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Old 07-02-13, 11:35 AM   #1
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Help me with a route decision for an Idaho panhandle tour

I've done some research for my planned loop route connecting some of the Idaho rail trails but am looking for someone with personal experience on the route from the end of the Hiawatha trail to Avery ID.

It looks like there are two route options and Iím wondering which is best suited for loaded road touring bikes with 1 ľ or 35mm wide tires. Iím looking for as solid a surface as possible with minimal rocks/boulders. Sand and loose material or dodging rocks would not be fun on these bikes!

Option one is staying on the Milwaukee Rd rail trail aka NF-456 aka Moon Pass Rd at the end of the Hiawatha and the other is crossing the St Joe river and going down the west side on 300A aka NF-1997 aka N Fork St Joe River Rd until the two routes intersect and flip flop the sides of the river near the Telichpah campground. Iím assuming after the intersection that NF-456 aka Moon Pass is the best option but please let me know if continuing on the east side of the river on 300A is a viable option.

Thanks in advance if you can give me some personal insight on either route.

I posted this on the Touring forum too but I though I might have better luck here.
Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride - JFK
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Old 07-02-13, 12:51 PM   #2
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I'm planning on riding that stretch later this summer and was planning on taking NF-456. The Hiawatha and everything around there is either dirt or gravel and conditions on those roads change weekly. I ride 2" tires during the summer and a bit wider when things get soft. Several people at work do ride tires around your size on gravel and depending on the current conditions do fine or are hating life.

This particular year, in Latah country, the road maintenance has been below average, no idea how things are going up there.
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Old 07-07-13, 05:50 PM   #3
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Might contact the locals...



The Route of the Hiawatha and The Old Milwaukee Road were/are gravel forest roads. Not bad on a FS mountain bike, but I had fat tires. Your bike would be happy on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes with camping at Heyburn SP, Harrison (at the marina) and in the Silver Valley at various locations. Probably less so on the gravel Forest Service roads.
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