Feather Creek


Forest Service Trail #767

Why? Fine woods walk close to home

Season: Mid-June through October.

Ease: Easy to moderate to difficult, depending on how far you walk.

This is the trail for those who like woods walks with a lot of peace and quiet and don’t want to drive forever. The patch of woods that the Feather Creek Trail passes through is isolated and just a tad out of the way. There’s no traffic noise, and I’d guess little chance that someone else will be on the trail when you are.

The trees are mixed, which is nice. There are some pine, some Douglas fir, some hemlock and later on, some cedar. The understory is low, and I suspect that there would be plenty of wildflowers in season

It’s hard to ask for more, but there is more. First, it’s a loop trail, with more than one possible loop. Not that there’s anything wrong with an out and back hike, but the multiple loops give you the opportunity to do several different hikes.

Second, there are benches to sit on and bridges to use when the trail crosses a creek, at least on the short, 5-mile loop, which is all I’ve hiked. The first bench is about 3 miles in going counterclockwise, the second another ¼ mile or so later.

Since most of those 5 miles of trail are in the woods, Feather Creek is a good choice even on a hot day, especially if you go the other direction, clockwise. That way you get the 1/2 mile or so that’s in the open along Feather Creek out of the way before it gets too warm. But even if you hike the other direction, it’s not a big deal because that section is pretty level.

The 5-mile trail starts as an old road if you head counterclockwise – the road sign was still there in parts last I hiked it, the 78 on the ground and the 9B still on the post. But it heads up and to the left within a few feet as it takes on trail characteristics and immediately switches back and above itself and into the woods where it stays until that last ½ mile.

The trail itself is well made and well maintained. The grades are gentle and would make a fine show shoe outing unless the road to the trailhead was impassible and made the trek much longer than the 5-mile circle.

Trail Notes: The Feather Creek Trail is new. It was built in 2004 and 2005 as part of a move to improve vegetation and streams in the West Fork Potlatch River area as well as help fill
Seven miles of trail were added to the 5 I’ve hiked, with connectors in various places making it possible to hike loops of various lengths.

Directions: Drive north on Highway 3 out of Bovill for 3.9 miles and turn left onto Road 377, signed for Feather Creek, just past mile marker 43. Turn right on the 789 Road in 0.9 miles and drive 1.7 to the trailhead on the right. It is marked. There is a small parking pull out.

Information: Palouse Ranger District, CWNF, (208) 875 1131

Maps: The trail is not on any current USGS maps. Check with the forest service to see if they have a trail map you can use.