It is hard to believe this is the last day of our bike tour by Row Adventures on Pedego electric bikes. Our two tour guides have taken good care of us and our machines. Our bike trail today is the Hiawatha – the ‘crown jewel’ of rails-to-trails. Formerly the Milwaukee Railroad’s train line from Chicago to Tacoma, built through the mountains with tunnels and trestle bridges. The Hiawatha at Lookout Pass has 7 trestles and 10 tunnels to ride through. Beautiful scenery obscured somewhat today by the smoke in the air from the fire we saw in the distance yesterday. A bonus just as we take the road into the parking area, we see a moose.
Our guide has us ride from the start at Lookout Pass to Falcon. This trail map shows the location of each of the tunnels and trestles. Also, note we are in Montana now and cross back into Idaho on the trail.
We are given head lamps for our helmets and there is also a light on the bike. The incredible first tunnel is 1.66 miles long, very dark with running water coming off the walls and ditches along the sides to capture the water. Mucky is the only word to convey the condition of the trail inside the tunnel.
These are some pictures of the longest tunnel entrance and inside.
There are display boards along the trail explaining everything from how they built the trestles to the small towns that were located along the route of the Hiawatha train. These towns are long gone but there are small structures with display boards telling the history.
The trail is downhill and you can shuttle your bikes back or ride your electric bike cruising right up the long incline. Because of this nice feature, there are a lot of people cycling – large groups and families with young children. On a crushed gravel trail, it makes for an interesting ride, especially with 5 years old riding on the wrong side of the trail as you are approaching at 14 mph on your bike!
Because the trail is heavily traveled, there are chipmunks and deer begging for food. Never have I seen a deer come this close to people.
We return and need to go through the long tunnel again, mucking up our bikes and clothes. A picnic lunch is waiting for us.
This is where are biking ends until we are back home. Total miles traveled on the bike this week is an amazing 171.1 miles, with significant hilly terrain and elevation gain.
Connor drives the van back to Spokane, WA, about 2 1/2 hour trip on I-90. The temperature today has climbed to 100!
There is a nice dinner in the evening, arranged at the Magnolia American Brasserie as our final together time before everyone leaves for their respective home state. A great group and a lot of fun times together!