This site is about photography and the inner thoughts of photographer Andrew Plath.

Posts tagged ‘Wisconsin’

A historic landmark bridge awaits to take riders and hikers across the Tomorrow

A historic landmark bridge awaits to take riders and hikers across the Tomorrow River near Amherst, WI.

A hillside cut-through.

A hillside cut-through.

On a whim and a fancy, I decided to take a chance on one of Wisconsin’s newest state rail-trails.  I had known about the Tomorrow River State Trail for a number of years.   I “fell in love with this bridge at first sight.   This is the concrete arch bridge that crosses the Tomorrow River, a well known trout stream in eastern Portage County, and for me, a key as to what this trail has to offer.

I could have done a full trail ride, and maybe I will soon.   The Tomorrow River State Trail begins at Hoover Road in the Village of Plover and extends eastward for 34 miles to Manawa on  a former rail line once operated by the Green-Bay & Western Railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_and_Western_Railroad.

I chose to just ride the section from Amherst to Ogdensburg for a number of reasons.  For one, I made some stupid mistakes the last time I tried riding out from Plover (like forgetting the front wheel of my bike).   The section between Amherst and Ogdensburg proved to be a scenic gem.

I carry a backpack laden with a DSLR and several lenses whenever I ride a rail-trail.   I have come to know that each of Wisconsin’s numerous rail is going to offer up some of the best scenery.

On a bicycle, and especially on a rail-trail, it is not so much about “getting there” as for what you find along the way.  The Tomorrow River Trail passes through glacial moraine giving riders a scenic, but rugged, landscape to pass through on a gentle 3% grade at best.  You will find many large boulders called erratics.  Many of these boulders were deposited by ice age glaciers.

It even becomes a journey through time as you pass through land that railroad locomotive crews once saw as  a part of their job.

Like many of Wisconsin’s rail-trails, The Tomorrow River State Trail is paved with crushed limestone and can get a little grassy in places.   There is an equestrian trail along side in most places in Portage and Waupaca Counties, so you don’t have to run into horses and goo for the most part.

It is a gorgeous journey so get your trail pass and take a ride.

 

 

 

Highway 49 Overpass at Scandinavia.

Highway 49 Overpass at Scandinavia.

A view from the bridge looking upstream.

A view from the bridge looking upstream.

The Quarry

It even looks good in black and white.

 

 Some of the great places that make for powerful landscape imagery are never really too far from where we live.  A few years back, with the help of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was able to make another great addition to Rib Mountain State Park.  Years ago, 3M mined quartzite from Rib Mountain before developing a much larger quarry north of Wausau in the Town of Maine.

When the Wisconsin DNR purchased the old quarry on Rib Mountain, The Friends of Rib Mountain State Park immediately went to task to develop new hiking trails  to add to the existing 4 miles of trail already in the park.

In doing so, they also added history as one of the new trails passes through the site of the Knopf family homestead where Rib Mountain”s first settlers lived.  There is also the remains of an old dynamite shack where explosives for blasting out huge seams of quartzite were stored.

The trails have become immensely popular for park visitors.   The Turkey Vulture Trail provides an alternative access route for hikers to the park, and yes, if you look up, you will see these vultures circling near the southern rim of the quarry looking for carrion to provide them with food.  On one of my hikes, I had a turkey vulture pass over me by just ten feet.

With the influence of men like Ansel Adams or Galen Rowell in me, I could not resist dragging a camera to capture these views.  The quarry is man-made and small compared to Yosemite  or other far flung  places, but it is still much worth the hike.   The quarry takes on a different look with each passing season.   The rocks reflect different hues and the water levels in the basin change with each season.   3M’s mining trucks no longer rumble up and down the haul road which remains as part of the Turkey Vulture Trail.   The rocks now sit in silent witness to changing seasons.

http://wildlightphotography.photoshelter.com/gallery-image/Wild-Light/G0000mpaI11NQ7gY/I0000TwSTCjVIerU

%d bloggers like this: