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It’s a great time to get away from it all in Idaho

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, PotlatchDeltic’s properties in Idaho were popular with urbanites in West Coast states like Washington, Oregon, and California. But now, with more people than ever looking to get away from it all, interest in rural properties is surging.

We like to call this trend “recreationally distancing” – leaving the city to have a second home or to live full-time in a place that offers everything from hunting and fishing to camping, kayaking, and hiking.

Nationally, page views of homes in towns with fewer than 50,000 residents were up 87% year-over-year in May on the real estate website, more than triple the 22% increase in page views of homes in cities with more than 1 million residents.

And in Idaho, we saw the number of visitors checking out our PotlatchDeltic properties online increase 118% year-over-year in June, with potential buyers viewing a total of 6,700 Idaho featured pages, an increase of 130% over the prior year.

“PotlatchDeltic’s rural properties offer the potential for a great secondary home or simply a weekend camping property,” said Ben Ballard, PotlatchDeltic’s Idaho real estate manager. “Our properties offer the buyer immediate use, with the benefit of having a place to go when the city gets to be too much, either for the weekend, or right now, during the coronavirus crisis.”

Ballard and the Idaho members of the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network offer attractive, reasonably priced tracts in several rural planned communities that have proven to be popular with buyers from metro areas like Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.

Three of the communities are in the prime Clearwater County recreational area of Orofino:

  • Huckleberry Estates has elk, white-tailed deer and wild turkeys roaming the area, as well as the occasional ruffed grouse and other small game animals.  The year-round water in Whiskey Creek and other tributaries, along with lush vegetation, create a terrific wildlife habitat.

While the area gets snow in the winter, it doesn’t get as cold as higher elevations, making this a great wintering habitat for most of the area’s game species. In addition to hunting on the property, there are tens of thousands of acres of publicly accessible lands just up the highway, offering you the opportunity to both hunt on your own land and venture out to a wide expanse of hunting opportunity.

Parcels range from 7 to 30 acres, all priced under $100,000. The community is within 10 miles of the quaint community of Orofino and is appealing to rural buyers who are looking for a property without covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs).

  • Tie Creek, also near Orofino, has only a few parcels remaining out of the original 25.  Several of the owners have built homes with stunning views overlooking the Dworshak Reservoir and are taking advantage of the Canyon Creek boat launch, which is just down the road.

Parcels range from 20 to 24 acres, with attractive pricing in the $50,000-$60,000 range. The parcels are very suitable for building, are nicely wooded and offer privacy from your neighbors.

The Clearwater River is well-known for its great steelhead runs as well as chinook salmon, while the Dworshak Reservoir, the dammed north fork of the Clearwater, is popular for Kokanee Salmon and small-mouth bass.  In fact, the state record smallmouth was just caught in early May 2020 from Dworshak Reservoir, at 22.75 inches.

  • Sportsman Estates near St. Maries has sold out of its first phase, but a second phase is coming online soon.  In fact, some of the parcels in this next phase are already being spoken for, before even going online.

The second phase of Sportsman Estates includes four parcels from 6.5 to 11 acres and four parcels that are 20+ acres in size.  It’s located near the nationally known St. Joe River, an exceptional fishery for cutthroat trout and great rafting/tubing recreation spot, while the St. Maries River, the tributary to the St. Joe, is just a few miles away, offering a quieter fishing experience.

In addition, Sportsman Road, which passes through Sportsman Estates, offers access to tens of thousands of state-owned and privately-owned timberlands that are open year round for hunting and recreation, along with providing opportunities for foraging for huckleberries in the summer and prized morel mushrooms in the spring.


“A PotlatchDeltic property in this part of Idaho is a wonderful getaway that’s within easy reach of nearby cities, yet it makes you feel a world away from urban life,” Ballard said.

To learn more about all the things our Idaho properties have to offer, contact a member of the Idaho PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network and recreationally distance.

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