News Archive

Community Celebrates Trail’s Creation

Local elected officials and supporters marked the official opening of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail with a dedication ceremony. The afternoon events included short speeches by elected officials, the unveiling of the “Cairn of Thanks” (a stacked rock monument honoring supporters of the trail) and a toast to the trail. The City of Ponderay’s final land purchase in the trail corridor brought the first phase of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail project to a  successful close and gives the public access to 1.5 miles of waterfront trail. Read more…

Weigh-in on trails and open space in Bonner County

We know you are a Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail supporter. Now tell us what you think about trails, parks and open space in all of Bonner County by completing this survey.

Your feedback will support collaborative efforts by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), Idaho Conservation League and county and city entities to identify promising trail connections and fill gaps in our existing trail system and to expand our network of trails across Bonner County.

Additionally a Greenprint will be created that will identify community priorities for protecting important landscapes in and around Sandpoint and surrounding towns. The Greenprint will also guide efforts for protecting important land and water resources.

So, please fill out the survey today and we’ll help keep you posted on the results in the future!

Ponderay Buys Waterfront for Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail

SANDPOINT – A three-year campaign to raise funds to purchase nearly a mile of waterfront along the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail culminated this week with the second purchase of shoreline property by the City of Ponderay.
The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, which raised $400,000 to help with the property purchases, applauded the cities of both Ponderay and Sandpoint for investing in what’s becoming a favorite lakefront destination for residents and visitors alike.
“We are gratified by the way our community stepped up to make this shoreline trail something the public as a whole can enjoy for all time,” said Larry Davidson, president of the non-profit Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.
While the shoreline trail can now only be accessed through a trailhead in Sandpoint, north of City Beach, the city officials in Ponderay dream of one day connecting the trail to their community with a safe railroad crossing.
“For Ponderay and Kootenai families, proximity to the lake has long been clouded by the lack of access,” said Erik Brubaker, Planning, Parks and Development Director for the City of Ponderay. “Completing the connection to the lake, having now extended that access along the lakeshore, would add value to our great neighborhoods and helps protect our outdoor-loving, small-town traditions.”
The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay is a non-profit organization working with the cities of Ponderay, Sandpoint and Kootenai to create a non-motorized shoreline trail that will connect these communities and provide safe, public access to Lake Pend Oreille.
In order to permanently protect the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail, the cities and the Friends agreed to collectively purchase the waterfront corridor from the Hall family over a period of four years. According to the agreement, the City of Sandpoint purchased the first two parcels in 2011 and 2012, the City of Ponderay purchased the third and fourth parcels in 2013 and 2014, with the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail raising sufficient funds for the fourth parcel.
The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail conducted a campaign to raise $400,000 to complete the purchase of the final parcel by this week’s deadline. The group raised the money over two years from private foundations, individuals and fundraising events.
The vision for the trail began many years ago with Ross and Hazel Hall, who owned the property and saw the potential for a public pathway along the trail corridor, known to many locals as “bum jungle.” North Idaho Bikeways president Bob Carlson was the first to promote the trail and put it on a planning map for the region. Carlson also served on the original bay trail planning committee launched by the City of Sandpoint nearly 10 years ago.
“This trail has always been the highest priority for Sandpoint trails,” Carlson said. “But Ponderay’s concerns over drawing kids across the tracks and private ownership by the Hall family and the railroad put that off until five years ago.”
“An almost impossible set of obstacles has finally been overcome to bring this linear beach park into the public domain,” he said.
The Friends are planning a formal dedication next month, followed by a party at the Pend d’Oreille Winery in Sandpoint on Nov. 13.

Porta-potty at the trail!

The porta-potty has arrived! Thanks to Bob Carlson for making the arrangements. The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail are paying for the monthly fee. If you’d like to contribute to help with maintaining the porta-potty and also purchasing mutt mitts and garbage bags, please make a donation!

Be parking-aware at the trailhead, please!

noparkingOur friends at the Seasons at Sandpoint, just adjacent to the bay trail trailhead, have given a reminder that parking in front of the furthest north building at Seasons – the one with only the foundation – is not allowed. There are signs that say No Parking/Tow Away Zone and vehicles will be towed. The street in front of that building is also painted red at the edge of the road to bring even more attention to the no parking zone.

“We just want to avoid as much potential consternation and inconvenience as possible for visitors to the beautiful trail in case a vehicle is towed that is parked in this no parking zone,” said Scott Olpin of Seasons.

Trail users, if the trailhead parking is full, please park at City Beach or other public parking. We want to be good neighbors; thank you!

2014 Bay Trail Fun Run A Great Success!

FunRunLogoOur second annual Bay Trail Fun Run was held June 8, and it was a great success – made all the more wonderful by absolutely gorgeous weather. A total of 314 participants signed up to run or walk, with 296 recorded finishers. This year we used Across The Line automated timing to get accurate results.

Top finishers: Fastest woman overall in the 5K was Amy Scott at 21 minutes, 40 seconds. Fastest man in 5K was Patrick Goodman, at 19:49. In the 10K, fastest woman was Shaunavee Dick at 42:56 and fastest man was Jon Harding of Sandpoint at 41:11.

Of course, many participants took a slower pace, just to enjoy the day and support the trail. If you couldn’t make it, or even if you could, you can relive the moment in photos:

Once again, thank you to all our volunteers, sponsors and especially the runners and walkers that made the Fun Run such a fine event.

Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail Planning Moves to Next Phase

With initial acquisitions largely accomplished, focus now turns to connecting communities with access at trail’s north endpoint. The goal: access for and connection to Kootenai and Ponderay.

And the first phase of the next phase is rigorous planning with the cities and trail stakeholders. Read about this critical next phase and two new Request for Proposals to assist the process. Read our press release below.

Friends of Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail and Ponderay Seeking Consultants

SANDPOINT – Lesson No. 1 from several years of effort to develop a public trail along the shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille: Planning pays off.

So now that the campaign to purchase a critical link for the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail is nearly complete, trail advocates have turned their attention to the next steps necessary to complete the Pend dOreille Bay Trail.

And step No. 1 is more planning.

“It’s great that the public can now enjoy access to Lake Pend Oreille along a shoreline trail,” said Larry Davidson, president of the non-profit group Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

“However, our work isn’t done,” Davidson said. “Now it’s an out and back experience from the south end, and people in Kootenai and Ponderay still don’t have direct access from the north end. Also, we might want more amenities in the future. So we need better direction on where to go from here.”

The City of Ponderay and the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail have released two requests for proposals (RFPs) to help address these issues.

The city’s request is for a “Neighborhood Sub Area Plan” that will help guide decisions about the location and size of a railroad underpass, contaminated property cleanup and the type of development that could occur on both the lakeshore and the west side of the tracks.

A companion planning effort will be the “Master Trail and Interpretive Plan” for the length of the trail, from Sandpoint’s City Beach to the Bonner County Historical Society’s proposed museum site in Kootenai.

In 2010, the Friends published the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail Concept Plan, a two-year award-winning community planning effort that was made possible with the help of a National Park Service technical services grant.

The Concept Plan gave general direction and a 30,000-foot view of the trail. But some of the proposed elements in the Concept Plan are no longer relevant because of changing circumstances. The Master Trail and Interpretive Plan will give more detail and provide cost estimates. The plan will also focus on how to share the natural and cultural history stories of the local area.

Some of the most difficult questions are related to how to connect the shoreline to Ponderay and Kootenai. Ponderay’s Sub Area Plan will help answer those. The project area for both plans also includes Brownfields sites on the shoreline that are contaminated from historic mine smelting operations.

The City of Ponderay and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality are currently working on a plan for cleaning up the sites, which are contaminated with lead and other heavy metals. The current public portion of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail stops short of those properties.

“We want a plan that can help guide public parkland and private property redevelopment of the Brownfields sites on the lakeshore in a manner fitting with our local values,” said Erik Brubaker, Ponderay City Planner. “We also want to give our town a presence on the lake, both for the quality of life for our residents and to give people another reason to visit Ponderay.

“Highway 200 is our Route 66,” he added, “and right now you can pass through Ponderay and have no idea that a pretty nice lake is right over there.”

Ponderay and the Friends hope to have consultants hired by the end of the summer. The planning is being entirely funded through grants from the LOR Foundation, a Wyoming-based family foundation dedicated to enhancing livability in the rural intermountain west.

Because the Master Trail and Interpretive Plan will cross jurisdictional lines, it is being overseen by an interagency committee of planners from the cities of Sandpoint, Ponderay, Kootenai and Bonner County, as well as members of the board of the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

Meanwhile, the City of Ponderay plans to purchase the final parcel of four waterfront lots this fall owned by the Hall family that are in the trail corridor. In November, the Friends announced the successful completion of a $400,000 capital campaign to cover the cost of that purchase.

The four parcels stretch along nearly a mile of shoreline from Sandpoint’s water treatment plant and the historic Humbird Mill ruins in the south, past the Elks Golf Course to within a few hundred feet of Black Rock, the old smelter site.

Potential applicants can get copies of the RFPs through the City of Ponderay and City of Sandpoint websites: and

T-shirts for sale

We have Pend d’Oreille Bay T-shirts for sale! We are selling 100 percent cotton T-shirts that sport our logo, with the slogan “Close In, Far Out.” Like it? Then buy one, for only $20 at Pine Street Bakery, Greasy Fingers or Outdoor Experience. Or give us a call at 946-7586, or contact us via our email form to order.

Trail map and plan completed

minimapThe Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail in partnership with community stakeholders, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program have completed a master Concept Plan.

Click for full-size map (300k)
Click for Concept Plan (4 MB)

The time is NOW to protect this incredible stretch of shoreline for our friends, families and future generations.

Thank you, 2013 volunteers!

It was a gold star day for the trail, and certainly for all these folks who gave generously of their time to help stage the 2013 Bay Trail Fun Run. Thank you, volunteers!

Annie Faggard
Jennifer Macdonald
Lindsey Larson
Mary Ellen Largent
Deb Fragaso
Chuy Fragaso
Chris Bessler
Gina Pucci
Vicki Longhini
Dana Anderson
Judy Thompson
Jeff Breakey
John Ohara
Rick Price
Pam Conrad
Jared France
John Cyr
Arlene Cook
Barbara Brown
Conrad Young
Cindy Peer
Jared Yost
Lisa Matlosz
Bob Love
Mary Meek
Erin Meek
MaryAnn Rowe
Sharon Rowe
Brian Cox
Berkeley Cox
Gigi Stroud
Melinda Van Dyck
Nichole Grimm
Kasten Grimm
Margo Johnson
Stephen Anderson
Claudia Snider
Lance Snider
Becky Mills
Jeff Kuhns
Davey Breakey
Aiden Ackerman
Colton Ackerman
Shelly Ackerman
Michael Spurgin
Karen Glaeser
Paid Russell
Denise Dombrowski
Tom Crockett
Robin Yeary
Mary Luzmoor
Katie Maddux
Bryce Lambert
Rebecca Klopman
Aria Horowitz
Tricia Sullivan
Cari House
Gary Lirette
Chris Bessler
Michelle Polheumus
Jackie Suarez
Mike Deprez

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