In our last post we discussed some of the activities at Farragut State Park. In this post we discuss some activities around the area outside of the park.
North Idaho has some great bike trails but one of our favorites is the “Over 70 mile Rail-to-Trails” bike path called Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes that we rode multiple times during our camphosting time. The trail runs along both Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Coeur d’Alene River and has great picnic areas to stop and eat lunch with great views. We have even seen moose and coyotes along the path once in awhile.
One of the latest new businesses in Athol is the Blooming Fields Lavender Farm which has 10 acres of different types of lavendar, a farm store, and a distillery where they make their own essential oils and hydrosols. The smell is heavenly in there!! They also offer tours and workshops and supposedly will have a food truck next summer offering lavender delicacies! I can’t wait.
Sandpoint is a small town only about 20 minutes north of Athol and sits along the northern part of Lake Pend Oreille. With a population of almost 10,000 it has a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, stores, a ski resort, and of course, marinas for all your boating pleasures.
Coeur d’Alene is a city larger than Sandpoint with over 50,000 people and is about 20 or 30 minutes south of Athol and it too is full of restaurants and shops and outdoor activities (golfing, hiking, boating, fishing, etc.) centered around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
There are a variety of marinas at the lakes in the area that offer boat rentals. We have slipped our boat at multiple lakes but our favorite is Hayden Lake so we rented a pontoon for the day from the Hayden Lake Marina so we could take our kids/grandkids out water skiing, tubing, and swimming. It was a blast. The marina also has The Boathouse restaurant where we occasionally dine and they now offer soft serve ice cream. Hayden is also the location of The Blue Plate Cafe, one of our favorites.
North Idaho Fair
The annual fair was being held at Kootenai County Fairgrounds while we were there so we could not miss our traditional visit. We love that fair.
Green Bluff, Washington
Spokane, Washington is less than an hours’ drive from Athol and the Green Bluff area northeast of Spokane is a farming community with well over 20 family owned farms that can visited. They offer a variety of activities including produce shops, u-pick, eating establishments, kids activities, animals, live music, etc. There is no way to visit all of them in a day which means you can keep coming back and see something new.
I saved the best for last, our favorite. The small town of Bayview is a short 5 minute drive from the campground. It sits on the southern edge of Lake Pend Oreille and offers a few restaurants, a boat launch, a small camping area, a coffee shop, a variety of marinas, and outstanding views of the float homes and the lake.
Of course, there are many other things in the area that I did not mention such as several local Farmer’s Markets and of course, one of the big attractions, Silverwood Theme Park including Boulder Beach Water Park. This park is in Athol and about a 15 minute drive from Farragut.
And, yes, there’s lots more but just never enough time to do it all!
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