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, taken when it was under construction.
Kinnickinnic River Trail: bridge over Chase Ave.
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) trail 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.
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.
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.
6th Street bridge with new ramp in background (taken from Canal Street)
Ramp from 6th Street bridge
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.
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.
The new trail running from Glendale to Brown Deer Park is now paved, although finishing touches need to be applied (this past weekend it needed its final layer of asphalt and landscaping ). This trail follows the route of the former interurban streecar between Milwaukee, Port Washington, and Sheboygan, although it appears that the interurban name will not be used in Milwaukee county unlike in Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties. Instead it will be called the Oak Leaf trail south of Brown Deer Rd and the Brown Deer Trail between Brown Deer Rd and the county line.
This trail will serve as an alternate route between downtown Milwaukee and the Interurban trail system. To follow it, start with the same route along the former C & NW rail-to-trail conversion, and follow that route through Estabrook and Lincoln parks. But rather than continue north along the Milwaukee River Parkway, cross the parkway to the west and follow the trail to the intersection of Villard and Green Bay. Cross Green Bay and continue on the park trail and, once the trail ends, on Villard to 25th. Go north on 25th. The road jogs a bit and changes its name several times, but just keep going north until there is no more road. Pick up the trail and continue north. You can go all the way to Oostberg (with a few well-labelled gaps) before the trail runs out.
Tom Held has an article in the current Milwaukee Magazine describing Milwaukee’s “35 best trails.” These are mainly bike trails, but the list also includes some hiking trails and mountain bike trails.
The section of the Kinnickinnic River Trail between Washington and Maple streets is now open. I have changed the description of the Milwaukee-Chicago route to move this section off of 2nd or 1st street to Water Street and the new trail.
The block of Water Street north of Washington is scheduled for rebuilding next year. Until that happens, it is a bit of an obstacle course with all the tracks crossing at various angles.
A trail is currently under construction between Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street using a former railroad right of way. It will follow the Kinnickinnic River.
The photos below show construction on the bridge that will take the trail over First Street. The first was taken about two weeks ago. The second was taken today.
This is the name of a new linear park that will run between Hank Aaron trail at the Urban Ecology Center to the Mitchell Park domes, using former rail yards along the Menomonee River. It is scheduled to open in July.
Attached are pictures of the construction activity.