Located just a few minutes south of downtown Coeur d’Alene is a little chunk of land I’ve been wanting to explore for some time, the Cougar Bay Preserve.
This nature preserve is home to over 27 species of birds as well as other wildlife like deer, moose, beaver, and otter. The tall grasses and marshy landscape provide a refuge for waterfowl and great hunting grounds for osprey.
The BLM and Nature Conservancy teamed up to preserve this area and manage over two miles of trail. The actual area of the preserve is 88 acres.
After the heavy rains last week/weekend, Juneau and I were dying to get outside. On Monday, we loaded into the Subie and headed south. About two miles past town we arrived to the Cougar Gulch/Cougar Bay area. A big sign on the east side of the highway welcomed us to the preserve.
The trails were in great condition with the exception of a few spots where they’re obviously working on improvements. Despite the many cars parked along the road, we only came into contact with a few people, most leaving for the day. We took the lower trail option, hoping to see some wildlife, but no luck there.
The trail followed the waterline, heading to the lake. At a fork, we took the trail up, heading to a viewpoint. The trail was steep in places, but never for very long and it is very well groomed. The viewpoint was recently built by a scout group and offered a beautiful view of the bay, Spokane River and through the trees you could see bits of the city.
On the way down we came across two friendly black labs and their owner who had just finished swimming. It started to drizzle so we hurried along, stopping only to read about some of the local bird residents.
On the way home the skies opened up and it rained for the rest of the afternoon. Juneau napped and I edited some photos for a client until dinner. It was a good Monday.
Have you gone on any new hikes lately? Share your recent outings below! We’re always looking for new places to explore.
Cheers to a short work week!