I have lived in the Inland Northwest for several years now. Though I don't participate in any hardcore or extreme outdoor activities, I would consider myself somewhat of an outdoor enthusiast.

Summer is almost upon us and I am always daydreaming of hikes by the lake and basking in the sunlight while strolling along one of my favorite trails.

As I daydream, I am sharing five of my favorite spots to hike, or take a nice walk, around the Inland Northwest.

Mineral Ridge National Recreation Trail

Mineral Ridge is a 3.3 -mile loop with stunning views of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Visit North Idaho describes it as an “easy to moderate” hike, but there are definitely some switchbacks you will have to tackle if you go.

Fun fact: It was built in 1962 as the Bureau of Land Management’s first developed recreation site in Idaho and was designated as a National Recreation Trail 20 years later.

In the winter, Mineral Ridge is a great place to see migrating bald eagles feeding on kokanee salmon. They usually arrive in the area around November and leave in February.

The Mineral Ridge trailhead is 11 miles east of the Coeur d’Alene City Center. You can take I-90 East to the Wolf Lodge Bay exit and then go south on Highway 97 to three miles to reach the trailhead.

Tubbs Hill

Tubbs Hill is a 165-acre natural area located on Lake Coeur d’Alene. If you are visiting the downtown area and need an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, this area is a great option.

There are several miles of hiking trails on Tubbs Hill. The trailhead on the west side is located in the southwestern corner of McEuen Park while the east side trailhead is located at the south end of 10th Street.

Q’Emlin Park

Many people know Q’Emlin Park in Post Falls for its easy access to the Spokane River. Residents flock to the park, complete with picnic tables and a large grassy area, in the summer.

What some people may not know is that the park is host to many beautiful trails where you can rock climb and enjoy scenic views during a hike.

A set of 12 trails totaling four miles winds through pine trees and showcases beautiful views of the river.

If you haven’t checked hiking here off your list, you may want to once summer rolls around.

Farragut State Park

Farragut State Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Period. The 4,000-acre park is 20 miles north of Coeur d’Alene and about 50 miles away from Spokane.

In the winter, you can cross country ski, sled or snowshoe at Farragut. Once the weather is warm, you can camp, hike, picnic, bike and fish, among other things.

Farragut is located on the southern tip of Lake Pend Oreille in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains.

Riverside State Park

If you’ve been to Bowl and Pitcher, you’ve been to Riverside State Park. I know it’s a cliché Spokane favorite but it is one I hold close to my heart.

I have developed a love for the Spokane River during my time here and seeing it rush through the park never fails to amaze me. The walking trails are also well-maintained.

The park features 55 miles of trails for both hikers and mountain bikers. Many people may not know about the 40-mile, mixed-use Spokane River Centennial State Park Trail that extends from Nine Mile Recreation Area to the Idaho border.

Riverside occupies more than 11,000 acres along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers north of Spokane. It is also close to restaurants and coffee shops in the area.

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