"The beautiful spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also." -Harriet Ann Jacobs, writer, 1800s
Spring is right around the corner and it's time to start planning those weekend getaways, hiking adventures, and camping trips. Here's a few ideas to get your wheels turning...
Hiking, Biking, Trail Riding
Did you know that Idaho has more trail miles than nearly another other bordering state combined? From motorized recreation to non-motorized use, there is no shortage of trails to explore.
Bayhorse - Motorized Recreation
Bayhorse, part of Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, is host to thousands of miles of trails. Land maintenance is shared by IDPR and the U.S. Forest Service--providing endless miles for various recreational use. The trail width (carved by historic mining efforts) makes it easy to fit your ATVs, 4-Wheelers, and UTVs and head into some of the most beautiful and scenic country in Idaho.
Bayhorse is a ghost town located in Custer, Idaho.
Ernie Lombard on the trails. Ernie was one of the biggest advocates for Bayhorse.
Beautiful views around every corner
Northern Idaho - Hikes
There are some incredible hiking trails all over the state, but Northern Idaho Parks are definitely boastful, and for good reason! Elegant mountain ranges, cool forested trails, and plenty of wildlife to keep you and your family entertained.
* Farragut State Park: Located in Athol, Idaho, Farragut has miles of trails that wrap around their massive 4,000 acre grounds. AllTrails has a good list of the trails inside the park.
One of the many Farragut trails
*Round Lake State Park: Round Lake is the storybook example of what a park experience should be. Quaint, beautiful, natural, and filled to the hilt with vast, green ferns. View some hiking options here.
*Priest Lake State Park: If you haven't been to Priest Lake yet, you are missing out. The northern-most state park, just miles from the Canadian border, Priest Lake should definitely be on your to-do list this season! Trail options.
Discover the beauty of Priest Lake
*Coeur d'Alene Parkway: The Parkway is a 5.7-mile long trail located along the north shore of the awe-inspiring Lake Coeur d'Alene.
More Amazing Northern Parks
So many of Idaho's state parks and recreation areas have a great selection of single-track mountain biking trails. For more information, visit the biking section of our webpage.
- Heyburn State Park
- Priest Lake State Park
- Farragut State Park
- Harriman State Park
- Ponderosa State Park
- Massacre Rocks State Park
- Hells Gate State Park
- Idaho City
- Mary McCroskey State Park
- City Of Rocks
- Lake Cascade State Park
- Land of the Yankee Fork State Park
- Henrys Lake State Park
- Round Lake State Park
- Winchester State Park
- Eagle Island State Park
Former Non-Motorized Trail Manager, Leo Hennessy, riding to an Idaho City Yurt.
Many of our non-motorized trails are great for cyclists. Especially, the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, a 72-mile long, continuously paved trail located in North Idaho.
Heyburn, Lucky Peak, and Ponderosa State Parks all have miles of hard-surfaced trails, perfect for road biking. Click here.
Education in Idaho State Parks
Nearly every Idaho State Park has a unique background rooted deep in Idaho's history. Many of our parks take great pride in this and often offer guided education hikes or classes at their parks.
Experience Idaho Backpacks
Inspired by a program that Farragut State Park implemented years ago, the Experience Idaho Loaner Backpacks work as an additional education tool in Idaho State Parks. “The backpacks were made possible by generous donations to the Friends of Idaho State Parks by supporters of former Idaho Governor, Dirk Kempthorne, to continue his inspiration and legacy of encouraging Idahoans to experience the wonders of nature,” says IDPR Communications Manager, Jennifer Okerlund.
Did we mention--they are completely FREE to use. Simply stop by a participating park while during one of your stays and check out a backpack. That's it. They are filled with so many fun educational tools to make your Idaho state park experiences even better. Binoculars, bug viewing tools, naturalist guides, waterproof journal.... they are jam packed!
Junior Ranger Program
The Idaho State Park Junior Ranger Program is designed for children ages 6-12 (but anyone is welcome to join in!) and is geared toward increasing their understanding of nature and park stewardship. Essentially, the program fosters future generations of people who care for their land and nature environments.
This program is also completely FREE and is easy to do! All you have to do is grab a Junior Ranger Activity Guide at one of the participating state parks and get to work. Each park has a different activity and a different task for our Junior Rangers to complete. Earn badges, patches, and even a signed certificate by Scout, IDPR's Fox Mascot.
But there is so much more to learn at your Idaho state parks! Nearly every park has their own Interpretive Program. For teachers, students, families, and life-long learners--there is always something to discover at an Idaho State Park!
Park Manager Terri Bryant teaching children about pinecones.
The evenings might still be a bit chilly, but spring camping should definitely be on your list this season. Plus, IDPR has a huge selection of cabins, yurts, and rental houses to make your spring-outdoor experience a little less...chilly.
Dworshak State Park, nestled in the forest.
- Bruneau Dunes State Park has two cabins that sleep up to five people comfortably.
- The Lodge at Castle Rocks State Park can accommodate up to eight people. The Lodge has a fully equipped kitchen, four bedrooms, and a living room with a fireplace.
- Dworshak State Park has four cabins that can sleep up to five people. Cook outside on the grill firepit.
- Farragut State Park has ten available cabins.
- Massacre Rocks State Park has four cabins available.
- Stay in historic homes at Harriman State Park. The Ranch Manager's House is a rustic beauty; the Cattle Foreman's House houses four comfortably.
- Ponderosa State Park has five cabins nestled along the shore of Payette Lake.
For a complete list of cabins in state parks, click here.
Cabin at Massacre Rocks State Park.
There are six Idaho City Backcountry Yurts available for rent, year-round. As the snow begins to melt, these yurts become surrounded by a lush forested backdrop and beautiful rolling pines. With miles of trails leading up to the yurts, it is the perfect getaway. Experience the Idaho Backcountry.
Photo Credit: Dawn Brooks
There are also yurts are Winchester, Lake Cascade, Castle Rocks, and Harriman State Parks. More info here.
Observatory at Bruneau Dunes
The Observatory at Bruneau Dunes State Park is state-of-the-art. Between the visiting and resident astronomers to the giant, 24 inch Newtonian telescope--there is almost no reason not to go.
Check out the Bruneau Observatory schedule by clicking here.
The Observatory at Bruneau Dunes
There are dozens of more activities going on in and around your Idaho State Parks. Visit our Facebook page for more ideas, or check out our Calendar of Events.
**Disclaimer: IDPR is not affiliated with AllTrails or their subsidiaries. We are not to be held accountable for any information shared from their website, including but not limited to trail access, trail difficulty levels, or trail maintenance.