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Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:16 pm
by MQT1223
So just about anyone on here know's about some abandoned mainline or branchline near them that was used by a big railroad for nearly or over a century. They are usually easy to find in places and in others harder to find. But, what about the Logging ROW's? Where can they be found? The roads that were used for only a few years or maybe a decade before being lifted. I think it would be cool to walk ROW's where some of the first Shay's built worked the woods, or the road that Ephriam Shay himself once owned.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:23 pm
by Saturnalia
They're everywhere. But by their nature, nearly impossible to find most often.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:45 pm
by Michael
I know that at least some were turned into roads or trails of some kind.
Drummond Island had 30 miles of narrow gauge rail until the 1930's and all of it today is paved road or dirt road or 4 wheel trail of some kind.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:41 pm
by GTWFRED
Many logging ROW's were reclaimed by mother nature, and very hard to find especially in DA UP.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:11 pm
by MQT1223
Michael wrote:I know that at least some were turned into roads or trails of some kind.
Drummond Island had 30 miles of narrow gauge rail until the 1930's and all of it today is paved road or dirt road or 4 wheel trail of some kind.


Somewhere on here I remember seeing photos of a shay on Beaver Island...

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:24 am
by Jetlink
MQT1223 wrote:
Michael wrote:I know that at least some were turned into roads or trails of some kind.
Drummond Island had 30 miles of narrow gauge rail until the 1930's and all of it today is paved road or dirt road or 4 wheel trail of some kind.


Somewhere on here I remember seeing photos of a shay on Beaver Island...


There was a Shay locomotive used on North Manitou Island as well. Some of the ROW is now hiking trail.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:31 am
by wagnew0923
There are four ways to locate an old ROW that has been reclaimed.

1. Google maps or just being there you will see indicators of a cross track and maybe the start of what appears to be a ROW and then it disappears.
2. Step back and look at the tops of trees. You will see a space that runs in a straight line for awhile among the taller trees that is an old ROW. I have discovered more using that than anything else.
3. Nature does not grow in straight lines. The evil polluting lumber industry back in the mid 1800's and onward knew that in order to survive they needed to replant what they cut down. So they would plant the same trees they cut down on old sites. So if driving along you see trees, particularly pine trees planted in straight rows that was a lumber field and there fore would have been covered in rails.
4. This technique involves a little Indian Jones style research. go to the local library, historical society, or chamber of comerce. Check maps with pictures of the area. LOcate landmarks like nice buildings, bridges, natural features like large rocks, and roads on the maps and then on the pictures. Then get a rough idea for where to look go out to the site and see if you can identify those landmarks and use them to search. Thats is how I found Henry MIchigan (pictures coming soon).

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:13 am
by iandt
http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

I've found this site particularly helpful in tracking down old railroad grades, especially when I was trying to locate old logging lines in the Keweenaw. It's basically the same as the Google Maps approach, but you can download maps in some places as far back as 1938, when many old rail grades were far more defined and are more easily located, and then compare it to a current map of the same area to locate these tracks in relation to current roads, etc.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:36 am
by Michael
iandt wrote:http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

I've found this site particularly helpful in tracking down old railroad grades, especially when I was trying to locate old logging lines in the Keweenaw. It's basically the same as the Google Maps approach, but you can download maps in some places as far back as 1938, when many old rail grades were far more defined and are more easily located, and then compare it to a current map of the same area to locate these tracks in relation to current roads, etc.



I am so glad the USGS finally made that data freely available for download. The old topographic maps are on there as well and they are equally helpful.

Re: Abandoned Logging ROW's

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:01 am
by Pixl
iandt wrote:http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

I've found this site particularly helpful in tracking down old railroad grades


Ahh, another weapon for my war chest! Nice find.