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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.
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