North Idaho region / 22 mi / 810 ft total climb
This is a small segment of the Old Milwaukee Road, a rail line turned gravel road/path (the Route of the Hiawatha is another part of the Milwaukee), that is itself a sizable chunk of the bikepacking route known as the Bitterroot Loop. The road isn’t non-motorized, but the speed limit is 25 mph. And the traffic was sparse.
For this stretch of gravel you need to find your way to Avery, Idaho. If you’re heading East on St Joe River Rd, then make a left on the first road you come to in Avery. Make another left on Old Siberts River Rd and head over the narrow bridge that takes you to the other side of the St Joe River. Hang a right to stay on Old Siberts and drive out of town and onto gravel until you come to a fork in the road. Stay right to stay on Old Siberts and cross Fishhook Creek. There’s a day use area immediately on the right with a good amount of unmarked and unimproved parking.
From here the directions are simple. Get on your bike ride the road. It’s mostly an imperceptibly gentle descent along the the picturesque St Joe River. There’re plenty of fishing spots and swimming holes along the ride, and places to camp besides. At about 10 miles in you come to the end of Old Siberts Rd and you have to hang a right and sort of backtrack on St Joe River Rd on a bridge over the St Joe River to connect up with the gravel road on the other side.
You can ride much farther than 11 miles on the Old Milwaukee. If we’d been a bit more ambitious we’d have tried to make our way to Calder. But we had limited time, so we only rode a short stretch along the river. It’s beautiful country. We’ll be back.