I grew up in Bonduel, where every homecoming was marked by the toilet papering of the railroad trestle that welcomes you if you are heading south on Hwy 117 into town. That rail road trestle is no longer a train track, but rather a biker’s/hiker’s dream route through the countryside known as the Mountain Bay Trail.
Stretching 83 miles, the trail gets its name from the two areas it connects: Rib Mountain and Green Bay. While I always knew about the section that cut through my hometown, I had no idea how it connected to anywhere else. I first discovered one of the entry points in Howard when MDH began building on Mighty Oak Trail. The long paved path in the cul de sac takes you to a set of stairs that drops you into the gully of the old rail line.
And today we’re going to start out on the more manicured gravel trail in Howard and take it all the way to Bonduel to see what sites this beautiful fall day has to offer!
As you head north to the rural settings of the trail the more rustic nature of the country side starts to set in.
From the blazing red of the sumac to the golden yellow of the poplar trees, a scenic ride would be just the trick for anyone hoping to get out and enjoy the changing colors.
Enjoy these sites from the Beech road intersection outside of Bonduel as you begin your decent from higher ground into a valley between farm fields.
From this road you can trace the tree line at the bottom of the field to the path the Mountain Bay Trail takes. It is fun to imagine the voyage a train must have taken many moons ago as it traveled this route on a similar day!
And once again as you near my little home town, the trail becomes a tunnel cut deep in the earth.
I have walked this stretch of the Mountain Bay Trail many times with my dogs, and many more times with friends years ago when we used to tell the haunted legend of the old bridge that once crossed over the track. Feel free to ask me about it sometime, but it is a story best told huddled over a campfire at night!
And this is where we end our tour of the Mountain Bay Trail, but be sure to keep going all the way to Shawano and beyond if you wish! This is also where we will end this season’s Fall Travel Series! The colors are giving their final hurrah and the frost on our windows in the morning will slowly become snow on the ground. Are you ready for winter?
Thanks for joining me- I hope to find some more special places to share next year!
And In Case You Want to Catch Up!
More from this year’s series- below!