Hobo Cedar Grove


Forest Service Trails #254 and #255

Why: Great trees

Season: Late June through October

Ease: Easy, though it’s downhill at the start and uphill at the end if you hike counterclockwise.

Both of the needle covered trails of the Hobo Creek Cedar Grove are a delight to walk. The shorter, #255, is a 1/2 mile self-guided nature trail; the longer, #254, is a 1 mile-long loop that connects with it. Both guide you through the wonderfully quiet grove of cedars that were seedlings when Columbus arrived in North America.

While you will first notice the quiet, you eventually will succumb to the remarkable trees you’re walking next to and around. They are grand, some even huge. The trunks are that delightful cedar mix of grey with a pinky purple undertone, the strappy pattern that characterizes most of the bark giving way to a diamond-like pattern toward the bottom of the larger trees.

The underbrush is mostly short, though there are a few Pacific yew. And not all the trees are cedar. But the effect is magical, especially given the desolate nature of the burned area you drive through to get to the trailhead.

Note: Be sure to pick up the nature trail booklet as you enter the grove. It provides a map of both trails and information on all 17 numbered stations along the nature trail. It also includes a brief description of other parts of the Marble Creek Project that was initiated by citizens of Benewah and Shoshone Counties who, in cooperation with the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, have worked to highlight the area's history of homesteading and logging. They've installed an interpretive site at the mouth of Marble Creek on the St. Joe River with displays and photographs covering the history of logging since the early 1900s. They've also developed several other historical trails including those at Lines Creek and Marble Creek.

Name Note: The cedar grove was named for the temporary shelters used by loggers protecting their claims from claim jumpers.

Trail Notes: The nature trail has a gentle gradient and would suitable for almost anyone. The down-and uphills are on the 1-mile trail.

Directions: Drive north on Highway 3 from Bovil until just past milepost 54. Turn right into Clarkia and again as the road turns right, then left after the school. Drive 1 mile, then go straight on Road 321 for 9-1/2 miles. Take the signed turnoff to the right on the road that ends at the Cedar Grove in less than 2 miles.

Information: St. Joe Ranger District, Idaho Panhandle National Forest at St. Maries, (208) 245 2531.

Maps: USGS The Idaho Panhandle National Forest map shows the whole area including all the roads mentioned in the directions. The trail would be too short for a USGS map to be of any use.