The Tatman Branch Trail follows a spur of the Great Northern Railroad, the construction of which lead to the 1886 founding of nearby Minot. The transcontinental railroad, now part of the BNSF Railway, ran from St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington.
The trail begins on the outskirts of Minot and travels north for 10 miles along the former Tatman Branch Line right-of-way, named for the Tatman township and constructed in 1957 to serve the Minot Air Force Base. The line was abandoned by BNSF in 1997, when it was purchased by Ward County. It remains unimproved with a gravel surface, but is open to the public. The path parallels 27th Street NE for most of its length, offering a straight, flat route through the countryside that ends at Minot Gate, the main entrance to the military base.
Parking and Trail Access
Take US 83 north out of Minot, turning right at 46th Avenue NE (across from the US 83 Bypass). Take 46th Avenue east to the first stop sign. Cross 27th Street at the stop sign and park at the southern end of the trail in front of the trail sign.
If this trail had some clay and crushed limestone rolled & packed it would be an excellent trail. The Sign at the North end of the Trail by Minot AFB Commercial Gate states, This is an unimproved trail. Surface is soft or has large ballast, not suitable ...