After three years of repairs and retrofits, the historic lift bridge in Stillwater re-opened to the public on June 1, 2020. What used to be a major traffic connection into Wisconsin over the St. Croix River counting about 18,000 cars a day is now only open to non-motorized traffic. Motor vehicles cross the river over a new bridge a mile to the south. Along with a new bike trail and separated bike and pedestrian paths over the new bridge, the Saint Croix River Crossing Loop Trail makes for a five-mile circle route that connects Stillwater and its neighbor across state lines, Houlton, WI.
This new trail connects seamlessly to the Brown’s Creek and Gateway State Trails and brings the mileage of recreational trails in the area to near 30. Stillwater also has two breweries, so it was time for the first Trail Pairing by bike this year. It ended up being a story with a lot of bridges.