Top 9 Outdoor Activities in Coeur d'Alene, ID
Harrison Yates | January 8, 2021 @ 12:00 AM
Outdoor activities in Coeur d’Alene mostly center around the large body of water, Coeur d’Alene Lake, which dominates the area. Yes, there are other fun outdoor adventures to be had in the area, and we cover the best of those, too. Whatever outdoor activities you enjoy, remember that you can store your gear and keep it safe with us at Keylock Storage.
We’ll start with the lake itself.
Coeur d'Alene Lake
Coeur d’Alene Lake is the second largest lake in all of Northern Idaho, fed by the Coeur d’Alene river and St. Joe River. Facing Mount Coeur d'Alene to the southeast, this lake is 25 miles long and has 135 miles of shoreline. All around it you’ll find parks, campgrounds, beaches, trails, and recreational facilities. There are also many boat ramps and nine marinas with field docks and food.
This is an excellent lake to fish in for chinook and kokanee salmon, trout, bass, and northern pike. You can pay for space on a charter fishing boat as well.
One of the big draws of Coeur d’Alene Lake comes between November and February when a huge flock of migrating bald eagles shows up and spends the winter here. In the spring and summer, you can also find many migrating swans, geese, ospreys, and ducks.
Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch
Located 15 minutes from downtown Coeur d’Alene is Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch, a fun place for families and animal lovers. Here, the owners raise alpacas, llamas, goats, horses, mini horses, and more. Admission is affordable. Kids get in for half price, and children three and under get in for free. Of course, children must be supervised by an adult at all times. The ranch is a great place to reserve an event for your business or a birthday party.
The 40 acre property also includes the Seven Stars Country Store gift shop, with many items made from alpaca wool. You can purchase socks, hats, sweaters, capes, and vests. If you enjoy knitting, you can also purchase alpaca yarn. Other items include wooden bowls, ring bowls, alpaca wool bowls, souvenir cups, glasses, and t-shirts.
Coeur d'Alene City Park and Fort Sherman Playground
Just west of downtown is Coeur d’Alene City Park. You’ll find so much to do here. This 17 acre park includes a bandshell for concerts, a picnic area with a shelter as well as picnic tables all over the park, a beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene, a wooden play area called For Sherman Playground, basketball courts, volleyball courts, restaurants, and more.
Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail
On the northeastern outcropping of Coeur d’Alene Lake is Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail. All along this 3.3-mile loop you’ll get beautiful views of the lake, hills, and trees. From November to February, this is a great spot to go bird watching and check out the migrating bald eagles.
Along the trail you’ll find 22 stations with signs describing the local plants and wildlife. These include caribou, grizzly bears, pygmy shrews, salamanders, and calliope hummingbirds. The trail has a paved parking area and two picnic shelters, so you can have a pleasant walk and stop for lunch to enjoy the scenery and fresh air while you eat.
This popular area is great for hiking, swimming in the lake, mountain biking, or relaxing on the beach. And the start of the main trail is located downtown.
Tubbs Hill consists of 135 acres in a peninsula that juts into Coeur d’Alene Lake. This hilly spot includes trails, caves, beaches, and overlooks of the forest and lake. It’s a wonderful area for bird watching, too. Check out the hooded mergansers, horned grebes, and western grebes in the winter, and the osprey, mergansers, and pied-billed grebes in the summer.
Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises
Want to check out Coeur d’Alene Lake from the lake? Taking a tour with Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises is a great way to do just that. These tours recall the riverboats of the 19th Century. Charter a cruise for an event, whether for business or something personal like a reunion or birthday party. You can even get married or have your wedding reception while on a lake cruise. All around you, you’ll find beautiful views of the lake and the forested shoreline.
Each boat includes full bar service, picture windows, and a sound system for music, announcements, and so on. Taking one of these cruises is another great way to enjoy watching the various birds that come to the area, particularly the bald eagles in the winter.
The website has numerous videos, showcasing the tours and various special events you can participate in, including Halloween and Christmas themed cruises.
Idaho Panhandle National Forests
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests cover a large area to the southeast of Coeur d’Alene Lake. How large? This forest covers 2.5 million acres, or 10,000 square kilometers. The area includes sections of the Coeur d’Alene, Kaniksu, and St. Joe National Forests. Five mountain ranges are located within these national forests. These include the Cabinet Mountains, Coeur d’Alene Range, Bitterroot Range, Purcell Mountains, and Selkirk Mountains.
Popular activities here include hiking any time of year, and cross-country skiing in the winter. There are 1,400 miles of trails allowing you to enjoy the shade of the Douglas-firs, grand firs, lodgepole pines, and other trees, and possibly spot animals like deer, elk, grizzly bears, racoons, moose, coyotes, black bears, beavers, cougars, ravens, blue jays, golden eagles, and many others.
If you’ve ever enjoyed a rope swing or a roller coaster, you’re bound to enjoy zip lining. That’s what Timberline Adventures is all about. The tour includes seven zip lines and two sky bridges to get to them, plus two auto-belays.
From so high up, you’ll get an amazing view of the forest and Coeur d’Alene Lake, whether you’re crossing a bridge or speeding down a zip line from tree to tree. Choose a lunch or a s’mores treehouse adventure for your tour.
With numerous trails and 135 miles of shoreline, there’s far too much of Coeur d’Alene to see in one day. However, you could see a lot more on an electric bike. That’s where Electric Adventures comes in.
Now, you’ll need a reservation to rent a bike from Electric Adventures, but then you’ll be able to cruise along the 74-mile Centennial Trail and enjoy a truly scenic ride. Rent a bike from between two and eight hours. Kid haulers are available, so you can ride with your small children, as are hitch racks, allowing you to attach up to two bikes on the back of your vehicle, then drive to where you would like to start your ride.
Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, camping, or fishing, it’s a good idea to have somewhere safe to store your outdoor gear, and you can easily do so at Keylock Storage. We have two facilities in Coeur d’Alene and one in nearby Hayden. We even provide storage for cars, boats, and RVs.