Surrounded by the southernmost peaks of the Selkirk Mountains, Post Falls is a city with a history defined by the Spokane River.
This watercourse drains the immense Lake Coeur d’Alene a few miles to the east, and in Post Falls weaves its way through a rugged canyon and picture-perfect banks under a cloak of ponderosa pines.
There are lots of spots in Post Falls where you can get down to the riverbank to savor the wild scenery, and you can rent a kayak, paddleboard or motorized vessel for your own voyage along the Spokane.
The wider area has a well-developed tourism infrastructure so you’ll never have to go far for golf courses, family attractions and the unrestrained majesty of Lake Coeur d’Alene.
1. Falls Park
A local go-to for walks in a spectacular landscape without having to leave the city, Falls Park also sends you back to the earliest years of European settlement.
The dam on the Spokane River here was first constructed in the 1870s to power a lumber mill. In 1905 the dam was adapted for hydroelectricity, providing power to mines up to 100 miles away.
The man-made falls created by the dam are a sight to behold in spring when the Spokane River swells with runoff from the mountains via Lake Coeur d’Alene.
The scenery is wonderful at any time, when you can gaze into the canyon down to the deck arch bridge a short way downriver.
Interpretive signs recount the story of Post Falls’ early days, while Falls Park itself is equipped with shelters, a fishing pond, restrooms and a playground with a swing designed for children with motor skill disabilities.
2. Q’emiln Park
On the south bank of the Spokane River is almost 80 acres of pristine nature promising a wide variety of activities.
With steep, rocky slopes Q’emiln Park is a rewarding place for a hike, and the trails in this 40-acre system are always well-maintained.
The pine-covered terrain is primed for rock climbing, offering scores of routes and what is billed as the best “5.10 cragging area” in the inland Northwest.
On the riverside there’s a boat launch and a swimming area with lifeguards on duty daily during the school summer break.
Other amenities include four large shelters, BBQ grills, horseshoe pits, seasonal concessions, picnic areas and a children’s playground.
3. Water Activities
Wide and slow-moving, the Spokane River is a magnet for water activities in summer. The place to go is Fun Unlimited, by Templin’s Marina, opposite Q’emiln Park.
If you’re here to paddle you can rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, but the company offers a wide range of motorized activities as well.
You can rent a variety of vessels, whether you want to try jet-skiing or wakesurfing, or just want to cruise to a quiet spot along the river or at the beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene, a few miles east.
You’ll find a beach area at Fun Unlimited’s Post Falls location, with a roped-in swimming area and a launch area for paddlesports.
4. North Idaho Centennial Trail
Crossing through Port Falls and hugging the riverbank on the east side of the city is a 24-mile paved trail, running from the Idaho/Washington border to Higgens Point, east of Coeur d’Alene.
As you’ll gather from the name, the North Idaho Centennial Trail took shape in the 1980s to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Idaho’s statehood in 1990.
Since 2017 the trail has undergone thorough repairs, and all 24 miles have been repaved. If you have the time and energy it’s a fine way to walk or ride to Lake Coeur d’Alene without having to contend with traffic.
Ten miles pass through Post Falls, linking a series of parks, and furnished with a lot of seating and several historical signs. At the Idaho-Washington border, the trail continues for another 37 miles as the Spokane River Centennial Trail.
5. Buck Knives Plant
It’s appropriate that in a part of the country steeped in frontier life, one of the biggest employers should be a knife maker.
The market-leading Buck Knives was founded in 1902, and is so ingrained in hunting culture that the term “buck knife” is a byword for a folding lockback knife. Eagle-eyed movie watchers will have spotted Buck Knife models in Red Dawn (1984), the Scream series and Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003).
The company was founded in San Diego, but relocated its headquarters to Post Falls in 2005. The factory offers year round tours free of charge, Monday through Thursday.
You’ll see exactly how Buck Knives are made and learn a little more about the company’s history and how its innovations have revolutionized the knife industry.
6. Black Bay Park
Upstream from Falls Park and Q’emiln Park there’s another public space on the Spokane River.
Something to love about Black Bay Park is how it feels like a tract of wilderness sloping down to the river, full of towering ponderosas, rather than a landscaped urban park.
Still, there’s no lack of amenities, with a shaded picnic area, two lighted tennis courts, a basketball court and clear, paved trails that lead you to scenic riverside spots where you can take a seat and enjoy the views.
The park has a designated area for swimming in the summer, and you can also fish from the bank without having to leave town.
7. Corbin Park
Downriver from Falls Park, Corbin Park is 28 acres of beautifully rugged riverside, with views across to an impressive outcrop on the opposite bank.
This is a popular place to access the river for kayaking and rafting, and also comes with a lot of seating, picnic areas, a playground for children, day camp sites, barbecue grills, a ball field, a volleyball court and a football field.
A great feature is the newly updated 18-hole disc golf course, with a kiosk at hole #1 and custom tee signs to help you find your way.
There’s a staggering amount of publicly-accessible golf courses in a 20-minute radius of Post Falls, with four courses next door in Coeur d’Alene, and two more directly across the state line at Liberty Lake.
Right in Post Falls you have three more options, all framed by the sublime mountainscapes bordering the city.
The Links is a traditional Scottish-style course, using the natural contours of the landscape and testing players with deep bunkers and powerful winds.
The Highlands is an 18-hole, par 72, with six scenic but challenging water features and one of the best practice facilities in the region, with a full-size grass driving range and spacious putting and chipping area.
Finally, Prairie Falls Golf Club is a blend of a parkland and links course, on which you may come across wildlife like elk, moose, eagles and osprey.
9. Post Falls Historical Society Museum
Standing alone at the corner of 4th Avenue and Spokane Street is a commercial building that has been here since 1923.
Previously this was occupied by a drugstore and is now an enlightening look back at the history of Post Falls.
The museum, open Wednesday to Saturday is packed with artifacts relating to Post Falls’ past, with extra attention on the timber industry.
Three rooms are devoted to special displays, including household items and appliances over time, military uniforms and a historic school room.
10. Post Falls Brewing Company
Set right below the water tower by the Spokane River, there’s a popular craft brewery/brewpub, open seven days a week and with a large assortment of beers on tap.
If you like hoppy IPAs you’ll be in heaven here, with no fewer than five in the range, along with a stout, lager, amber beer, porter and a selection of hard ciders and seltzers.
The taproom has live music most Saturdays, the tables outside command dreamy views over to the mountains on the south side of the river, and there’s always a food truck on site cooking up pizza and wings.
11. Up North Distillery
As the stainless steel silos visible from West Seltice Way might tell you, there’s a craft distillery on Post Falls’ western outskirts.
Up North Distillery prides itself on producing small-batch craft spirits, with a “farm to flask” philosophy. The selection includes barrel-aged honey spirits and apple brandies, matured for 1-2 or 2+ years.
These are made with 100% local grains, fruit and honey, and every part of the distilling process is done by hand.
The menu changes from season to season and you can visit the bar, mixing up a variety of cocktails and also pouring spirits and beers from around the region. Food trucks on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
12. Stateline Speedway
For anyone in need of some high-speed action there’s a small stadium-style racetrack with a steady stream of events from April to September.
Stateline Speedway has a varied program, with late models, bandoleros, legends and dedicated open wheel nights.
Kids into cars will love the Wreck It Racing nights, when the demolition derby mayhem includes a “bump to pass” race, a towing race, a race with motorhomes and even a boat race.
Other events in the calendar include car shows, monster trucks and family nights on Wednesdays.
13. Lake Coeur d’Alene
The second-largest lake in Idaho is less than ten miles east of downtown, with a comfortable surface temperature of around 70 °F in the summer months.
Conveniently, the largest city on the lakeshore, Coeur d’Alene, is right next door to Post Falls, which puts a wealth of amenities and experiences at your fingertips.
You can take a scenic cruise on the lake, walk a network of well-maintained trails, visit attractions like a cute llama farm, dine in the charming downtown area, go fishing or simply lie back next to this natural wonder.
City Park has an exquisite lakeside promenade and a stretch of beach, while McEuen Park has recently been renovated with a large splash pad that children adore in summer.
Lastly, Kokanee salmon migrate to the lake in fall and winter to spawn by the gravelly shoreline, and this event attracts dozens of bald eagles, best viewed at Wolf Lodge Bay, a few miles east of Coeur d’Alene proper.
14. Tubbs Hill
You won’t need to search hard for a scenic place to explore the Coeur d’Alene lakeshore.
Within walking distance of downtown is an undeveloped peninsula surrounded on three sides by the lake and dominated by a hill.
Tubbs Hill is publicly owned and you can access its forested slopes via a two-mile loop around the perimeter.
The western trailhead can be found in McEuen Park. This will lead you to marvellous lookouts, labeled historical points and secluded spots like Tubbs Hill Beach on the south side.
15. Silverwood Theme Park
For extra day out inspiration, the largest amusement park in the Pacific Northwest is barely 20 miles out of town.
Silverwood Theme Park has grown and added new rides every season since it opened in 1988.
Today the park offers more than 70 rides and amusements, from tilt-a-whirls to bumper cars and plenty of attractions aimed at the littlest family members.
Older thrillseekers will be pleased with what they find, at an array of steel and wooden roller coasters, bolstered in 2021 by Stunt Pilot, an exact clone of California Great America’s RailBlazer.
Included in admission is entry to Boulder Beach, with two wave pools, a lazy river and slides to thrill all comers.