ROUTE OF THE HIAWATHA OPENS MAY 24-25-26 – PRESS RELEASE
The Route of the Hiawatha – A Scenic Mountain Bike Trail that runs along the Old Milwaukee RR bed, opens on May 24th! The trail is open 7 days a week through September 22nd. Trail hours are 8:30 am to 5 pm.
America’s greatest adventure begins high atop the Bitterroot Mountains along the Idaho/Montana border when you enter the massive 1.661 mile long St. Paul/Taft Tunnel, built in 1908! When you emerge, you follow the historic rail trail which incorporates; 9 cavernous train tunnels and crosses 7 sky-high trestles. Riders and hikers will venture past sparkling mountain creeks; deer, elk and moose; and enjoy endless views of the towering ID/MT Bitterroots. All this on a section of trail described as “The Most Scenic Stretch of RR in the Country.”
The Trail is located midway between Spokane, WA and Missoula Montana, yet garners guests attention from all across the globe. Guests, both local and international, start by visiting Lookout Pass Ski Area – getting off at I-90 exit 0 on the ID/MT line. Here they pick up trail passes, rental bikes, helmets, bright 300-400 lumen lights for the tunnels, maps, water and snacks, before traveling five miles east to Exit #5 in Taft, MT. From here it’s another two miles up a dirt road to the Trailhead where your first order of business is to pedal through the longest of the tunnels, the St. Paul / Taft tunnel. Look for a historical marker on the tunnel wall about half way through and learn which team the Idaho side or the Montana side bored through the fastest and how accurate they were when their teams connected in the middle. Remember all the engineering was accomplished by hand without the aid of computers. This is just one of 50 historical markers lining the trail.
The trail has been described as “The Crown Jewell of Rail-to-Trail Conservation in the Country”, and was chosen as a USA Today “Top Ten Pick” as well as being inducted into the Rail-to-Trail Hall of Fame. This 15-mile, all-downhill ride is appropriate for individuals and families of all ages. Children ages 5 and up who know how to ride a bike around the neighborhood have indeed finished this gravel trail on fixed speed bicycles.
What Makes this bike trail different: Let me count the ways: 15-mile all-downhill ride from Taft, MT to Pearson, ID, shuttle bus available to transport you and your bike back to the top, incredible RR history, majestic scenery including snow covered mountains, abundant wildlife, you’ll ride in two states crossing from MT into ID, one of the most unique Rails-to-Trails conversions in the country, 7 sky-high trestles, 10 dark tunnels which require powerful lights to ride through safely, a waterfall, 50 interpretive historical signs, and best of all – it’s all family and kid friendly. Learn more: www.RideTheHiawatha.com
Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area is easy to get to: Travel I-90 to Exit 0 on the ID/MT Line. We’re just 200 yards off the exit ramp. www.SkiLookout.com | Phone: 208.744.1301 | The Route of the Hiawatha Trailhead is just 5 miles east to exit #5 off I-90 and then 2 more miles up a dirt road to the East Portal where one starts their adventure biking through the long Taft Tunnel.
Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation area operates the Route of the Hiawatha under a special use permit from the USFS. A small usage fee is charged to all users: Trail passes are $12 for adults, and $8 for kids ages 6 to 13 years of age. Rental bikes, lights, helmets, snacks as well as tag-a-longs and Burley trailers are available for rent. Pricing and details can all be reviewed on the website. www.RideTheHiawatha.com
HIAWATHA VIDEOS: https://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/Videos (Get an idea what the ride is like and share it with friends and family.)
READ THE HISTORIC INTERPRETIVE SIGNS BEFORE YOU ARRIVE: https://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/Interpretive-Signs
(HINT: Review the signs prior to your trip and then stop at those that prove interesting to you while on your ride.)
HISTORY OF THE MILWAUKE ROAD RR: https://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/History
EVENTS: https://www.RideTheHiawatha.com/Events – Learn about our events including The Buffalo Soldiers ride, Full Moon Night Rides, Post Ride Dinners along the Trail, Free Bike Bell Day, Ride in your Red-White & Blue, More…