This past week we took a side trip from Walla Walla up to Moscow, Idaho, just over state line. There are several interconnected bike trails in the area that we'd read about and wanted to ride, and we thought it would be fun to check out a different area for a few days. It was!
We had two full days in the area and ended up riding the trails both days. Our hotel had great access, just half a block or so, and we could ride in either direction -- east towards Troy or west to Pullman, WA. We ended up riding from Moscow to Troy, back to Moscow, west to Pullman, then back to Moscow, both days since it was so convenient and easy to get to the trails without having to drive our bikes anywhere.
In Part 1 we'll show the trails we rode from Moscow east to Troy, and in Part 2, we'll cover Moscow to Pullman. Here's a map showing the area. The portion of the trail covered in this post is highlighted in blue.
Heading east, we first rode through the cute college town of Moscow and the edge of the University of Idaho. A two-mile connector trail, the Paradise Path, provides the connection through town between the Bill Chipman-Palouse Trail that runs west to Pullman and the Latah Trail, which runs east to Troy.
Unfortunately, we didn't take any photos of downtown Moscow as we were there only briefly in the morning, and the light was not great. But it is a charming downtown with bike lanes, and I wish we'd had more time to check it out on foot.
Leaving the Paradise Path, we started pedaling on the Latah Trail towards Troy. This paved rail trail is 10' wide, smooth, and beautifully maintained, with restroom facilities, benches, and interpretive signage along the way. And the scenery is splendid!
On the Latah Trail Foundation's website, you can see trail maps and read much more about the trail's history.
Below is an example of one of the interpretive signs along the trail.
On our first morning of riding, there was a heavy cover of smoke that had blown in overnight hanging over the Palouse Hills, almost completely obscuring them from the trail. Fortunately, it cleared out as we rode, and conditions improved as the morning went on.
The rural area just outside Moscow is primarily wheat fields, but as we approached the small town of Troy, the trailside environment rather abruptly changed to a shady evergreen forest. It smelled as pretty as it looked -- like Christmas trees! I really enjoyed riding through this green area, taking deep breaths of the sweet air, and listening to all the birds twittering away in the trees.
The 2676' summit of the trail is in the forest just a couple of miles west of Troy, but never fear, the elevations of Moscow and Troy are 2583' and 2400' respectively, so there's not a lot of strenuous climbing on the trail, just a few rollers.
After a nice downhill run through the forest, taking in the wonderful pine aroma and cool shade, we arrived at a small city park in Troy (with restroom facilities) and grabbed a photo by the Troy sign.
(Note: I'm not sure why the elevation here says 2500'; other sources I read said 2400'. Must depend on where in town they are measuring from.)
We noticed a short extension to the trail across the road and continued along.
After riding the extension out and back, we re-joined the Latah Trail at mile 0, now heading west.
We rode back through the piney woods...
...and transitioned to the pretty fields...
I had to stop and snap a photo of a quail family on the trail -- just one of several family groups we saw in the two riding days.
Once the smoke cleared out, the views of the Palouse Hills were much better, wouldn't you agree?
Soon we were leaving the Latah Trail behind and returning to the Paradise Path in Moscow.
We pedaled through a nice park, where we took a short snack break. The light sprinkles of numerous weeping willows cooled us down as we rolled through -- the afternoon had turned into a hot one.
In Part 2, we'll take you along on the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail to Pullman, Washington, so stayed tuned!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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