Idaho Rail Riding Is Now On My Bucket List
I stumbled across a video of a guy rail riding in northern Idaho. I had no idea that was a thing. But, after doing some research, rail riding in our state is now on my to-do list.
The concept is this. There are some abandoned railroad lines weaving through different parts of Idaho. Some have been made into bike paths in certain areas. But, there are still some places in Idaho where the original tracks exist. Some people have created their own little mini-railroad cars and travel these old tracks.
Here's a description from the YouTube guy on what he did:
Took my homemade rail rider into northern Idaho for a 13 mile trip on an old abandoned railroad line. The line has not seen a train on it since 1996 and now has three large washouts separating the line into segments. The line had many down trees which i had to cut through and also some i had to port around.
At first, I thought this just your typical, unique Idaho guy doing his own thing. But, the official Idaho tourism site, Visit Idaho, is promoting rail riding. Here's a snippet of their rail to trail program.
When old railway lines are no longer being used to transport goods, they’re often converted into the perfect bike paths. Long, slowly turning, and generally flat, Idaho’s old railway lines are now some of the best bike paths in the country. The Centennial Trail snakes along almost 100 miles, from the waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene to the prairie grass of Post Falls. Another favorite, the famous Route of the Hiawatha is an easy, slightly downhill, 15 mile packed surface trail with ten tunnels and seven sky high trestles that the whole family will love.
Granted, this includes the more traditional non-railroad trails like our own Snake River Canyon Rim Trail. But, the official state recognition of exploring these old railroad lines is intriguing to me.
If this interests you, there are zillions of rail riding videos on YouTube that you can check out.