One of the places we really love to go is the Coeur d’Alene River in the Idaho Panhandle which feeds into Lake Coeur d’Alene from the east. The southern part of the Coeur d’Alene River is known as the Chain Lakes area. There are 10 lakes that feed off the river and there are passageways (channels) that lead you from the river to the lakes and vice versa.
We like to head out there towards end of August or early September when some of the summertime crowds have died down and we can have the place to ourselves.
It is a perfect location for exploring with a WaveRunner due to the narrow passageways, shallow depths, and low bridges which can be difficult if not impossible to travel with a boat. Of course this all depends on the time of year and the water levels but a WaveRunner is perfect for this. We are always very careful to go through these passageways as slow as possible to help reduce any erosion. We want these waterways to be around for a long time.
We haul the waverunners to Kilarney Lake and use the BLM Boat Launch. It has a public boat launch and a primitive campground with about 12 sites right along the lake which we keep meaning to take our RV to it and spend a week or so with our WaveRunners. A must do. Some day.
Our first stop after launching is heading over to Popcorn Island on Kilarney Lake. Another primitive campground which is boat accessible only. It is a BLM campground with 1 site, vault toilet, and it is free. It also has a picnic table which can be used for day use. With an easily accessible dock it makes it a great place for a picnic lunch.
From there is it time to head on out to the Coeur d’Alene River. The river is nice and wide and we can pick up our speed a bit to give us time to explore a variety of lakes. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the river and as we cruise we can catch glimpses of bike riders. We also see a variety of wildlife along the shores (moose, coyotes, cattle) AND some wildlife along the bridges!
From the river we take every passageway we can find and go explore the wonderful lakes that abound in this region such as Thompson Lake or Blue Lake. We will head through the passageway, through a lot of brush, and then suddenly it opens up into a nice, isolated lake where we can stop and admire the scenery and take a dip into the water.
As the sun starts to get low in the sky it is time to head back. Even though the outside temperature and the water temperatures are still quite warm the days are getting shorter and there is a feel that fall is in the air, soon. Time to head home!
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