The Old Milwaukee Railroad Trail in Thompson Park is a very flat and easy rail-trail. In the summer, we commonly encounter fat tire bikers and mountain bikers on this route, but hiking this trail can be enjoyable as well. In winter you can fat tire bike the groomed sections, ski, or snowshoe. This trail has plenty of offshoot trails to venture out on to add more miles to your day. Dogs are allowed.
The coordinates we provide take you to the most popular parking area: Sagebrush Flats. From this parking area, the trail starts out traveling between a rocky ravine that was blown away for the Milwaukee Railroad. After about a third of a mile, the trail opens up. There are some views of the surrounding hills and Continental Divide. There are two train tunnels on this hike – the first is avoidable via a side-trail if you do not want to walk through it. It is the shorter of the two tunnels. Once beyond this first tunnel, continue on the very gradual ascent up the trail. You’ll reach the long tunnel which is unavoidable to continue on the Old Milwaukee Railroad Trail. Once on the other side, it’s not long before the trail meets up with a Trestle Bridge. The trestle bridge is our favorite feature of the trail with views of the surrounding forest. Once beyond the trestle bridge, this last section doesn’t have many views – but we notice it to have more solitude and the quieter of the two ends. At this end, on our very first time hiking the Old Milwaukee Railroad Trail, we saw two moose at a safe distance in the woods watching us pass by. Eventually, you will make it to the other entrance which is just off MT-2 and connects to the Continental Divide Trail.