Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cabin Fever? Fly the Trail

One of the cool things about being a pilot is that I get to perform some aerial recon of bikey stuff I am contemplating exploring.  Saturday broke cold but clear so I took off for a flight to check out the John Wayne/Iron Horse State Park.  The Trail runs officially from Idaho the west side of the Cascade mountains.

I have followed it from the air from Plummer, Idaho to west of Rock Lake (I initially reported Bonnie Lake which is in line to the north with Rock Lake - thanks Scott for correcting me) in the channeled scablands.  Only 31 miles south of Spokane, the abandoned railway is easily accessible from the town of Rosalia via Hwy 195.

From the air, the trail looks pretty cool as it meanders along basalt bluffs and through cuts and valleys. There are a couple of trestles though a number of them have been removed some time in the past.  The town of Rosalia has some of the most striking trestles which are formed of architectural concrete.
Elevated sections with trestles removed usually have these on/off ramps to keep you going

Looking east toward Tekoa, WA

Cool trestle still in place. 

Historic trestle outside of Rosalia, WA

North end of Rock Lake

The trail runs on the east/southeast side of the lake and this trestle and tunnel may be useable to cyclists

After the lake the trail turns westerly again

Trail runs through many man made canyons - this one has a really neat spire left in place
The trail looks very interesting from the air and should provide some good riding for adventurous cyclists.  Look for more info in the next segment.


  1. thanks for the aerial shots, it's nice to see it from that vantage. Planning on riding it this year, or at least the eastern half. One quibble - might that actually be Rock Lake, especially where the high trestle is?


    1. Good eye Scott. Thanks for pointing out my mistake and for reading! Best wishes on your riding the eastern portion. What are you planning to ride on? Good friend who writes 26inchslicks blog rode on a fat bike in 2012 and had a great write-up. Cheers!

  2. Probably a fat bike, maybe a mountain bike. I rode with Pat for a couple days on his trip, so I remembered Rock Lake. But I had to read his posts again before I remembered oh yeah think we were on that trestle! You flew under that other trestle? Yikes that must've been something.