Swarms of perch, crappie, and bass easily support predators that hunt this area from the air and underwater, as well as from boats. Ospreys, great blue herons, and waterfowl, including grebes and good numbers of wood ducks, are your constant companions on this grand sprawl of lakes and marshlands along the lower Coeur d’Alene River. Toothy northern pike lurk in the weedy shallows. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, a wonderful paved rail-trail, parallels this trip, providing options for enhancing the experience with bicycling.
The river channel is flanked by numerous wetlands and eight lakes that boaters can reach through narrow causeways. Slack water from Lake Coeur d’Alene virtually eliminates current in the lower river for much of the year. Paddlers willing to apply muscle power can customize numerous variations of this trip for a rewarding fishing or wildlife-viewing experience. The area bustles with wild creatures, including mink, muskrats, beaver, and shorebirds. Tundra swans migrate through in spring and fall, with the largest concentrations in March.
© Verne Huser, Rich Landers, Dan Hansen, and Doug North/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.