There is a new bicycle trail just 30 miles from Barron called the Harvey Stower Trail. It just opened in August of this year. It has a crushed limestone surface and runs 14 miles from Amery to Dresser. There was quite a controversy over whether this trail should be a biking/hiking trail or an ATV All-Purpose Trail and there were several heated meetings over this.
With temperatures forecast for the 70s, bright sunshine, and NO WIND, it was the perfect day to ride this trail. This trail is on abandoned Soo Line trackage that was the mainline from the Twin Cities to Sault St. Marie, Michigan and ran through Barron also. The Soo Line began in Barron County and this was part of its original trackage. I have ridden the train from Almena to Barron to Ladysmith to Prentice and also from the Twin Cities (Shoreham) to Dresser. With today's bike ride I would only need to do the Almena to Amery part to say I have experienced the line from the Twin Cities to Prentice. The Almena to Amery part is an ATV Trail so now I need to find a 4-wheeler and ride that part.
The trail starts in Amery:
It was 10 AM with temperature about 50 degrees but it quickly warmed up and I shed my jacket. Like most trails, the vegetation has really encroached on the paths, creating a tunnel effect.
There aren't any towns between Amery and Dresser but there are 3 little 'settlements.' First is Deronda:
Here is Wanderoos.
In Wanderoos there is an abandoned building which looks like it might have been a lumber yard and served by the railroad:
Enjoy some scenery trackside:
Maybe I should have gone fishing on such a nice day--Nah--this is fun and one more thing checked off the 'bucket list.'
This is 'Nye' where there was a siding (I think) and there are some buildings behind the trees:
The roadbed now is probably better than when the tracks were pulled out.
For now, the trail ends about 1 mile east of Dresser. There are active tracks extending west of Dresser. I'm sure the plan is somehow to connect this trail with the Gandy Dancer Trail which runs from St. Croix Falls to Danbury but the tracks are in from Dresser to St. Croix Falls as it serves the Dresser Trap Rock facility.
Amery is known as the 'City Of Lakes' and as I pedal back into Amery, the roadbed passes between North Twin and South Twin Lakes.
I only met 2 pairs of other bike riders but that's probably expected late in the year on a week day. I'm sure it will get a lot more use in the summer.
A Great Day--A Great Ride--Too Bad Cold Temps and Winter Are Around The Corner!!!