Field Report No. 20160516GC
Topic: The Centennial Trail & Coeur d’Alene Cuisine
Conditions: Pollen, blue skies
COMMENTS: Cycling season has returned to the inland northwest, so last weekend I dusted off the saddle and headed east on the Centennial Trail. A scenic link between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, the Centennial winds straight into the heart of both cities with plenty to see along the way. As I made my way from the bustle of Riverfront Park to the serene and shaded stretch along Mirabeau Springs, I noticed a small rabbit hopping across the path ahead, as well as a family of marmots scurrying in the brush. Later as I passed through Post Falls, I was reminded of the beautiful rock formations along the Avista Islands and Falls Park. When I finally rode into Coeur d’Alene I was greeted by sounds of seagulls, people picnicking, and boats buzzing around the glistening lake. It was sunny, so there were plenty of beach-goers, dog-walkers and paddle-boarders out and about.
I made sure to stop in at The Filling Station on 5th, where an enormous craft beer selection is combined with a warm and intimate pub setting. Our bartender, Max, was knowledgeable, inviting, and easy to chat with. The casual and authentic environment felt more like a friend’s house than a bar, and Max confirmed what we suspected: this is the place local restaurant workers go for the good stuff before or after their own shifts.
The Filling Station makes for a perfect place to catch your breath between rides, grab a pint of something fresh, and a plate of something worthy of that inevitable calorie-burn back to Spokane. I savored a pint of the North Idaho Mountain Brew's Loft Honey Ale with some fish tacos from the bistro bar menu. I had no regrets.
KEY FEATURES: 37.5 miles one way. Check out spokanecentennialtrail.org for a digital map and more info.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Eats on the bistro bar menu come from Collective Kitchen, a neighboring restaurant that is worth checking out as well.
- Grant Cole