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Last chance to ride the Route of the Hiawatha this season

This weekend is your last chance to ride the Route of the Hiawatha bike trail.  The trail closes for the season after Sunday, September 29th. 

Lookout Pass President Phil Edholm says it's been a great season, with about 36,000 visits to the trail.  That's just shy of the 2011 record of 37,500 visits.  However, Lookout Pass visits for the past 12 months (combined ski season and summer season) topped 100,000 for the first time ever.

Better yet, light snow is already starting to accumulate at Lookout Pass.  The 2013-14 ski season is right around the corner!

“Smashin’ September” Table Tennis tournament next weekend

“Smashin’ September” Table Tennis tournament next weekend

Table tennis fans of all ages and experiences are invited to participate in a local tournament next weekend.

News Release from Spokane Table Tennis:

Many Spokane area table tennis players are expected for the Spokane Table Tennis monthly tournament next week as they prepare for a major national tournament being held in Spokane in mid-October. The monthly STT tournament is September 28 at the North Park Racquet Club, located at 8121 N. Division in Spokane. The fun competition is open to everyone and registration is just $10, according to Lisa Hagel, STT Manager.

“We’ve had such great participation in our tournaments, and now the major national tournament held here in Spokane with $10,000 in prize money is less than a month away,” Mrs. Hagel exclaimed.

Cash awards are also provided to the winners in the Spokane Table Tennis tournament divisions and advance registration is strongly encouraged through: www.spokanetabletennis.com emailing Mrs. Hagel at lisahagel06@yahoo.com or calling 768-1780. Warm-up play is at 11:00 and the STT tournament begins at noon.

Idaho Panhandle National Forest assessing trees following campsite death

Idaho Panhandle National Forest assessing trees following campsite death

A falling tree caused the death of a Sandpoint man who was camping at the Stagger Inn Campground in the Kanisku National Forest on Sunday night. A strong storm caused a 200 foot tree to fall onto the man's tent.


The 48-year-old man was found dead by the Pend Orville County Sheriff's Office around 11:30pm Sunday night. A 52-year-old woman was also injured by the falling tree and was treated for non-life threatening injuries.


“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident at our campground and are making every effort to ensure that last's night storm damage has not left hazard trees in our developed recreation sites, “said Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth.


Hiawatha bike trail opens for the summer

Hiawatha bike trail opens for the summer

The scenic and historical Hiawatha bike trail opens for the summer on May 25th. This 15 mile stretch of abandoned railroad is considered the “Crown Jewel” all rail-to-trail bike projects in the country.


The last train passed over the Milwaukee Railroad rails in 1980. The old rail way was converted into packed gravel trails that are an easy ride for every one including children and seniors. Riders can enjoy beautiful views of the Bitterroot Mountains while riding down the 1.6 percent grade.


Hiawatha is operated by the Lookout Pass Ski Area under special permit use of the U.S. Forest. Lookout offers bike rentals, as well a shuttle to take you back to the top of the trail head once you reach the end. It takes about two and a half hours to complete the ride going at a leisurely pace.


ATV safety courses provide valuable skills to keep you safe

ATV safety courses provide valuable skills to keep you safe

In last two weeks Eastern Washington and North Idaho have seen over five ATV accidents including one death in the LC Valley last week. While ATV riding is fun, it's important to learn proper technique to remain safe.


“We think it takes special skills to ride an ATV,” says Dale Stevens, a licensed ATV safety instructor with the ATV Safety Institute. ASI is a non-profit sponsored by the all the major ATV manufacturers. Instructors like Stevens teach regular safety classes to educate riders on proper technique, safety skills and the responsibilities that come with owning and riding ATVs.


After taking his course many riders tell Stevens that they didn't know what a work out riding is and that they expected it to be easier. Stevens says that a lot of people expect ATVs to be like riding a couch on wheels but it that it takes a lot of physical effort and knowledge of how ATVs operate to remain safe while riding.


Perfect weather for...skiing?

Yes, the sun is shining today and the thermometer is creeping into the 70's.  Even so, there's one more day of skiing and snowboarding that you won't want to miss.

Tomorrow, Silver Mountain is hosting its 9th annual Leadman triathlon, which involves skiing, a 7.4 mile muddy, downhill bike ride, and a 4.7 mile run. 

If that sounds like too much work, you can pick up a "Silver Saturday" lift ticket ($39 for adults, $29 for kids) and enjoy the 14 inches of untouched snow that fell earlier this week.  This is the last day of skiing in the Inland Northwest - don't miss it!