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espite its futuristic name, the Tomorrow River State Trail takes users on a tour of a historic rail-trail through beautiful Portage and Waupaca Counties. Trail users will find a good start at the trailhead along Twin Towers Drive in Plover, just south of Water Way, about 1.5 miles from the trail’s start at Hoover Avenue South. However, those starting on Hoover Avenue South will be rewarded with the sweet smells coming from a nearby food-processing plant.
This rural trail alternates between open fields and shaded woodlands. There is a separate adjacent path for horseback riders—who, along with cyclists, need a State Trail Pass to use the trail.
After about 10 miles, you’ll reach Amherst Junction, where the trail crosses over an active rail line adjacent to a trailhead with parking. Here, the trail takes a brief on-road detour to bypass an incomplete section between Second Street and Alm Road. From the parking area, turn left onto Second Street, right onto County Road KK, left onto School Road, and left onto Alm Road to complete the 1.5-mile detour and return to the off-road trail.
The trail’s namesake, the Tomorrow River, flows under the trail at a bridge 1.5 miles east of Amherst Junction. Just to the south, you’ll find Cate Park, with parking and restrooms, along Tomorrow River Road.
The town of Scandinavia lies another 8.5 miles down the trail from the Tomorrow River crossing. A trailhead with parking is available at the WI 49 overpass, and users can take a brief detour into town to the general store and Viking statue (a great photo op). Other Scandinavia-themed businesses give the town some color and embrace the town name.
The last 10 miles of trail cut through fields and forests and provide solitude and quiet, even with County Road B nearby. The trail ends just outside the town of Manawa, east of Wolf Road. There is no trail parking here, and the direct connection to Manawa is incomplete due to a closed bridge crossing at the Little Wolf River. However, rail enthusiasts are encouraged to take a look at the bridge, which provides a great slice of railroad history and a view of what could be in the future.
NOTE: A State Trail Pass ($25 annually/$5 daily) is required for bicyclists and horseback riders ages 16 and older on the Tomorrow River State Trail. Snowmobilers must display either a Wisconsin registration or a snowmobile State Trail Pass. For information, go to dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/trailpass.html.
To access the western trailhead at Twin Towers Drive from I-39, take Exit 153 for County Road B toward Plover/Amherst. Head east on County Road B/Plover Road for 1 mile, and turn left onto Twin Towers Dr. The trailhead parking area is 0.2 mile north, on the right side of the road just past the trail. The endpoint is 1.5 miles west along the trail.
To access the Scandinavia trailhead from I-39, follow the directions above through the second sentence, but follow County Road B/Plover Road east for 10.4 miles. Turn right to merge onto US 10 E. toward Waupaca/County Road B, and go 1.8 miles. Take the County Road A exit toward Amherst/County Road B, and head east 8.3 miles on County Road B. Continue right (south) onto N. Main St. After 0.4 mile, look for a small parking lot on your left, just past where the trail intersects N. Main St. The eastern endpoint is just under 11 miles along the trail, just past Wolf Road.
The western half of the trail, in Portage County, is honestly the best state trail surface I've ever enjoyed. After you cross into Waupaca County (eastbound), the trail degenerates quickly, with the last 10 miles at the east end being some of the worst state trail surfaces I've ever experienced. Hoof marks, overgrowth, sand, and ruts in the eastern portion. Beautiful, rustic scenery throughout, and you're not slammed up against a busy highway, so it's easier to enjoy the beautiful nature around you.
The western end is in the outskirts of a major agri-business area, so pesticides are almost certainly a concern during parts of the year there. (Indeed a sign in Plover mentions that the trail may be closed during aerial spraying days.)
Take a mountain bike (or at least something with larger tires) if you're gonna do the Waupaca County portion. Any bike can handle the Portage County portion, which again, is excellent. I only encountered 6 other cyclists for the entire length of the trail on a beautiful, sunny summer Saturday (June 9, 2018).
The Tomorrow River turned out to be a nice pick for my 2-day fall ride on a typical Wisconsin state rail-to-trail. I broke up my trip at the Scandinavia trail head; going east the first day to Manawa and back was 28 miles, going west the next day to Plover and back was 40 miles. The nearby town of Waupaca was a great overnight base-the local Irish pub was perfect.
The tail has easy grades up and down as the trail travels thru old railroad cuts and fills. You get to see forested areas, pasture land and crop land. There are still a lot of old wooden barns along the way some still in use while others are no longer serving the agriculture economy. The gravel-surfaced trail is in good shape. Signage for the road detour at Amherst Junction is not perfect but the route can be easily determined. One should stop at the Twin Towers Drive trail head in Plover and not travel the uninteresting 1.5 mile stretch to the trails end at Hoover Ave South unless one is going on to follow the long connecter to the Green Circle Trail in Stevens Point. One negative is the trail heads do not have water or any toilets
Very good rail trail, with slight grades on most of it. We went from Amherst to Scandinavia (8.5 mi one way) and back with an hour break at the ScandiHus coffee/gift shop in about 3.5 hrs. Good ride if you aren't in good shape,as not hard but gentle grade gives you some workout
After a bit of frustration trying to find a trailhead or parking spot in Manawa, I finally asked a man who was outside working on his lawn where to park. He kindly offered information and said parking along the roadside near the trail was fine. Apparently the bridge that connects to downtown Manawa, where parking is more available, is not yet complete. I parked along Wolf Road and picked up the trail at that point. (If you need to stop at a restroom before you hit the trail, there is a gas station in town.)
The ride was pleasant and the trail was in fine condition. There was quite a bit of diversity as it passed through wooded areas, farmland, and marsh areas. The grade is relatively flat with only a few mild hills along the way.
Plenty of birdlife activity kept the sights lively. Be sure to keep you eyes open along the water areas if you want to catch a glimps of turtles sunning on a log or peeking their heads out of the stream.
At Ogdensburg Pond, there is a small dam with a trail bridge that is a nice place to stop and enjoy the scenery before heading on to Scandinavia.
In Scandinavia, I'd suggest getting off the trail and riding the small town roads just north a bit to Silver Lake. Jorgenson Park is on the north side of the lake and well worth the stop. There's a shelter, planked walking trails, and a lovely little bench on a dock where you can take a peaceful rest before hitting the trail again. Also, if you ride around town a bit before heading back to Manawa, you are able to clock a nice 30 miles under your belt.
We started in Scandinavia and headed East to Ogdensburg.
Returned to Scandinavia for a picnic by the river before
venturing West for a few miles, then back to the initial spot. Trail was in perfect condition and the scenery
beautiful. November 5th and the temperature was 69 degrees F. We will return, for sure, to explore the remainder of this most inviting trail.
After reading the last couple reviews we were a little bit leery about this Trail but we found it to be pleasant, deserted, through beautiful fields and trees. We rode from Amherst Junction just past Scandinavia. The first 1.5 miles was on county highways, but was well marked, and not a lot of traffic on Sunday afternoon. If you like the beautiful farm fields around central Wisconsin framed by rolling hills of green forest, this is a great trail. Never saw another biker, and the tracks indicated there had been only one other set of bikers all day. We found it well maintained. It was after a wet night so the trail was soft, which made it seem somewhat up hill both ways! We worked coming back from Scandinavia! Glad the sun wasn't out most of the day as there is little shade, and no place outside of businesses in Scandinavia itself to get more water. We did enjoy cooling our feet in the River, though!
My wife and I like to try new bike trails and take in different scenery along the way. This trail was a big disappointment for us. We drove to Amherst Junction (not Amherst the next town). There we unloaded our bikes and soon realized that the trail was not connected through Amherst Junction. We did not want to ride on the county roads to find the trail that headed east, so we drove to Amherst and found the trail and parking at Cate Park. We headed east towards Scandanavia. The trail was decent, but no real scenery other than woods and farmland....boring compared to other trails we ride. Once we crossed into Waupaca county (there is a sign telling us of the county line), the trail deteriorated. There were weeds growing unmoved along the edges and in the middle of the trail. We had to weave around them to avoid them. At one point, I looked at a distance and could not tell if the trail was there or totally overgrown in weeds. The weeds were 18 to 24 inches tall and slapped our legs as we drove around them. After 10 miles, we turned around. It is like waupaca county forgot this trail exists. We saw one other biker on this trail on a Wednesday. Don't waste your time here.
The trail I will recommend in the Stevens Point area is the Green Circle Trail. It is 24 miles of ever changing scenery around Stevens Point. This one is well worth taking.
This is a mainly open, flat, country trail. Scenery is mainly trees and forest with some deer grazing. Lots of brush, high grass and weeds and some sandy areas make it less than ideal for cycling. Very little shade makes it a nice trail for the fall, if the ground is dry.
Trails on Portage County were smooth and a good ride. 4 miles east of Amherst the trails get awful and becomes more of a mountain bike path. Horses have put divots in the path and it was a rough ride all the way to manawa. The worst part was Scandanavia to Manawa. No upkeep to the trails, pot holes and weeds. Stay on the Portage County side of you want smooth trails.
Such a wonderful escape for a city-slicker. I was on my rode bike and did not have any trouble. The trail is beautiful, flat, and vacant!
Only suggestion, like other reviewers mentioned, there should probably be a sign or two, at the trail entrances...or maybe not. :)
I rode from Amherst to Ogdensburg this morning. You can't believe the scenery!
Started this trail in Scandanavia, Wisconsin about 6 pm. Trail was easy and flat although weeds are getting pretty high in spots. Finished just short of Manawa, took about an hour one way. Spotted about 9 deer off to the side and crossing the path. Spotted some water also. For current pix, go to my instagram 9040pjeanne.
I rode from Plover to the Portage/Waupaca county line and back. Picked up the trail behind the Copp's grocery store at Plover. This is where it connects to the Hoover Road Spur which is part of the Stevens Point Loop. Have also ridden the loop and this spur. The spur is paved and parallels Hoover Road for most of its length.
The trail surface was in great shape with few areas of loose stone. Saw many birds including a bluebird, an oriole, and an eagle. Scared up a number of rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and a deer.
It was the middle of the day on a Wednesday so pretty much had the trail to myself, which was a plus. Suggestions for improvement would include more benches, better signage in Amherst Junction, and directional signs on I-39/U.S. 51 that guide you to the trail head.
In Amherst Junction you must cross the tracks on grade, but there are no signs that direct you down the street to the portion of the trail that uses local roads. It was easy to mistake private roads or driveways for the trail. Traffic on the roads was light, but there is really no extra provision for bikes to share the road with cars and trucks. A cross country connector would be best, a paved shoulder acceptable.
Great trail, always in great shape. I don't see many others on the trail, its a shame because it's such a nice trail. I ride a mountain bike or my road bike on the trail. Beautiful scenery.
I rode the western 2/3 of this trail from Stevens Point to Scandinavia in 2010, and the eastern part in 2013. The surface is in good shape, just a little softer than the packed limestone trails further south, with an even softer portion on the last 3 or 4 miles at the eastern end. I felt like I was going uphill in both directions on that part. The trail is mostly in the open and exposed to the sun; trees are generally set back pretty far and do not provide shade.
There are few services directly on the trail other than the parking areas noted in the description, and no trailhead restrooms. Plover has picnic tables at the trailhead. The Amherst Junction trailhead is 1 block North of the trail. The trailhead at Cate Park on the east side of Amherst has shade and picnic tables. The Scandinavia trailhead is at the foot of the bridge where the trail passes over Highway 49. There are no convenient parking lots east of Scandinavia.
I had some confusion over the trail length. All of the signs for Manawa give incorrect distances. The overview of the trail says it's 29 miles. The signs at Scandinavia say it's 20.0 miles to Plover (correct) and 14.3 miles to Manawa (incorrect). I arrived at Manawa much sooner than planned, found that the trail stopped suddenly at an unrestored railroad bridge and decided to turn back rather than walk my bike across the bridge. When I reached the next road I turned south just to verify that it was indeed Wolf Rd. and I was at Manawa.
The actual length of the trail from the Green Circle trail in Stevens Point to the dead end at Manawa is 30.7 miles.
This trail is a wonderful blend of field, farm and forest. My wife and I enjoyed a beautiful ride on Friday, July 20, 2012. We parked on the far eastern end of the trail on Wolf rd just north of county B near Manawa. The section from Manawa to Ogdensburg was "OK" but the sections from Ogdensburg to Scandanavia and from Scandanavia to the Tomorrow River are very scenic. We would highly recommend this ride to anyone. PS The only downside is the lack of bathrooms anywhere on the trail. Don't let that be a hindrance.
This a great trail from 18.5 mile Plover to Scandinavia. It's straight and has a few long but not steep hills. Goes through a few small towns so there are places to grab a bite to eat or a drink along the way. Scandinavia has a nice place to eat a block from tha trail between the bridge and the Cennex gas station. I get a couple bottles of orange juice at the Cennex and head back to Plover. The trail actually starts in Plover behind the Copps grocery store.
"This is an easy trail to ride with it's compacted crushed limestone, and suitable for most any bike. I was riding my Scorpion Fx Trike.
I began my ride at Amherst Jnc. west to Plover. To get to Amherst Jnc. take Hwy Q, just on the other side of the Hwy 10 overpass, North off of Hwy B about 2 miles. There's a parking area just on the other side of the railroad tracks as your leaving Amherst Jnc.
Amherst Jnc. is a small village comprised mainly of a few houses, a tavern and bank. I found it easier to find a trail head here than in Plover.
I was expecting to find more shade along this trail, but instead found mostly open areas of sun while passing along side meadows and farm fields. The first 2-3 miles is mostly sun with very little shade, and after about 5 miles you'll run into some wooded areas which provide a nice relief. These shaded areas are a great place to take a break, and drink some water and have a piece of fruit.
I rode this trail to the very end where it connects with the Green Circle Trail Just on the other side of Hoover Ave. Between Kennedy Ave. and Hoover Ave the trail traverses along a fence line next to a railroad track. Just before you approach the Hwy 51-39 over pass the trail breaks up into limestone and sand for a short distance. Harder to ride, but doable. Be warned that this area is off limits if there spraying the neighboring field.
About half-way along the trail you'll cross over a Hwy, and in this area you'll find a tavern if your so inclined to stop and rest.
The majority of this trail feels like your either going up a slight grade, or down a grade. When going down you can build up some nice speed, and still the limestone is compacted enough to prevent slippage. But, use common sense when picking up speed on any loose surface.
I would highly recommend riding this trail in late September, or early October to avoid the heat. I did my ride on September 5th which was unusually hot. 92 degrees. Besides, the first part of the trail is lined with sumac, and it should be a brilliant red by then.
This trail is roughly 11 miles from Amherst Jnc. to Hoover Ave.
There are no restrooms along the trail except for a campground about a mile west of Amherst Jnc.
"I finally had a chance to bike this trail in September 2005. There is still a gap between Amherst Junction and a mile or so east that can be detoured on paved back roads. The trail's west end is now on the east side of Plover at Hoover Ave which is an arterial street just west of I 39/US 51. The trail now goes into western Waupaca County. Due to an approaching severe thunderstorm, I had to cut my ride short before reaching the east end. I was just west of Scandinavia when I turned around to go back to Amherst where I started my ride from. I'm not sure how far east this trail goes. The limestone surface is well packed now, ride very well and has nice scenery. "
This trail is a work in progress. The surface is newly limestoned and in excellent condition for most any type of bike. The trailheads are on Twin Towers road just north of County Trunk B East of Plover and in Amherst Junction. They look like they were just completed. There is no water or restrooms at these trailheads. It looks like they will be added someday.
The trail is in two sections. To reach the eastern part of the trail you need to go east on US Highway 10 for about a quarter mile and turn left on School Road. Then take this road east until you can turn left on Alm Road. The trail is about a quarter mile down this road. E
xcept for US 10 these roads seem to have light traffic. The west end of the trail goes through farm land and is lightly shaded. The east end is much more rustic in scenery. It has much more shade.
The trail goes over the Tomorrow River and along some marshy areas. The trail ends abruptly at Elkins Road. According to the maps at the trailheads the sections are supposed to be joined at sometime. And the east end will extend further.
I could find no place to grab a bite to eat along this trail after leaving Plover.
This trail is fully suitable for touring bikes. It has an excellent crushed limestone surface extending from Amherst Junction to the connection with the Green Circle Trail in Plover.
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