Bridges are one of our “favorite” projects. The Rib Lake Ski & Snowshoe Trails traverse the terminal moraine of the more recent Wisconsin Glaciation, resulting in many rolling hills with following and intermittent creeks and wetlands in-between. The many bridges needed for this terrain have become a highlight of our trail system.
Camp 6 Bridge
The Camp 6 Bridge spans the Klostermann Creek in the Rusch Preserve, just 100 yards from the trailhead & parking lots on Hwy C. It’s on the Green Trail and Blue Loop near intersection “O”, between the Stille Nacht Campground and the historic site of Camp 6, a logging camp operated by the Rib Lake Lumber Company around 1905. It was built in 1995 by Ron Becker and its design has been used on all subsequent bridges on the trails.
The Friendship Bridge is located on the north side of the Blue Loop, near intersection “R”, a half mile from the Rusch Preserve trailhead & parking lots on Hwy C. With a span of 43’3″ and a height of 14′, it is the longest and highest bridge dedicated to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the United States. It was built in 2000 to span the new driveway of landowners Sue & Rollie Thums. At the west end of the Friendship Bridge are the Snow Poles. “Snow Master” Rollie Thums marks the height of the snow each year on January 1st and March 15th to keep a historical record of snow conditions.
Sheep Ranch Creek Bridge
The Sheep Ranch Creek Bridge spans the Sheep Ranch Creek in the Rib Lake School Forest, a quarter mile south of the Thums Parking Lot on Harper Drive. It’s on the Green Trail, south of intersection “F”. It is one of the most scenic spots on the entire trail system. It was built in 2006.