Hiawatha tips w/ kids & without- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Stacy123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Hiawatha tips w/ kids & without

    I'm heading to Sandpoint from Seattle and want to ride the Hiwatha trail while I visit.

    I'm nterested in taking my kids for the Hiawatha trails and also will be riding on my own on a different day. About how long will this take with kids? I assume that we will need to ride the shuttle up. I have heard that there is a gentle downward slope the entire distance? Mine are 8 and 10, strong and in shape, but they get extremely whiny at times if they need to ride uphill! Oh, and will we each need our own headlamps for the tunnels? Or can we get by with just mine?

    Also, for myself, can this trail be ridden as a loop? If so how long would it take at an above average speed? I'm an avanced rider but need to complete pretty quickly while on my own.
    Are there any mt. bikers here with kids going within the next two weeks?

    Last question...I've ridden out by greenbay and mineral point, gold mountain, syringa, Schweitzer, but any other good rides I might be missing?

    Thanks a million!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Wayndar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I've ridden it a few times- always with kids- and prefer to start from the bottom and ride up. If/when they get tired, just turn around and head back down. If I remember right, the bottom of the trail is the most interesting anyway. You still have to buy a pass, but you don't need the bus so its cheaper too. The longest tunnel is at the top and you'll definitely want multiple lights for that one. 8 and 10 year olds will probably want their own flashlights. We just grab all the flashlights and tape or strap them to the bars or helmets. If you don't have enough lights for the longer tunnels, then wait for a group at the entrance and go through together.

  3. #3
    Don't worry, be happy!
    Reputation: formica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Each person should definitely have their own headlamp. For safety, first of all, and for security. That two mile long tunnel is really long, really dark, and really really cold. I know of more than a few people who have gotten into the ditch that runs along the side of the tunnel wall and gotten hurt.

    It is a 2-3% downhill grade, pedaling downhill, not coasting. I've ridden it down and back up the grade piece of cake, but if you want to loop it, (FR 326 to FR 506)

    it's easy enough to do but the road has some very steep sections. They shouldn't be a problem for a strong biker, though.

    You might want to check out Farragut state park, and I think there's a new set of trails in town called Sherwood Forest. Also, there is really fun singletrack from the resort down to town.

    edit, I think Waynadar's plan to head up until you can't take the whining any more and then turn around gets a thumbs up.

  4. #4
    Sheepherder/Cat Herder Moderator
    Reputation: Visicypher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Contact the Pedal Oreille Pedalrs at:

    ...building wherever they'll let me...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    the roads to loop it are very dusty, steep and get alot of use from vehicles. lights needed.
    the shuttle is not cheap but a good ride for families. a couple of other very scenic rides are the rails to trails from plummer to mullan. that trail is 72 miles and all kinds of options. the silver valley portion of the trail is very interesting. you can have the attitude of this super fund clean up site is ugly. or so that is what big mountain mining was all about. if you prefer just stellar scenery cataldo to plummer is pretty good.

  6. #6
    just a man
    Reputation: Bombin4X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Just did this a week ago with my wife and 3 kids (13. 10, 8) and also highly endorse the brightest lights you can muster. When my wife told me there were going to be some tunnels, I didn't quite grasp how long some of them (namely the one at the top) was going to be. Needless to say, two of our headlamps went out due to old batteries (rookie move) and the shuttle ride back only brings you as far as that tunnel, so you must ride back through it. 2 lights for 5 of us was pretty dumb. Wayndar's plan would probably be cool if you know where to park. We all had a good time and the gal driving ths shuttle bus' fishtailing it through corners made it even more exciting.

    Did I mention to bring some bright lights with you?!

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