New MTB Trails Coming to Rathdrum Mountain

For decades, there has been talk of new hiking and mountain biking trails on 5,000-foot-tall Rathdrum Mountain, which rises up from the north edge of the Rathdrum Prairie roughly halfway between Liberty Lake and Coeur d’Alene near Rathdrum, Idaho. With around 540 acres of city-owned land on the mountain, visions for trails began to unfold along with forest management projects in 2019. John Bowman, a mountain bike trail builder who helped build the Empire Trails near Spirit Lake and the owner of Mountain View Cyclery in Hayden, Idaho, was awarded the initial trail planning contract and soon after worked with local volunteers to build the first several miles of singletrack trails.

Fast forward through COVID, and Bowman has once again been awarded the contract for building the next phase of trails, thanks to funding the City of Rathdrum received from Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. This time, he has teamed up with Coeur d’Alene trail builder Evan Frantz, who recently finished the new Cancourse flow trails adjacent to Canfield Mountain in the Lake City.

Woman mountain biking around the corner of a forested dirt trail.
Photo Courtesy Aaron Theisen

Construction of 3.5 miles of new trails on Rathdrum Mountain will begin this spring, with hopes of having at least some of them rideable this season, says Bowman. The project will include three new trails as well as upgrades to existing singletrack in what’s been dubbed the StormKing trail system. Two new flow trails, the beginner Skyline Trail, and intermediate Hi-Frequency Trail will be accessed by riding up the main StormKing access road. A new cross-country connector, the Monarch Trail, will bridge the gap between the existing trail miles on the eastside of the mountain (the Westwood Loop NE Trail) with the new trails on the mountain’s westside. The current vision includes a total of 12 miles of mountain bike trails to be built as funding allows, with trails ranging from beginner to expert.

To check on the progress or ride or hike the existing trails, park at the Rathdrum Mountain City Park trailhead. Look for updates on the Mountain View Cyclery and Friends of Rathdrum Mountain social pages. (Derrick Knowles)

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