Popular Short Trail East of Coeur d'Alene
Mineral Ridge is a little gem of a trail that loops up to and back down the namesake ridge between Beauty Bay and Wold Lodge Bay in Lake Coeur d'Alene through deep forest.
From the trail guide: "...the first recreation site developed by the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho. Construction began in 1963, with additions and improvements made in later years. On April 13, 1982, the trail was designated as a National Recreation Trail. Mineral Ridge is a "classroom in the forest." The plant and animal communities are used by local school districts for environmental education..."
The trailhead features a cool kiosk with a full-color map and extensive trail guide booklets. The booklets detail the flora and fauna that can be found on the trail, and also features a quiz which is probably designed for schoolchildren. There are numbered locations along the trail that correspond to explanations in the trail guide.
From the TH this trail begins as the Johnny Mack Trail. Johnny Mack was a prospector who staked a few claims in the area in the 1930s while mining for primarily lead-zinc ore. Heading counterclockwise features a gentle uphill on the eastern portion and a steep downhill on the western side. The eastern portion features long gentle switchbacks to the top of the ridge where it intersects with the Wilson M.M. & M. trail that heads off to the east.
Once on top of the ridge head west to the Caribou Cabin, Grey Wolf, and Silvertip viewpoints. The views at these spots aren't outstanding, but what you can see is spectacular. Lake Coeur d'Alene stretches to the north, south and west and the neighboring high peaks are evident. The eastern downhill portion is short and sweet, and quickly takes you back to the trailhead from the Silvertip viewpoint.
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.