If you haven’t been lucky enough to venture to Red Horse Mountain Ranch, or Harrison, ID, then you don’t know what your missing! The quaint town of Harrison has a rich history that can still be seen today. The sense of hard work and community from which it was founded on is still represented in the culture of the locals and the 20 historical buildings that remain, eight of which are on the National Historic Register. The town of Harrison is a wonderful reminder of the western frontier spirit, as it was established by brave settlers who persevered through floods, fires, and of course the rugged and breathtaking wilderness of northern Idaho!
Harrison is located on Lake Coeur d’ Alene and adjacent to the CDA River, and was officially incorporated in the early 1890’s; settlers quickly prospered from the resources of the area. Today, much of the Coeur d’Alene region still remains largely wilderness; it is truly important to remember the first settlers that were able to make permanent homes here, and it is also quite a miraculous feat! It didn’t take long for the town to become a major transportation hot spot that fed the logging and mining industries after gold and silver were discovered in Silver Valley, a nearby mining region. It took only 12 years for it to grow to 2,000 residents, a significant population for northern Idaho in the 1800’s. After becoming the largest city on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, and also having survived a devastating fire in 1917, Harrison settled down and eventually molded into the laid-back town it is today.
One of the greatest things about Harrison is the sense of community that has been built on over 100 years of culture and tradition. Community events such as the Fourth of July, the Old Timers Picnic, or the Annual Classic Car Show, still bring local residents and travelers together in this unique setting. While it remains a peaceful and picturesque destination, it shouldn’t be overlooked that there are many exciting outdoor opportunities. It seems as though the passion for adventure from its’ original settlers has survived!
Once a hub for transportation, Harrison now has a reputation for its’ water sports, access to the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, and also as a great stop for boaters. The beauty of Lake Coeur d’ Alene can be enjoyed in countless ways: kayaking, jet skiing, boating, tubing, canoeing, fishing, paddle-boarding, and biking (not to mention the delicious ice cream from the Harrison Creamery!). Red Horse Mountain Ranch also offers a guided trip along the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes; the spectacular bike trail that spans 72 miles and offers a glimpse at some majestic northwest wildlife and scenery you can’t find anywhere else. Several types of bicycles can be rented at Harrison’s Pedal Pushers, whether you are an avid biker, or simply looking for some outdoor fun on a beautiful summer day.
Thanks for learning about Harrison, as it is truly a piece of history that means a lot to Red Horse, and for all those who have ventured to these parts. Check out the City of Harrison and Chamber of Commerce websites for details about fun things to do while visiting. We hope that you can make the trip to this notable town, and of course Red Horse Mountain Ranch!