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the Cow Bridge has some rails in it

the Cow Bridge has some rails in it

I took a short canoe trip up and down the Tomorrow River in Portage County, Wisconsin.
I started at Cate County Park north of Amherst,
and passed under the old Green Bay and Western concrete arch bridge.


I saw 2 egrets, two bald eagles, 4 bitterns,

2 great herons, 1 cormorant,

and about a dozen ducks.

No geese.


The river turns from a 'flowage' into a real stream.
with some sand bottom and several 3-foot glacial granite boulders

Three years ago there was a wind storm and about a dozen trees went down,
and they were cut back just enough to let a canoe or kayak get past.

The rest of the tree was left for fish habitat.

See a You Tube of a trip on this river by looking up



And then I came to the 'Cow Bridge', a farm crossing to a back-forty field.
I didn't know about this spot until after I came home and looked up canoe trips to read about it.
Good thing I canoed up river, being able to drift back down to my starting point to make my round trip.
I decided this was as far as I would go this day.

It is an interesting construction, and I wonder if it was all built at the same time.
The ties seem fairly new.
And they rest on railroad rails, now rusty, and which seem quite light for the purpose.
I couldn't see any rail manufacturing data or date or size markings on my side.
I didn't have a ruler with me, but I think the rails were less than 6 inches high.

I could have gotten the canoe under there, but I would have to lay down flat in it to get clearance,
and pull myself along by hand, grabbing to the underside of the rails and ties.

So, that's why it is also called a 'Limbo' bridge.



There's just 4 rails, two on each side, across this 20 ft span.
I would like to see a farm tractor cross this and watch the sag.
Railroad rails may seem strong, but they are usually supported every 22 inches by railroad ties and ballast.


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This page was wrote in September 2023.