Route of the Hiawatha Seasonal Easy

In the U. S., the Route of the Hiawatha is the crown jewel of non single track bike trails. Like Moab, or Whistler, this is a premier trail for biking. It is 15 miles long and contains 11 tunnels and 9 trestles to ride thru or on. The star tunnel is the 1.7 mile long Taft Tunnel. This tunnel starts in Montana and ends in Idaho. Be sure to bring a headlight (so you don't have to hold it) with extra batteries and bulb. It is dark in there. If you are a slow rider, bring a rear blinking red light so you don't get hit from the rear by faster bikers. Also bring warm cloths. It is also very cold in the tunnels. The road bed is very well maintained, and has no potholes or obstacles to worry about. As the trail snakes down the old 1.7% grade railroad bed, it zig-zags through some impressive forest. The other nice feature are the 9 trestles that you ride over. The star trestle is the trestle over Clear Creek. It is several hundred feet above the creek below, and offers great views up Clear Creek. One of the neat things about being on this trestle, is the fact that you look down 100 feet to the top of the trees along the creek. Not often do you get this view. Be sure to take your camera. It is a photographer's dream come true. There is a charge of $9 to use the trail, that can be purchased in Wallace, Lookout Pass ski Area, or by trail personnel along the trail. This money goes toward maintaining the trail and to supply the Bike Patrol (Ski Patrol) with emergency gear and medical supplies. Also available is a shuttle service from the bottom for those who don't want to ride the 30 mile loop. This service also cost $9. Bike rentals are available at Lookout Ski Area on the Idaho-Montana boarder. If you can only do one thing in Idaho, do this trail, it is amazing.

Cool things to see: 11 tunnels, 9 trestles, wildlife, wildflowers, forest, mountains, cliffs, waterfall and a grave site.

All photographs are copyrighted by Chic Burge and are not to be copied.