The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
The Good: a beautiful mountain just 10 minutes north of downtown Coeur d'Alene
The Bad: Lots of mountain bikes
The Ugly: Lots of motorized bikes
The Canfield Mountain Trail System was constructed in the early 1990s primarily for use by mountain bikes and motorized vehicles (4-wheel ATVs are only allowed on designated forest roads). There are 15 numbered or lettered trails. The vast majority of these trails either head up towards the top of this ridge-like mountain or contour around it. However, hiking on this mountain is excellent despite its use by motorized vehicles. Signage is superb with labeled trails and trailside maps. This mountain is heavily forested and laced with numerous perennial and seasonal streams. You won't have to look very hard to find elk sign, and the place is lousy with white tail deer.
The best overall hike starts at a trailhead not shown on the map I've included in the first pictureset. From US Hwy 95 (the same one that goes all the way to Yuma) in the suburb of Dalton Gardens take West Canfield Avenue east then head north on North 4th Street. After a 1/2 mile go east on East Wilbur Avenue, and then head north on North 16th Street. The parking lot for this hike is on the right after about 1/10 of a mile. From the TH the unnamed trail heads east just south of Tottens Pond, and soon skirts the north side of the tree line. Follow my GPS route labeled "North Side" up to the maze of trails on top of the mountain. You won't encounter any motorized cycles until you get to the official trails near the top. The lower portion of this trail is not shown on the map in my photoset.
There are also a number of hikes that head out of the Nettleton Gulch TH. From Interstate 90 head north on North 15th Street in Coeur d'Alene. After about 1/2 mile turn right (east) on East Nettleton Gulch Road, and take it all the way until it ends at the trailhead.
Nettleton Gulch TH hikes:
*Trail 8 (Penn Trail): This trail gently ascends to the south before turning east then north until its junction with Trail #7 at Penn Station. *Trail 3: Heads west from the TH before beginning a very steep ascent to the top of West Canfield Butte (elevation 4162'). This trail heads straight up the mountain.
Fernan Lake Road TH hikes:
*Trail 10: This is the only trail that connects with this TH. It gently winds along a creek before beginning a steep ascent to the north. It ends on top of the mountain just east of East Canfield Butte. *Trail A: Is reached via Trail 10, and runs 9 miles along the south side of the mountain.
Fernan Lake Road TH is reached from Interstate 90 by exiting onto the Sherman Avenue off-ramp. West of I-90 it's Sherman Ave., and east it's Fernan Lake Road. The Coeur d'Alene River Ranger District HQ is just east of I-90 on the south side. Take Fernan Lake Road east about 8 miles until it turns into Forest Service Road 1562A. There is a huge parking area that apparently sees little use. There was some sort of construction going on here when I was there so it will probably change.
See my GPS routes. The one labeled "North Side" describes the best hiking trail (again, not on the map in my first photoset), and the one labeled "South Side" involved heading up Trail #3 to the top of West Canfield Butte, then Trail #1 to Trail D to The Island. Then continuing on Trail D then south on Trail #9 (Jump Trail) to Trail A. Take Trail A until its junction with Trail 10 at Resolution Station then down to the Fernan Lake Road TH.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.