger towns there are a few more upscale restaurants springing up and one glossy publication from the tourist information folks tries hard to promote Idaho Cuisine. The selection of restaurants can be limited in smaller towns or even non-existent so you’ll want to carry at least a few snacks with you and a campstove would probably be handy.
Accommodation: There’s a reasonable amount of free camping potential in the forests of Idaho and plenty of B&Bs and hotels to be had in the towns. The campsites are hit and miss: nice in the government-run parks but potentially run-down when it comes to private operations.
Web Resources: Make sure you check out the following…
- National Parks in Idaho
- National Forests in Idaho
- Idaho Government Information for Bike Tourists
- Ride Idaho (an annual supported tour)
- Route of the Hiawatha
- Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes