Amenities: Restrooms, picnic tables, beaches, public docks.
Higgens Point is one of the best kept secrets in North Idaho. The Point sits right off the freeway but can only be accessed from Coeur d'Alene Lake Drive and the Centennial Trail. Once you park, it's about a five minute walk up hill to the top of the point. From there you have a well shaded picnic area with incredible views on all sides. And if you're a boater, there's a boat launch near by and 2 public docks on the point itself.
Higgens Point is the endpoint of the 34 acre Coeur d'Alene Parkway, a thin strip of park land running along the Centennial Trail for about 1/2 mile before meeting Higgens Point. This park is managed by Idaho Parks and Recreation.
This park is often incorrectly spelled as "Higgins Point," including in local newspaper reports dating back to shortly after the land was purchased by the state in 1971. Perhaps this is because of confusion with Higgins Point, a former settlement in El Dorado County, California. Most official sources from the state of Idaho spell it as Higgens, but a U.S. Geological Survey from 1996 referred to it as Higgins Point.
Higgens Point itself and some of the surrounding land was owned by an author named David O. McGowan who built a home on the point in the 1920s. McGowan used the point as a quiet place to write during the summers. Shortly before World War II, Dr. Milton "Mel" Higgens purchased the land from McGowan, only parting with it in 1971 when the state forced the sale as part of its Interstate 90 rerouting project.
Dr. Higgens once served as the president of the Coeur d'Alene Kiwanis Club and treasurer of the Fair Association. Despite his high profile in town, misspellings of his name as "Higgins" appear in the local press as early as 1952. Dr. Higgens died in 1982, and was survived by his wife of nearly 58 years, Maybelle, who passed away in 1989.
Many thanks to Dr. Higgens' great niece who helpfully contacted us and provided the details we needed to research and relate the history of this park and the gentleman it is named after.