Tour: Coeur d'Alene South
For a day, or days, packed with activities, the Coeur d'Alene South tour takes in the communities of Harrison and St. Maries, offering history, scenery, wildlife, golf, biking … and even a chance to flirt with Lady Luck.
From Coeur d'Alene, drive east on Interstate 90 about 10 miles to the exit for Highway 97 South. It's only 25 miles south to the first stops, but take your time; the winding rural road along Lake Coeur d'Alene has simply splendid scenery. Bring a bike, as you'll parallel the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, a fantastic rails-to-trails bicycle path with multiple access points.
For wildlife lovers, the Thompson Lake Wildlife Refuge offers beauty and abundant waterfowl; a bit further on is the quaint and historic town of Harrison, with a fascinating walking tour available.
Continuing south on Highway 97 to Highway 3, swing into the logging community of St. Maries for the fine Hughes House Museum. Nearby is the Emerald Creek Garnet Area, a Forest Service site where you can dig for star garnets.
Or, swing over to Heyburn State Park, with hiking and biking along Coeur d'Alene Lake at one of the state's premier parks.
Looping back north via Highway 95, be sure to try your luck at Coeur d'Alene Casino - one of Idaho's finest, located on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation. Duffers, bring the clubs: the resort's Circling Raven Golf Course has also won kudos nationally.