Short, sweet and scenic: New bike route aligns with Explore Sandpoint!
SANDPOINT - U.S. Bicycle Route 10 has been realigned through Sandpoint following approval from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) earlier this month.
The realigned section extends from the Sandpoint-Dover Community Trail to Bridge Street following the existing Explore Sandpoint! bicycle network through the historic downtown and the creekside Farmin’s Landing.
The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has produced turn-by-turn descriptions of the entire USBR #10 through Idaho from Washington to Montana.
ITD is also producing a statewide map of all the bicycle facilities and routes in Idaho, which should be available in 2017.
ACA soon will produce a GIS-based map of the route in Idaho with turn-by-turn directions. A group called OpenStreetMap is also mapping the updated USBR #10.
Aaron Qualls, Sandpoint’s planning and economic development director, notes the draw of his city as a destination for touring cyclists: “Sandpoint has been voted ‘The Most Beautiful Small Town in American’ by Rand McNally. We offer world-class recreational opportunities, a historic downtown, abundant public art, many year-round local events, outstanding restaurants, exceptional parks and trails, and walkable neighborhoods. All are juxtaposed by the largest lake in Idaho — the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille.”
In announcing the 0.6-mile realignment, the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) said that Sandpoint and the surrounding regions offer both bikeable and walkable options. For a community of its size (a population of approximately 7,600), “it has a surprising number of trail systems with exceptional terrain outside of town. These extensive trail systems are a testament to the thriving bicycle and recreation culture of the area, which is also enriched by Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort to the north.
“Sandpoint is also located on the Selkirk International Loop — a spectacular 280 miles connecting Washington, Idaho, and Canada and the route of the annual “WaCanId” Bike Ride.”
ACA estimates that the U.S. Bicycle Route System will eventually be the largest official bicycle route network in the world, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes.