Repaved south shore lake front trails.

The trails in Grant and Sheridan parks have been showing their age. Fortunately they were repaved and, in the case of Grant Park, realigned this summer.

Kinnickinnic River

Late last year I posted that two new sections of the Kinnickinnic River Trail had opened. Unfortunately the street from downtown Milwaukee to these sections was in terrible shape, with potholes and numerous old railroad crossings. South Water Street has now been repaved so the route is now more comfortable, particularly for those concerned about their tires. Thus this route is a viable option for part of the Milwaukee-Chicago route.

I am attaching a photo of the bridge carrying the new trail over Chase Ave, takenĀ  when it was under construction.

Capitol Drive bridge, looking north-west

Kinnickinnic River Trail: bridge over Chase Ave.

Last obstacles between Milwaukee lakefront and Oostberg

The last section of trail missing between the Milwaukee Lakefront and the Ozaukee Interurban Trail is currently under construction. This trail follows the former Chicago and Northwestern route (the “400”) between Hampton Avenue and Mill Road. This would allow for a largely unbroken (except for city streets in Cedarburg, Grafton, and Port Washington) 20151010_150138trail route between Milwaukee and Oostberg in Sheboygan County. The remaining obstacle is the bridge across the Milwaukee River.

The photo shows the bridge under construction taken from the west end. It makes use of the old railroad bridge, but with a new wooden deck and railing.

The trail itself is currently paved from the Milwaukee River Parkway north west to Mill Road. There were already a fair number of bicyclists taking advantage of today’s great weather.

Bug Line Trail and Menomonee Falls

I checked out the Bug Line Trail the other day. It was recently paved between Merton and Menomonee Falls–a big improvement over the old unpaved trail which seemed intent on returning to nature. At the eastern end, two blocks of street riding (shown on the Milwaukee map) takes one to a trail along the Menomonee River, passing by the falls themselves. This trail ends at Fond du Lac Avenue, but a trail is under construction next to FDL Avenue that will connect to the branch of Milwaukee County’s Oak Leaf Trail that runs next to Bradley Road.

New Hank Aaron State Trail connection

A new ramp has been opened connecting the 6th street bridge to the former train yard (called the Reed Street Yards) which is being redeveloped as an industrial park, specializing in companies focused on water. Here are pictures of the new ramp.

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New ramp

Thus the east-bound trail rider would go south on the 6th street bridge at the eastern end of Canal Street. Then the rider would take the ramp down to the trail through the Reed Street Yards and continue east on the trail and along Freshwater Way and Pittsburgh Street.

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6th Street bridge with new ramp in background (taken from Canal Street)

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Ramp from 6th Street bridge

Upgraded section of Oak Leaf Trail

The section of the Oak Leaf Trail south from Bluemound to 120th Street has been rebuilt as a trail, replacing the very potholed road.

Hank Aaron State Trail Closure

Because of the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange, the section of the Hank Aaron State Trail west of 94th Place has been closed and is not projected to reopen until 2018. There is a well-marked detour south of the trail. For more information go to this site.

Second section of KK River Trail Opens

The second section of the Kinnickinnic Trail is now open. This section runs from Lincoln Avenue, just east of First Street, south then swings west to Sixth Street at Rosedale St. A new bridge takes the trail across Chase Street. There is no connection at Chase.

The new trail would appear to form an on-trail section of Milwaukee County’s Oak Leaf Trail East-West Connector, but no Oak Leaf Trail signs have been placed yet. The Connector runs east from the Oak Leaf Trail along Lake Michigan to 84th Street where it turns north. The new trail would seem to imply a re-routing of the Connector in Bayview from Montana Street to Lincoln.

The first section of the KK River Trail runs between Washington Street and Maple Street to the east of First Street. To connect to the second section, one would continue on Maple St to First Street and then go south on First to Lincoln.

Site Additions

I have been doing a bit of maintenance on the site. I filled a gap on the Milwaukee to Door county route. I also added links the pdfs of the Great Lakes History Tours, published in the 1970s. The Lake Superior guide is a full pdf copy (minus the fold-out map) that I found on the Government Printing Office web site. The Lake Michigan pdf includes the route instructions and two city maps. While old, these guides can be a valuable starting point for trip planning. If you use them, please send me a report, so I can update them with current information.

Three Bridges Park Grand Opening–July 20

The grand opening of the three bridges park is scheduled for the morning of July 20. There will be a variety of activities, as described in this press release.

Three Bridges is a linear part connection the Hank Aaron Trail (and the Urban Ecology Center) to the Mitchell Park Domes.