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Coeur d'Alene
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The Coeur d’Alene Destination covers land in the states of Montana and Idaho. The destination is rectangular in shape with boundary lines connecting to the Washington-Idaho border as well as the border between Canada and the U.S. Within the boundaries are multiple outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, skiing, and biking that may interest tourists. Cities to note within the area include the namesake of the destination, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, as well as Post Falls and Hayden. One reported draw to the area is Lake Coeur d’Alene, which is on the border of the city. The lake was an important resource for Native Americans before French-Canadian fur traders came to the area. The tribe that lived in the area was nicknamed Coeur d’Alene, meaning the heart of the awl in French, due to their shrewdness in trading.[2]

What Coeur d'Alene is known for

The Coeur d’Alene Destination is located in parts of Idaho and Montana. The area reaches north to the border of Canada and the westward border is the Washington-Idaho state line. The most notable attractions and cities within the destination encompass the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, the Coeur d’Alene National Forest, and Post Falls, Idaho. The destination is named after the largest city within the area, Coeur d’Alene.

The city of Coeur d’Alene was named after a Native American tribe that inhabited the region, the Coeur d'Alene tribe. Named by French Canadian fur traders, the name in French translates to the heart of the awl, which implies a shrewd or sharp heart. During the early settling times of the area by Europeans, there were multiple disputes with the native tribe, the interaction led to the area earning the name Coeur d’Alene.[1]The Coeur d’Alene reservation is within the destination and is where many descendants of the Native Americans that historically inhabited the area live. Today, the city is the largest city in northern Idaho and is the county seat of Kootenai County. Before it was named Coeur d’Alene, the area was a fort town known as Fort Sherman, after General William Sherman.[2]

There are multiple attractions that may interest tourists to the destination. Many come to the area for Lake Coeur d’Alene, which is located on the border of the city that is named after it. Additional attractions include the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, Coeur d’Alene National Forest, and Kaniksu National Forest. Many of the things to do within the destination include outdoor activities done on the lake or in the various forests. The city of Coeur d’Alene also has multiple places to visit that tourists may enjoy as well.

Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the main draws for tourists in the area. Popular tourist activities on the lake include jet-skiing, fishing, kite surfing, and boating. There are multiple businesses near the lake where watercraft necessary for these activities can be rented. The lake has 25 miles of beach that visitors to the area can relax on and take in the lake with the backdrop of relatively large evergreen trees. Tubbs Hill and Coeur d’Alene City Park offer views of the lake as a whole for those who want to photograph the scenery.[3]

About 45 minutes south of the city, Heyburn State Park is the oldest state park in the Pacific Northwest. The park encompasses over 5,500 acres of land including Chatcolet Lake, Benewah Lake, and the Hidden Lakes. Running along the side of the state park is the St. Joe River as well. Those who visit the state park often participate in camping, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Inside the park is also a 73-mile paved walkway where many visitors go biking, called the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.[3]

As of 2010, the total population of Coeur d’Alene is 44,137 people. The city has been growing in size since the 1930s, with a growth of at least 10 percent each census since 1930. The state of Idaho is part of a region known as the “Unchurched Belt,” which is an area in the northwest part of the country that historically has low rates of participation in religious activities and services. The main religious group in the city is those in a protestant religion, followed by catholic beliefs.[2]

Based on the weather, the best time to visit the destination is reported to be from early June to early October. The busiest month for tourism in the area is generally July, followed by August and May. The summer months have the least precipitation for the year, raining on average 1 to 5 days a month. The winter sees the least amount of tourists, generally due to the temperatures which range from 32 degrees to 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the wide variety of outdoor activities that are possible in the region, many who visit the area come during the warmer months so they can participate in activities such as hiking and biking.[4]

While the destination contains multiple outdoor activities that visitors to the area can enjoy, there are also indoor activities that can be found in the city of Couer d’Alene. Within the city, there are multiple art galleries that can be found on the main street of the town, called Sherman Avenue. Additionally, the Coeur d'Alene Symphony performs a free concert on Labor Day at the city park and has concerts throughout the remainder of the year.[2] Also located in the city is the Museum of Northern Idaho, which is a multimedia museum that covers the history regarding the railroads, logging industry, and recreation in the area through time.[3]

Geography

The Couer d’Alene Destination is in an area that is mostly forested. The area is on the edge of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, known for its greenery and precipitation. The borders of the destination encapsulate parts of Idaho and Montana, along the state line dividing Idaho and Washington. The northern boundary of the destination is the Canadian border. Geographical landmarks in the area include Coeur d’Alene National Forest, the Canfield Mountain Natural Trail, and Lake Coeur d’Alene.

The busiest reported month to visit the Coeur d’Alene destination is in the month of July. July is generally the warmest month of the year for the area, and many who come to visit the destination are hoping to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking and biking. Though, during the warmer months, September is reported to not have as high of a concentration of tourists. The average high temperature during the month is 75.9 degrees Fahrenheit, making outdoor activities generally available, nonetheless. The winter months of November through February have the coldest average temperatures for the area and the highest average humidity as well. January has an average humidity of 77%, making the winter months a generally less desirable time of year for tourists seeking the outdoor activities the area is known for.[4]

One of the main geographic attractions in the area is lake Coeur d’Alene. The lake is over 26 miles long and has 135 miles of shoreline that can be utilized by those in the area. The lake is fed by the Coeur d’Alene River and St. Joe River and forms the Spokane River at its outlet. There are multiple boat launches on the shoreline that those visiting the area can use to get out on the lake. Fishing is an option for those boating on the lake, with the main catch being chinook salmon. There are other fish that can be caught in the lake such as trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, and kokanee salmon.[5]

Another geographic feature that is a characteristic of the destination is the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, which is comprised of Coeur d’Alene, Kaniksu, and St. Joe National Forests. The conglomerate of forests is approximately 300 miles from the Pacific Ocean and sits on the Columbia Plateau. On the west side of the forest are the Cascade Mountains and to the east is the Bitterroot Mountains. In the forests are various locations where tourists can participate in whitewater rafting, hiking, and canoeing. At Priest Lake, one of the multiple lakes in the forests, boating, fishing, and sailing are possible. There are multiple ski resorts open in the wintertime for cross country skiing and snowmobiling.[6]

Many of the plants and animals native to the destination thrive in more wet climates and forested areas. Elk can be found in the area especially concentrated in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest. Moose can also be found in the same general location. Some birds that are native to the area include great blue heron, osprey, and American white pelicans. Due to the moist nature of the forests, many types of mushrooms and fungi can be found in the forests of the area such as western black elfin saddle, toothed jelly fungus, and apricot jelly fungus. Flowering plants near Coeur d’Alene include Utah honeysuckle, fireweed, and pacific trillium.[7]

History

The area that is now known as the Coeur d’Alene destination was originally inhabited by Native Americans before the 1800s. The Schitsu’umsh people, nicknamed Coeur d’Alene by French-Canadian fur traders, lived in the area and traded with the settlers who began to take over the territory. The fur traders nicknamed the people Coeur d’Alene, translated from French as the heart of an awl, because they were sharp traders just like an awl, which is a sharp tool used to pierce leather. Today, the descendants of the Schitsu’umsh people live on a reservation near the city of Coeur d’Alene.[8]

Over time, there was a military fort established on the north side of Lake Coeur d’Alene, which was named after the lake. Later, the fort was named after the general who established the fort originally, George Sherman. The military base was the beginning of establishing the city that is today known as Coeur d’Alene. In the 1900s, steamboats became popular on the lake, and by 1910 there were more steamboats on Lake Coeur d’Alene than on any other body of water west of the Mississippi River.
[8]

Within the city of Coeur d’Alene is a state park called Old Mission State Park. The state park highlights the oldest building in Idaho, called the Sacred Heart Mission. The building was used by Jesuit missionaries and Native Americans. Today, the state park contains the original building used by the people as well as a cemetery and a parish house.[9]

The largest industry in the city of Coeur d’Alene is healthcare and social assistance. In 2019, there were reportedly 10,317 people in the industry. The second largest industry in the area is retail trade, with 9,454 people working in the field. The city has a relatively large reported veteran population, with the majority of veterans serving in the Vietnam war. The median age for people living in or around Coeur d’Alene was 40, with many having families with multiple children. [10]

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