I finally did it! I rode the Hiawatha Trail and I was not disappointed. It was one of the best things I've ever done. If you don't know what I'm talking about, the Hiawatha Trail is located near Lookout Pass Ski area. The trail has been converted from an old railway line and goes through a mile long tunnel, across huge trestles where the valleys stretch hundreds of feet below you and through some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. The trail goes about 14 miles along a gentle downgrade on a mostly dirt and gravel surface.
It costs $9.00 for a trail pass and another $9.00 for the shuttle pickup that brings you back up hill. You'll need a mountain bike as skinny street cycling tires would get mangled on the gravel. A helmet of course and a light. Bring a big bright light, the first tunnel at the beginning of the trail is a mile long and is absolutely black dark. I had a light and I could barely see where I was going. That made it thrilling but at the end of the trip when we passed through it again my wife got disorientated and crashed into the side of the tunnel and badly sprained her arm. Again bring a bright light. Also bring a windbreaker or a sweatshirt as the tunnel temperature is drastically colder than outside. I saw my breath on a 90 degree day. You need to buy your trail ticket at Lookout Pass Ski Area and there you'll get directions to the trail head.
I can't believe its taken me this long to do this incredible bike ride. I now plan to do this a couple times of year during different seasons. And railroad buffs will enjoy the interactive signs that line the trail. Bring your camera and I'll see you on the Hiawatha Trail.