After I got done working yesterday, I went for a short out and back on Ruby Creek Trail. I probably need more time to explore the area since it's the first I've managed to get out there. Normally, I head farther out to Giant White Pine and run there.
Directions: From Potlatch, follow Highway 6 through Princeton, then Harvard. (Fast fact - the locals say the Hoodoo Café is pretty awesome. The meatloaf is especially good.) Approximately two miles outside of Harvard, you cross the Palouse River. Right after the bridge, you'll see the sign for the Ruby Creek and Mt. Margaret Trailhead. Make the next right, and then a tenth of a mile later, the next right. You'll wind back past farms for about 1.5 miles. Watch for the cows.
The two trails share a parking lot. Plenty roomy, but no facilities.
Both trails are OHV (Off-Highway Vehicle) trails while I prefer MTF (My Two Feet) single track. I didn't see any motorcycles or four-wheelers while I was running. The advantage of running while the Seahawks play. There was one couple hiking with their dogs. One of the dogs, a good-looking boxer, seemed to have a perpetual look on her face that said "Cookie?" Fresh out, alas.
I ran up the trails to the first fork (about five minutes up, your time may be faster or slower, with faster more likely) and went left staying on the Ruby Creek Trail. The right fork takes you up, if the sign is to be believed, to the Mt. Margaret Loops.
I ran 2.5 miles up the trail. Up is operative here, as there was little flat ground and no down to run. The trail rises at about 250 feet per mile and I didn't top out for the short ways that I went.
Lots of eagles along the trail and two large mule deer which startled as I slogged past. I saw a couple of deer trails diving off to the side but I skipped exploring for now while I got a feel for the place. I'll need to come back with a topo - I'm betting there's a way to get to Giant White Pine, staying on trails.