If you’re looking to get off the beaten path you’ll find it on the Route of Hiawatha located about one hour east of Coeur d'Alene. This was the train route for the old Milwaukee Road railroad line, and is located just off Interstate-90.  The old railroad line has been converted and is now part  of America's "rails-to-trails" system.  It includes a 15-mile historic rail route on the Idaho/Montana border in the heart of the Bitterroot Mountains. The trail passes through nine old train tunnels and across seven mountain-pass trestles and past scenic waterfalls and over ridges. Since 1999, this has been open to biking, and was enhanced and improved in 2001 with the addition of a 1.7-mile long Taft Tunnel expansion. Improvements continue and within a year or two (2013 perhaps) an extension called the Route of thee Olympian will be added on the Montana side of the border.  

The trails are available to be hiked or biked, and this includes a 30-mile round trip loop with 2000 feet of elevation to climb and descend (so bring your climbing legs), or a 15-mile round of level and mostly downhill riding. A shuttle bus is even provided to bring up back up to the top so you can ride it again!

Helmets and proper lighting equipment are required for riders, and there is an $9 fee to ride the trails and the shuttle bus back is another $9. The trail is operated by the folks at  Lookout Pass Ski Area and part of the proceeds go to maintain this magnificent trail for future generations.  There are also guided trips offered through the ROW Adventure Center that includes lunch, bikes and gear and roundtrip transport from Coeur d'Alene.  If you do it on your own, be sure to bring water, and food. This is truly a one-of-a-kind place, and makes for a ride of the lifetime!