In North Idaho the vestiges of a timber industry are still visible most notably by the logging trucks on the roads and the occasional glimpse of a sawmill along a highway.
Visitors to North Idaho are less likely to understand the impact that great industry had on the area.
That’s because most of the reminders have been buried or hauled off, in some ways to the detriment of not only the economy, but to history.
The Coeur d' Alene Parkway is among the burial sites, but you wouldn’t know it by looking.
The paved parkway that lies along the north shore of Lake Coeur d' Alene offers visitors 5.7 miles of non-motorized recreation area. The parkway is part of the nationally famous North Idaho Centennial Trail, a multi-use recreational trail system that meanders for 24 miles from the Idaho-Washington state line.
It also covers former mill and rail sites where sawmills once churned, tugboats once blasted their horns as they hauled in rafts of logs through the fog, and raw logs were transported on steel tracks coming out of the mountains.
Coeur d'Alene Parkway State Park follows the scenic north shore of Lake Coeur D'Alene, as part of the Centennial Trail, which is in turn a part of the extensive Millennium Legacy trail system. Here, strollers, hikers and bicyclers meander through a 34-acre linear park with its breathtaking shore views. The parkway extends from downtown's Sherman Avenue east along the lake to Higgen's Point, one of the area's premiere hideaways. With more than 1,000-feet of public shoreline the parkway also provides an exercise course and several roadside picnic tables, restroom facilities and benches along the way for visitors to stop and enjoy the stunning lake view. At Higgen's Point park features include a boat-launch, picnic area overlooking the lake, and docks. Coeur d'Alene Parkway State Park is the ideal place to enjoy uninterrupted strolls with scenic views - in the late fall bald eagles gather here to feed on migrating salmon - and it's a great place to bring first-time visitors.
What can Coeur d’Alene offer city dwellers who have reached their goal of owning property in coastal metropolis, or suburbia?
An urban feel close to mountains and water, according to a California marketing company.
“Many house owners who have accomplished their goal of inhabiting the metro gradually become conscious of the inestimable peace and quiet of the province,” according to ZIMBIO, a marketing company that publishes entertainment and real estate news. “This tranquil city exudes small town appeal regardless of its city setting.”
A recently published article lauds Coeur d’Alene as one of few places in the West where the economy is strong, prices are low and the paradise of mountains, woods and water veritably press up against main street.
“Of the western states, Idaho has the second lowest cost of living. Among the other 49 states, it is the 12th lowest. Owning real estate in Coeur d'Alene is economical as a lot of houses from cabins to executive estates are reasonably valued. Gas and electricity costs are also among the cheapest in the country,” according to the article. “The selling factor of Coeur d'Alene is its natural aesthetics. It is amazing how forests and mountains are just a 20-minute drive from the city.”
North Idaho has no typhoons or hurricanes and earthquakes are in infrequent enough to make them nonexistent.
In North Idaho, it’s the outdoor pursuits that hold many visitors.
“Hiking, fishing, and going on mountain ruts are some of the activities that households can indulge in on weekends. For adrenaline fans, kayaking and whitewater rafting on the streams can be a terrific experience,” according to the article.
Although metro lovers may at first need time to adjust to the serenity of North Idaho, the transition is worthwhile, according to ZIMBIO.
“For many individuals who can't think of leaving the hustle, transferring to Coeur d'Alene may be unpleasant. Nonetheless, the moment you've tried breathing the fresh mountain air and filling your weekends with fun outdoor endeavors, you'll never wish to go back to a busy city.”
To learn more about relocating to Coeur d’Alene visit the chamber of commerce website: