New U.S. bike route includes section in northern Idaho
NORTHERN IDAHO - The new U.S. Bike Route 10 includes a 66-mile section that travels through northern Idaho to Montana using U.S. 2, Idaho 200 and local routes. Along the way, the route parallels historic water paths in the Panhandle region and follows railroad beds established more than a century ago.
The route travels between the Bonner County communities of Oldtown and Sandpoint on U.S. 2, Sandpoint and Clark Fork on Idaho 200, and between Clark Fork and Heron, Mont., on River Road and Clark Fork Road.
"We are able to provide tourism services in our small community in the way of food and lodging,” said Chris Riggins, Mayor of Clark Fork.
The route features services in Oldtown, Priest River, Dover, Sandpoint, Ponderay, Kootenai, Hope, East Hope and Clark Fork such as restaurants, bike shops, lodging, campgrounds, grocery stores, scenic vistas, points of interest and emergency services to accommodate the needs of touring cyclists. There are alternate routes and side trips along the corridor aligning or giving access to the growing trail system in Bonner County.
U.S. Bike Route 10 follows the Great Northern Railway bed between Oldtown and Sandpoint, and the Northern Pacific Railway bed between Sandpoint and Montana, both established in the 1890s and in operation today as main rail freight corridors. The railways opened up the Lake Pend Oreille area some 80 years after the early fur trader, David Thompson, established a trading post near what is now Clark Fork.
Route 10 uses three Scenic Byways: the International Selkirk Loop (http://www.selkirkloop.org/), the Panhandle Historic River Passages State Scenic Byway and the Pend Oreille National Scenic Byway.
The route parallels historic water routes in the region, including the northerly bank of the Pend Oreille River between Newport, Wash., and Sandpoint, the northerly and easterly shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille and the south bank of the Clark Fork River into Montana. Albeni Falls Dam near Oldtown and Cabinet Gorge Dam near Clark Fork can be viewed and visited along the route.
The area is rich in trading, mining, timber, fishing and tourism history. Many seasonal events occur throughout the area during the touring season ranging from farmers’ markets to cycling events at Schweitzer Mountain Resort to the August music Festival at Sandpoint. Area businesses welcome touring cyclists and encourage travelers to enjoy the many features of Bonner County.
Questions or comments should be directed to Brian Shea, Idaho Transportation Department senior transportation planner, at 334-8828, or ITDBikePed@itd.idaho.gov
Questions? Visit us online at itd.idaho.gov, follow ITD on Twitter (@IdahoITD) or Facebook and check travel conditions at 511.idaho.gov or dial 5-1-1. Please slow down in highway construction zones and pay attention. Safety for drivers and workers is our highest priority.