Fairview Bridge & Cartwright Tunnel Trail

North Dakota

2 Reviews

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Fairview Bridge & Cartwright Tunnel Trail Facts

States: North Dakota
Counties: McKenzie
Length: 1 miles
Trail end points: Sundheim Park and CR 1 (Cartwright)
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032455

Fairview Bridge & Cartwright Tunnel Trail Description

Both historical and unique in its design, the Old Fairview Bridge was built to accommodate both cars and trains—though not at the same time! The Old Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel Trail is now open to pedestrians and cyclists to cross the Yellowstone River in North Dakota just east of Fairview, Montana.

In addition, the Cartwright Tunnel is another unusual feature of this short trail. The tunnel is 1,458 feet long and was built in 1912 and 1913—most of the digging having been done by hand. Horse- and mule-drawn machinery, along with blasting materials, were also used.

The bridge and tunnel were built by the Great Northern Railroad for its Montana Eastern Railway, which was never finished.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at Sundheim Park on the west bank of the Yellowstone River. Take State Route 200 and at the park's access road, head south.

Fairview Bridge & Cartwright Tunnel Trail Reviews

Remote and short

This is a remote area and trail is not used much. I saw one track made since the last rain. Bridge is fine to ride over with a little jump at the west end. I never imagined a lift bridge in this area.
The tunnel curves and after a 100 yards the entrance is no longer visible, so it is totally dark. I was alone, and even with a good headlight I got spooked and turned around. I spoke with a local fisherman who said the tunnel was open all the way.
The adjacent park isn't maintained very well, but looks safe.

Short and Interesting

Luck would have that Handicap parking is at Trail grade at the west end. Otherwise it is a steep though short climb from the park below. The trail surface across the ties is a steel reinforcement web making a smooth ride. However at the east end the dirt has washed away and the web is not bent down over the side of the RR tie. This cut the side wall of my tire. Luck again, it did not blow out until an hour later after loaded it back in my Van. If the web reinforcement was hammered down, it would cure this hazard. Noel Keller 21 Jun 2013

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