Shawn was looking like he had a bit of farming fatigue, so I decided he needed to go on a hike.  I did a quick search for day hikes near Coeur d’Alene and came up with Settler’s Grove Interpretive Trail #162 in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.  I was intrigued by the promise of walking through a grove of ancient cedar trees, so I figured it was worth a two-hour drive for a 3-mile hike.  We drove to CDA and then headed east into the Panhandle National Forest.  Much of the drive was very scenic along the CDA River.  There were lots of little RV parks on the grassy shores of the river.  We also saw a couple of flyfisherman in the river.

The last six miles of the drive was on a dirt/gravel road, and it was slow going.  Houses were few and far between.

We saw a herd of elk grazing in someone’s pasture.

Elk are ugly up close and a bit raggedy

We did not see any other cars on the road, and the parking lot at the trailhead was empty.  This is a perk of being retired and hiking mid-week.  It was also overcast with a chance of rain, so that may have kept people away too.

We have the parking lot to ourselves. Maybe it really is our own private Idaho.


It was an easy hike on a well-marked trail; however, it was designated as handicapped accessible.  Maybe wheelchairs in Idaho are all-wheel drive because I don’t know how they were getting over a few of these obstacles.

I grew up with giant redwoods in California, so cedars are new to me.  OK, enough chit-chat and on to the magnificent ancient cedars.

A bit of perspective

There was a fire in 2015, so you can still see a lot of the fire damage to the trees.

Massive rootball on a fallen cedar

Some of the fallen trees on the trail have been cut and you can see the rich cedar color in the logs.

Of course, I found new flowers and plants to photograph.  No clue what they are but interesting enough to deserve a photo.

Fernheads unfurling

Mushrooms of unknown type

Most of the trail ran along Eagle Creek so there was always the sound of running water while we walked (good thing there is a bathroom at the trailhead).

At the end of the trail, we had the option to continue on another trail so we did that for a bit.  We also found a letterbox in a tree stump.  I assume this is similar to a geocache.  There were notes, pens, and paper in the box.

Just as we were coming back to the parking lot, the rain started coming down so we had our picnic lunch in the truck.  Back in CDA, we stopped for a beer at Tricksters Brewing.  Their Juice Box IPA is excellent.

Then it was off to Twin Lakes Farm & Ranch to pick up 1,000 pounds of feed for the chickens and soon to arrive piglets.  We also threw in 12 compressed straw bales.

Our truck with a reasonable load

What is this guy thinking?

It was a full and enjoyable day.  I’m looking forward to exploring more of our new state.