|The Selkirks' newest hike
- Dennis Nicholls
As often happens, Mick and Nicky Pleass came here from Maryland more than 10 years ago and fell in love with Sandpoint. Pushing 60, they decided to move here and buy property northwest of town. The abundance of recreation and the sincerity of the people here were exactly what they were looking for in a community.
Sadly, Mick passed away in 1996 but not before he and his wife, Nicky, decided to donate 160 acres of the land they purchased in the Selkirk Mountains to the U.S. Forest Service. The acreage was sandwiched between two Forest Service parcels on a hillside above Syringa Creek overlooking the town, the lake, the Cabinet Mountains and the Green Monarchs. Mick and Nicky envisioned a public trail climbing that hillside so everyone could share in the beauty of the land they loved.
In 2003, Nicky, Jan Griffitts and others calling themselves Friends of the Mickinnick Trail beseeched Forest Service and City of Sandpoint officials to collaborate in the construction of this project. The name for the trail was derived from the benefactors, Mick and Nicky, and from the prevalence of the kinnikinnick plant common in northern Idaho. Earlier this year the trail received approval.
Construction begins this summer. The first phase of the project will be to develop a trailhead next to the city water tower on Woodland Drive one-half mile south of Schweitzer Mountain Road and to build approximately 3.5 miles of tread 2,150 feet up the mountainside. The views of Lake Pend Oreille along this trail are some of the best from any vantage point in the area.
For updates, call the Sandpoint Ranger District at (208) 263-5111.
The Selkirks' newest hiking book
Trails of the Wild Selkirks; Summertime at Schweitzer, a Selkirks hot spot; and Three Great Hikes in the American Selkirks