Mineral Ridge Trailhead

Ridgetop Hike Through Old Mining Area

Mineral Ridge Trailhead is a trailhead on Beauty Creek and Lake Coeur d'Alene in Idaho.

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Overview

The Mineral Ridge Trailhead outside of Coeur d’Alene is the starting point for a nice National Recreation Trail that passes by old mining sites that popped up at the turn of the 20th century. There is an interpretive trail guide that describes the area in depth available at the trailhead for a donation. The area is also prime bald eagle watching during the winter.

Mineral Ridge Trailhead
Mineral Ridge Trailhead
Mineral Ridge Trailhead
Mineral Ridge Trailhead

Each winter from November through February a migrating population of up to 150 bald eagles visit the area to feed on spawning kokanee salmon. An interpretive viewing program is offered annually from Christmas through New Years during peak migration.

Bureau of Land Management

High metal prices during World War I led to many mining claims along what was known as "The Ridge" (the ridge this trail follows). After the collapse at the end of the war, activity was restored for a short time after a hoax surfaced that platinum was found.

The first two recorded mining claims on Mineral Ridge were located on its north slope in 1891 by John Marshall, Emanuel Hoelzle, Michael O’Brien, and Marion Moor. They were staked out and named Buckeye and Silver Wave. Marshall, Hoelzle, and Charles Williams, carpenters, boat builders, and lifelong friends, worked the claims and explored the ridge ever more intently for telltale signs of valuable minerals. They built a prospector’s cabin of hand-hewn logs near the present parking lot in 1900. Together they located the Beartooth, Racoon, and Mascot mining claims on the hillside above the cabin in 1907. The next year they were instrumental in forming, along with four others, the Mineral Ridge Mining and Milling Company. Like fever, the “mining bug” spread to others who dreamed of making a fortune on “The Ridge.”

BLM Interpretive Guide
Trails from Trailhead
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