Monday, August 29, 2011

Biking Moscow, Idaho's Latah Trail

The 12-mile trail between Moscow and Troy is a paved, 10-foot wide trail for use by pedestrians, bicyclists, in-line skaters,  and others with non-motorized transportation along the former Moscow-Arrow rail line.

The corridor for centuries was a path for the Nez Perce Indian tribe to access essential and reliable food sources. In late Spring they would camp at “the place near the mountains” as they called the Moscow area. Then in October when “the needles fall from the tamarack” they would use the path to access the high mountains to find deer, elk, and bear. The trail now parallels route 8 and you bike along wheat fields and grazing pasture land as seen below. The temperature was 97 on the afternoon I biked the route, and be aware that shade is a missing commodity on this trail.

Mileage markers are found every mile, and I saw more old railroad signage than usual on this old railroad trail. Washroom facilities are available at intervals along the trail.

I found no trailhead or parking, but east on Hwy 8 from town, the Eastgate shopping center between the Ford dealer and Dollar Tree allows easy access to the trail on the other side of Hwy 8.

Click to enlarge this map that was on one of the informational signs along the trail...

The trail is not as level as most rail-trails, but rather has numerous ups and downs, with predominantly ups as you head east to Troy. About the 7 mile mark out of Moscow, the trail passes beneath route 8 through an underpass. Some sections have lovely trees but again, not no consistent shade. Make sure you have plenty of water on hot days.

Farms, houses, trailers, and grain storage silos are passed, and route 8 is always nearby, though not as close as in Moscow.

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