The Dinky Trail opening soon between Woodman and Fennimore

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The name doesn’t mean small, short or less in any way but instead refers to the longest running narrow gauge railroad in Wisconsin’s history. From 1878 until 1926, a small narrow gauge railroad, known as the Dinky, connected what is now the city of Fennimore and the village of Woodman in Grant County. Two round trips a day, every day for 48 years! The railroad disappeared with the introduction of the automobile and all that remained until now were memories and some footprints in the landscape. Well, the Dinky’s route will soon become popular again with the opening of the Dinky Bike Trail on Saturday, May 16.

Signs have been posted along the highway, which paralleled the Dinky’s route for bicyclists to ride and enjoy some of Grant County’s most beautiful countryside. The trail is an “on the road trail” that follows Highway 133 south out of Woodman and then connects to County K, which connects to Green River Road in Werley. The route finally meets Highway 18 just a mile north of Fennimore.

The Fennimore Railroad Museum in Fennimore and the Dinky General Store in Woodman are the two official starting points for the those wanting to ride the trail. Four new historical markers have been placed along the trail identifying significant points where the Dinky used to stop. The ride one way is about 16 miles and, if you are only riding one way, starting in Fennimore is the most pedal-friendly because it is all down hill from there.

An official dedication of the trail will be held Saturday, May 16, at 9 a.m. at the Fennimore Railroad Museum. Breakfast for bicyclers will be served that morning in the community building, starting at 7 a.m. (all proceeds support the Fennimore Veterans Memorial). Fennimore Mayor Chuck Stenner will cut the ribbon at 9 a.m. and Woodman Village President Doug Wayne will greet bikers in Woodman between 10 a.m. and noon to hand out certificates to the first ones riding the historic trail. Special signage  has been posted to make the ride fun and safe for the entire family.

The bike ride will kick off Woodman’s first Dinky Days Celebration, where there will be arts, crafts, music and food in the park. A staged, old fashioned train robbery will be Saturday at 1 p.m. Saturday evening will feature live music and a free outdoor movie behind the Dinky General Store, in the new event garden. Sunday, there will be a multi-church bluegrass gospel worship service in the park at 10:30 a.m., followed by a potluck luncheon; everyone is welcome to attend. At 3 p.m., you can enjoy Wisconsin’s only Push, Pull or Pedal Parade with a railroad theme. Again, all ages are invited to participate. This unique event will surely be an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Find out more about the event by liking the Dinky Days event or the Dinky Trail on Facebook.

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