Rails & Trails Pages

Friday, June 22, 2007

Gandy Dancer Bike Trail

On Friday, June 22nd, Matt Whitmore and I biked the Gandy Dancer Train from Siren, WI to Danbury and back.  I really wanted to do this section for 2 reasons.  First, I had biked the section from St. Croix Falls to Siren so this last 16 mile stretch would complete the 47 mile trail.  Secondly, there is a 525-foot railroad trestle over the St. Croix River and it’s 75 feet high.  So we left Siren about 8 AM:
A beautiful morning as we head north:
Soon we come to a neat bridge crossing the Clam River , about 40 feet high:
The Soo Line’s handiwork still shows, even if the DNR has redone the decking:
Matt still looks chipper(and not sweating).  Of course, we’ve only gone 1 mile so far:
The first town we come to is Webster:
I wonder what the trackage looked like here in the 50s????   Where was the depot????
On the north side of Webster we found this neat old creamery:
It was obviously served by rail as evidenced by the NO CLEARANCE sign:
Just beyond that was a feed mile on the spur, both buildings now abandoned:
Heading north again, we cross the Yellow River , for the first time:
Then we pass by beautiful Yellow Lake :
Coming into Danbury , we cross over another high trestle:
You can see we’re up in the air pretty good by this shot:
We’re at the end of the bicycle portion of the trail, but we still have a little less than a mile to the big trestle.  The next part of the trail is ATV and is sand and rocks!!!   It was REALLY hard riding in it.  Matt said he worked harder riding this part of the trail than the first 15 miles combined!!
OK—there she is.  What we’ve come to see:
Enjoy these spectacular views of the trestle:
Matt wasn’t sure if there were railroad ties under the decking or not so he just had to check it out:
Evidence of the previous wood trestle still exists.  Can you imagine what this structure looked like when it was wood????
With that we headed back.  About a 33-mile round trip.  Even the deer flies weren’t TOO bad.  A fun day and a chance to pursue some more rail history.

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