old61 Historic U.S. 61: Bike Trail at Dresbach

Bike Trail at Dresbach

Located In: Dresbach Township, Winona County

Bypassed: 1964

Length: 2.35 miles

Also Marked As:


Until 1934

A long stretch of the original paved highway used by U.S. 61 south of Dresbach survives today as a bike trail, running parallel and just to the east of I-90. It stretches from the Dresbach Rest Area on the south, to exit 272 on the north.


The old road had been graded in 1924 and paved with concrete, 18 feet wide, in 1927 as part of the project that paved the highway between Winona and La Crescent.

Bypass History

This section was bypassed by the construction of Interstate 90 through the Mississippi River valley in 1964. Construction plans indicate that most of the pavement was to be obliterated due to its proximity to the new freeway's grade. In fact, much of the Interstate's elevated grade was designed to rest on top of the western edge of the old roadbed. Only the southern most portion of the old concrete was left intact to serve as a private access road for Lock and Dam number 7.

Inset 1 - North Trail Entrance

Inset 2 - South Trail Entrance

Current Status

In 1981, the old alignment was converted into a bike path. A 10 foot wide strip of bituminous was placed on top of the surviving concrete pavement, leaving 8 feet of the original highway surface exposed.

Today, the bike path appears to have fallen into a state of disrepair. I don't know how much of the damage was inflicted in the 2007 flash flooding event, but it appears that the path has not been repaved since it was constructed in 1981.

The north entrance is accessible via Secluded Road, just off of exit 272 at Dresbach (see inset 1, right).

The south entrance is at the west end of the bridge leading into the Dresbach Rest Area, at the beginning to the northbound ramp onto I-90 (see inset 2, below right).

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