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This 98-mile recreational trail follows the old Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie railroad grade from St. Croix Falls north to Superior. This grade was commercially used for approximately 100 years starting in the late 1880s. Upon abandonment, part of the corridor was purchased by Burnett County and the State of Wisconsin for use as a recreational trail.
Railroad history is remembered in the name "Gandy Dancer." Hand crews, who built and maintained the tracks, used railroad tools manufactured by the Chicago-based Gandy Tool Company. Often the crews used vocal and mechanical cadences to synchronize the swinging of their hand tools or the movement of their feet. Hence the name "Gandy Dancer" reminds us of the past crews who built the railroads.
The trail begins at St. Croix Falls and passes through Centuria, Milltown, Luck, Frederic and Lewis. The short distances between these towns makes the Gandy Dancer Trail the most user friendly trail in the Midwest with easy access for food, lodging, parking and other areas to explore. The Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls offers information on the many attractions along the Trail as well as in the County. Visit the restored railroad depot and area museum in Frederic or include a side trip to the Interstate Park along the St. Croix River.
between towns along the Gandy Dancer Trail are as follows.
The entire Gandy Dancer Trail is marked with mile post signs.
A Wisconsin State Trail Pass is required of all bicyclists 16 years of age or older riding the Trail between St. Croix Falls and Danbury. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Patron license will be honored as a bike pass. Trail passes must be visibly displayed when using the Trail. A pass is not needed for hiking. Handicapped/disabled persons in wheel chairs do not need a pass.
Trail passes are available at the Polk and Burnett County Tourism Centers and from business vendors located in communities along the Trail. Pass fees are $4 for a daily pass and $20 for an annual pass--subject to change.
Trail passes are issued to individuals, not bikes. As such trail passes cannot be passed from person to person or shared with others.
For more information about the Trail, check out the Burnett County Web Site at http://www.burnettcounty.com.
Copyright © 2010 Polk County Information Center.