Wallace Forest Conservation Area within Blue Creek Bay
Location| 6 miles east of Coeur d'Alene (city)
Day use picnic site now open
From 1991 through 2003, the BLM acquired 736 acres along the northern shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene and within Blue Creek Bay. The lands were acquired to provide public access to the lake and for their conservation, recreation, and historical values.
The BLM’s acquisition of this area would not have been possible without the support from the Wallace Forest family, who desired this area to be managed for its conservation values.
Visitors can explore a variety of land and vegetation types. The upland forested areas consisting of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, grand fir, western larch, western white pine, western redcedar, and western hemlock are home to wild turkeys, whitetail deer, coyotes, bears, meadowlarks, and woodpeckers. As a result of past timber harvests, the area contains a mosaic of trees of varying sizes and types. Old logging roads and skid trails traverse the property and have traditionally been used by hikers and equestrian users to access the upland portion of the property. These features formed the basis of a trail network (link to trail information) with initial construction and improvements starting in 2009; a trail head in 2010 and future plans for expanding the trail system.
A large wetland/riparian and wet meadow area extends along the head of Blue Creek Bay with black cottonwood, thin-leaf alder, red-osier dogwood, cattails, reed canarygrass, sedges, rushes, and bulrushes. Several meadows are also found in the upper portions of the property.
Recreation opportunities within Blue Creek Bay include picnicking, fishing, boating, and swimming; non-motorized trail uses; and environmental education/nature study.
Additional facilities will include a traihead to access 4.5 miles of non-motorized trails (2011), an accessible wildlife viewing and interpretive trail (2012), and an interpretive trail for the historic Mullan Road (2014).