• Post Falls Dam

  • Photographed by Tom Holman

The clear pristine waters of our many lakes and its tributaries provide ample opportunities to paddle your way through North Idaho’s waterways in a canoe or kayak and let the “quiet” speak to your soul. No matter where you are in North Idaho, you're surrounded by hundreds of lakes, rivers or streams, making the opportunities to head out in a kayak or canoe almost endless.


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The Old Mission (Mission of the Sacred Heart) is the oldest standing building in Idaho built 1850-1853. A living landmark, Old Mission stands serenely on a hilltop 24 miles east of Coeur d’Alene along I-90. The Mission has been many different things for many different people and will always have a place in history.  Now the church remains as a monument to the past, one of the most remarkable buildings in Idaho.

Sacred Encounters

The permanent exhibition of Sacred Encounters: Father DeSmet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West is located at the Visitor Center which tells the story of the “Blackrobes” and Coeur d’Alene Tribe.  This Smithsonian quality display unfolds in nine dramatic scenes, augmented by video and music.  The centerpiece of the exhibition is a dream-like re-creation of the first Sacred Heart Mission built in 1842.
Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park’s natural beauty and historic significance combine to make the site a perfect setting for weddings, celebrations and special events that connect the present generation with the past. These include the Historic Skills Fair held the second weekend of July where historic skills and crafts are demonstrated along with music; and the annual Feast of the Assumption Pilgrimage of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe held every August 15th with an outdoor Mass and celebration.

Ajats Dress

Ajats Dress

Many items including items made by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and on loan from the Smithsonian are on display at the Old Mission in Cataldo.

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One of the most enjoyable methods of viewing the eagles is from November through February a migrating population of bald eagles visits the Lake Coeur d' Alene area to feed on spawning kokanee salmon. The eagles gather in the trees at the mouth of the streams and feed heavily on the dying salmon as they come to the surface after completing their life cycle.

The BLM began counting bald eagles around Wolf Lodge Bay in 1974. The number of eagles returning to this area varies from year to year.

Suggested viewing areas: Higgins Point, Mineral Ridge Boat Ramp, Mineral Ridge Trailhead 

Directions: About 11 miles east of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Take US-90 east from Coeur d'Alene for eight miles to Wolf Lodge Bay (exit 22), then south on Highway 97 for three miles.

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Heyburn State Park in Benewah County is open for year-round recreation. Founded in 1908, it is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest and The Coeur d'Alene were the first inhabitants of the park. Originally members called themselves, "Schitsu'umsh," meaning "The Discovered People" or "Those Who Are Found Here."

The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes is a 72-mile paved bike trail that passes through the park. It crosses the Saint Joe River in the park on a 3,100-foot trestle. The river and Hidden Bay, Chatcole Lake, and Benewah Lake, all sections of the larger Lake Coeur d'Alene, are open for fishing. Common game fish include bass, pike and pan fish. The lakes are open to boating, water skiing, canoeing and sailing.

Heyburn State Park is home to a variety of habitats. Ponderosa pines, some over 400 years old, are on the mountain sides overlooking grassy hills that are covered with wildflowers. Other trees in the park include cedar, hemlock and white pine. The margins of the lake are marshy homes to wilflowers and plants.

Construction of many of the park's facilities took place during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps was one of the many New Deal programs enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide work for the unemployed. Members at Camp SP-1 in Heyburn State Park built a lodge, roads, bridges, trails, picnic areas and shelters and campgrounds. Many of the facilities built by the CCC are still in use.


St. Maries

Things to Do in North Idaho

Heyburn State Park
57 Chatcolet Lower Rd.
Plummer, ID 83851

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