Today I decided to not ride the regular route and instead spend the day with Deb riding the Fox River Trail. Deb rode a portion of it yesterday and wanted to ride it again. It’s a rail trail in Green Bay that runs along the Fox River. The trail corridor was once used by Native Americans who used footpaths to travel between their villages located on the river. Early French explorers, missionaries, and traders built their posts and missions along these trails. As the area settled, livestock and other goods were brought to market using these pathways. Later, a military road was built along portions of the corridor linking Green Bay to Milwaukee. In the 1860’s the Milwaukee and Superior Railway acquired the present corridor and began planning for rail service. In 1873, the Milwaukee and Northern Railway Company purchased the corridor and the first trains began making regular runs between the Green Bay and Milwaukee markets. Trains continued to run on the corridor for the next 116 years as ownership passed from one railroad to another. In 1989, regular rail service was discontinued and development of the Fox River Trail began. The trail is approximately 25 miles long and extends from downtown Green Bay to the Brown County Line. The first 11 miles are asphalt and the remaining portion is crushed limestone. The day was overcast with a high of 88 degrees. We rode an out and back route for a total of just over 22 miles. The asphalt surface was really smooth…..better than most roads. In the downtown area the trail goes through a very nice residential area along the river. Later the trail veers away from the river and passes through farmland where we saw lots of corn, soybean, alfalfa, and wheat fields. The wheat up here is just now being harvested. The trail gets a lot of use from cyclists, rollerbladers, joggers, and walkers. On the return trip we stopped at a fast food restaurant for lunch.
After we finished our ride, we drove about 45 minutes to our next overnight stop at Sturgeon Bay, WI. Sturgeon Bay is in the Door County Peninsula. We decided that the weather was just too warm for comfortable camping and we went ahead and made hotel reservations for the remainder of our trip. We checked into our hotel in Sturgeon Bay, got cleaned up and then went to the High School where the campers were staying. We ate supper with Don Sullivan from Tennessee (who I met on the TRIRI ride in Indiana last summer). After supper the three of us went down to look at the large boats that were docked in the Bay. I can’t even imagine how much money it takes to buy some of those boats, much less pay slip rent and maintenance. We dropped Don off at the school and went back to the hotel and relaxed the rest of the evening. Tomorrow is a layover day and the ride is optional since we’ll be staying overnight here again. The forecast is for rain, so we plan on driving the loop tour through Door County.