Running Roadtrip: Washington & Idaho


Do you find it difficult to make time for running while you’re on the road?

You’re not alone.

I’m writing tonight from a motel in Butte, Montana en route to Boston, Massachusetts. I’m also training for the Portland Marathon in October. Am I letting my six day roadtrip get in the way of my running?

Heck no!

In the past, I’ve talked about strategies to combat travel malaise. Chief among them: integrating your running closely with your trip.

That’s why I decided to run not less than a mile (see Scale It Back) in every one of the sixteen states we’ll be passing through. It’s the Midpack Runner Running Roadtrip.

Gold Creek Trail, Hyak, WA


The first stop on my running tour was the Gold Creek Trail.

This scenic trail is nestled in among Washington’s Cascade Mountains. A one-mile paved loop, the trail encircles Gold Creek Pond. There are also a bunch of more technical trails that branch from the main loop.

As with a lot of the lakes and ponds in this section of the Cascade range, Gold Creek Pond is a former quarry used in the construction of I-90. I promise you would never know to look at it today.

The trail is well maintained, so you can take in the scenery without worrying about hitting root bulges and potholes.

The only thing to be aware of is that you need a forest service day pass (available at nearby Snoqualmie summit) to access the trail. And, based soley on my experience, you probably want some bug spray, too.

If you’re looking for a scenic run within a short drive to Seattle, Gold Creek is definitely worth the stop.

Centennial Trail, Coeur d’Alene, ID


A few hours later, we arrived in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

Home to North Idaho College and a University of Idaho campus, Coeur d’Alene feels a lot like anytown America.

Small boutiques line the streets at the center of town. And, with the temperature at a balmy 82° when we arrived, the parks and waterfront were bustling with folks out enjoying the weather.

Unfortunately, dogs aren’t permitted in the parks or on the beach, so Keely had to take a small neighborhood walk with my wife while I sprinted off for a quick two miler along the Centennial trail.

The section of trail I ran was just gorgeous, following the waterfront the whole time. With people splasing about in the water, the smell of grills from the beach, and the sounds of families playing, it made for a fabulous pre-dinner run.

Speaking of which, if you happen to pass through Coeur d’Alene, I strongly recommend checking out Canton, at least if you like Chinese food.

We sat on a bench along the main drag eating Chinese and listening to the sounds of live blues before hopping back into the car to continue on to our final destination for the day, Butte, Montana.

… A mere 300 miles away. Give or take.

One day down…

So that’s it for the first day. Just under 3 miles logged today in two beautiful states.

Hardly Dean Karnazes mileage, but I’m still training. And any milage is good mileage as far as this runner is concerned.

Tomorrow, I’ll hit Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota (if we get an earlier start than today).

Do you know any trails that I shouldn’t miss in any of those states? Clue me in with a comment.

  3 Responses to Running Roadtrip: Washington & Idaho
  1. I love the Centennial Trail over in CdA! And 82 degrees sounds phenomenal as compared to 68 and raining (which it currently is in Seattle). Enjoy your trip!

    • Tim Woodbury

      Hi, Angela! 82° was phenomenal. Not to rub it in, of course. ;)

      I’d never run in CdA before. Gorgeous little town. Have you been there often?

      • Yeah, it really is a cool town. We go there a couple times a year, usually just as a home base when we go over to Eastern Washington to ski, but sometimes to bike on the Trail of the Couer d’Alenes, which is the nicest and longest bike path I’ve ever seen!

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