Field trip: Wandering in Coeur d’Alene

Work took me west for a forestry research meeting, and I was excited to see a new landscape. I was happy to discover a greenway trail along the lake, the North Idaho Discovery Trail, but still wanted to check into the possibility of nearby dirt. I found and messaged the Trail Maniacs, and received an immediate recommendation for Tubbs Hill, a small peninsula with trails that was adjacent to my hotel.

???????????????????????????????I am not a fancy hotel kind of person, but even I had to admit that my room on the 15th floor with a balcony and fireplace was super-sweet. And I could see Tubbs Hill right out the huge picture window! I took a trail map from the concierge and waited for an opportunity. I ended up doing two short runs there at the end of two different days, a perfect way to decompress after moderating two solid days of forestry research talks.

Larch, my new favorite western conifer!

Larch, my new favorite western conifer!

Tubbs Hill has a 2 mile trail that goes around the periphery, as well as a few secondary trails. I was stunned to see 20+ species of wildflowers, most of which I’d never seen, but were familiar due to their Eastern kin. While I was there and on the forestry field tour, I learned several new species of conifers that grow in mixed stands in the area known as the “Inland Empire.”

Coeur d'Alene collage

Gorgeous wildflowers on Tubbs Hill that seemed like old friends. The only flower that was completely unfamiliar was the chocolate lily on the top left.

The trail, while short, has lots of wonderful diversity—rocky sections along the lake, cool, shady sections through tall conifers, open sunny areas with wildflowers. Although the map showed only 2 main trails, there is actually a whole network of trails that criss-crosses over the steep, rocky hill.

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Exploring a small peninsular park like Tubbs Hill was fun, because you can take whatever trail comes across your path and get a bit lost, without getting REALLY lost. And if you’ve been on a tight agenda for a few days, a little wandering is exactly what you need.


Wandering is good for me.



4 thoughts on “Field trip: Wandering in Coeur d’Alene

    • Thank you Audrey! Didn’t know you’d spent time in Coeur D’Alene. Guessing the lake up there is too cold for you to consider the IM there. It is beautiful!

    • It really was, and all I really saw was this small peninsular park. There was a lot of US Forest Service land up into the mountains, but I didn’t have a way to get there in the short time I was there. The field tour went a little farther afield, but of course I was in a van and had no idea where we were.

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