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 98-mile recreation trail follows the railroad grade from St. Croix Falls north to Superior. Recreational use on the Trail is divided by geographic location: south half and north half. The south trail segment extends 47 miles from St. Croix Falls to Danbury, paralleling Hwy. 35 most of the distance. This segment was surfaced with crushed limestone in 1995 and offers a smooth, hard surfaced trail with use limited to biking and hiking from April through November. A State Trail pass is required of all bicyclists 16 years of age or older riding the Gandy Dancer Trail between St. Croix Falls and Danbury. A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Patron license will be honored as a bike pass.
The south segment extends 47 miles from St. Croix Falls to Danbury. As of January 27, 2017 this segment in Polk County will open for frozen ground ATV/UTV use. Please stay off side trails, as they are NOT open to ATV/UTV's. " All ATV/UTV's are required to be registered in Wisconsin. Public use registration allows operation on any areas open to public riding, frozen surface of any waterways and on private property with landowner permission. An ATV or UTV operated on a public trail or corridor needs to display valid Wisconsin Public Use registration or needs to display a valid Nonresident ATV or UTV Trail Pass." - WI-DNR
Mileage between towns along the Gandy Dancer Trail are as follows.
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.
Polk County Map of the Gandy Dancer Trail
Is a 14 mile State Trail between Lotus Lake (Dresser) to Amery. The trail winds near 7 lakes and passes farmlands, woods, and glacial topography. There is an abundance of wildlife and natural beauty, with many birding opportunities. A state trail pass is required for users 16 and over for biking and cross country skiing. In the winter you may also enjoy snowshoeing the beautiful trail.
This trail is maintained and groomed by the Friends of Stower Seven Lakes State Trail. Questions please call Polk County Parks at 715-483-9294 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.