My Boundary County (and beyond) bucket list for 2023 By Christian Weaner
During my first trip to North Idaho several years ago, my wife wrote out a "bucket list" of places to show me and things to do while I was visiting her family in Bonners Ferry. I loved every second of that trip, as we hiked many of the nearby trails, swam in the lakes and tried many favorite local eateries.
Now, as we begin a new year, it is my privilege to pass along my own bucket list of sorts. Here are my recommendations for some places to explore and things to try in 2023.
1. Under the Sun I can still remember my wife raving about this sweet little shop in her hometown, where she used to meet up with friends to drink coffee and work on homework.
As I have personally come to know, the ambiance at Under the Sun is truly unmatched. Whether you are shopping for some quant house décor or a gift for a friend, or want to enjoy a delicious sandwich and some coffee while you get some work done, Under the Sun is the place for you.
2. Two Tone’s Café Two Tones Café has been voted as one of Bonners Ferry's finest restaurants several times, and for good reason.
With a newly expanded menu full of great options like authentic Italian food or filet mignon, Two Tone’s will not disappoint. The cozy indoor dining room provides a relaxing atmosphere year-round, but the best time to visit might be the summertime, when you can sit outside on the patio, listen to live music and enjoy some good eats.
My personal recommendation: try the Pan Asian nachos—you will not regret it!
3. Kootenai Wildlife Refuge Nestled on nearly 3,000 acres of land next to the Selkirk Mountains west of town, the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge offers the opportunity to take in the beauty of Boundary County and spot some of the 300 species of wildlife that inhabit the area.
This spring, consider taking the family out for a drive around the scenic auto tour, or go for a short walk to the Myrtle Creek Falls.
4. Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge Just a 45-minute drive from downtown Bonners Ferry, taking a trip over to Montana to see the Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge will be well worth your time.
The falls and swinging bridge offer a unique experience and view of the Kootenai River that is quite incredible.
5. Creston, Cranbrook and the Canadian Rockies Another must-do activity driving on the Selkirk Loop to explore British Columbia and beyond.
Now that many of the COVID-19 restrictions have loosened up, grab your passport and head north.
If you make a daytrip, I recommend stopping off in Creston or Cranbrook for an early lunch before continuing up into the Canadian Rockies for the afternoon.
6. Clifty, Burton, Roman Nose, Chimney Rock—Or All of the Above! While the Canadian Rockies cannot be topped, Boundary County has plenty of exciting hikes and incredible mountaintop views to offer.
Once the snow melts this summer, lace up those old hiking boots and head up the mountain for one of the many hikes in the area.
Pro tip: Download the AllTrails app to get directions and read about the distance and difficulty of each hike before you set out.
7. Copper Falls Whether you are on your way up to Canada or are looking for a short but fun afternoon hike, be sure to check out Copper Falls this year.
The Copper Falls trail is a simple 1.4-mile loop that offers a jaw-dropping view of the 150-foot waterfall that you will not soon forget.
8. Eileen Dam If you love Geocaching or want to go for a swim on a hot summer day, look no further than Eileen Dam over in Moyie Springs.
This is another short hike that offers plenty of opportunities to explore the old dam and take a dip in the Moyie River.
9. The Gathering Place As its website boasts, The Gathering Place truly has "something for everyone."
Complete with a bakery, farm-to-table country grocery store, coffee shop and produce stand, you will not be disappointed by a wide selection ranging from high-quality produce to fresh baked pastries.
10. Bonners Ferry Farmers Market
A great way to meet people and purchase quality, homemade goods and foods is to visit the weekly Bonners Ferry Farmers Market.
The market is open every Saturday in the downtown City Parking Lot from 8am to 1pm, beginning the last weekend of April and running through the first weekend of October.
Make 2023 a year of adventure, and explore all that our beautiful area has to offer.