Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Cycling Infrastructure

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.

Spokane River Centennial Trail

North Idaho Centennial Tail

From Spokane, WA to Coeur d'Alene, ID

Image source - Trail official web site  
Trail Official Web Sites - Washington and Idaho- for description of trail and amenities

General Comments


    This 59 kilometres trail that starts on the north-west corner of Spokane at the 9-Mile Dam, then drops down to downtown Spokane and then runs eastwardly to the state line and then further into Idaho and Coeur d’Alene by a further 38 kilometres. This paved trail has some road sections with bike lanes. It is a well used trail.

    The portion west of downtown Spokane would appeal more to confident, strong cyclists who do not get turned off by some significant hill climbing. This portion of the trail would not appeal to families, young cyclists, or those either starting out or thinking of cycling.


The eastern section of the trail does, very definitely, appeal to the young, the beginners, and the less physically strengthen cyclists, as well as the racer types. You could describe it as basically flat with any hill climbing limited to 10 to 20 metres vertically with 5% or less grades. Most of the trail was just flat. We saw many children using this section of the trail. In some ways the sections further from Spokane were busier with cyclists than close in.



The western section of the trail ran through some interesting pine forest and semi-arid rolling hills. The path tends to be very wide in most places, two lane width. Basically, for most parts the path seems to be a forest fire road with restrictions on usage by cars. There were short sections of shared roadway.



What was very apparent was that this trail was not designed for families, for encouraging people to start cycle, or encourage nervous or hesitant cyclists to get out and improve their skills. The hills were just too steep for that and too long. For racing cyclists it was a good training trail for the next Tour de France. For commuter cyclists it was not effective compared to paralleling roads with their paved shoulders bike lane width.



Cycling Facilities


Trail Entrances    
Trail Width

In the western end, parts of the trail were on shared roads, others on a two-laned closed forest road, and parts on a 4 metres wide path. The pavement surface was in good quality.


Trail Bridges    
Signage Signage, including destination, direction, information, and warning, was plentiful. The question is whether it is visible enough or can be easily missed when cycling by. Caution signs of upcoming steep slopes and visibility issues on curves were plentiful.

Trail Facilities

Restroom facilities and car parking trailheads were bountiful.


The alignment of the trail allowed for continuous changes in interesting vistas, including the river, the hills, and the distant mountains.


Separation from Motorized Traffic


Trail was far enough from neighbouring roads so that the sounds of the birds could be heard, not that of cars.


Opportunities for Improvement


  Trail Grade

For appealing to a more cyclists and for commuter cyclists, there needs to be more sections of very level trail with minimum grade changes.

  Food and Drink Places for drinking water were missing along with places for obtaining food.


Lack of signage on neighbouring roads directing cyclists to the trail.