Monticello to Saint Cloud

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This abandoned railway line was part of a longer line that was built by the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad Company under the charter of the Minneapolis and Northwestern Railway Company. It was built from Minneapolis to Clearwater in January 1882 and completed and operated on December 17th, 1882.

The line went up the west side of the Mississippi River and came into St. Cloud and came to form a wye at the depot and rail yards on the northwest side of downtown St. Cloud. A couple miles south of the depot there was a spur that was built down to the Tileston Mill and Elevator next to the dam on the Mississippi River approximately where St. Cloud State University Huskie Stadium is now.

The Burlington Northern abandoned the rail just north of Monticello, at the nuclear power plant, to Clearwater in 1983, and Clearwater to St. Cloud, including the Tileston Mill Spur, in 1984.

Portions of the old grade and some small concrete trestles from Monticello to Clearwater are still visible along Highway 75, although the embankment is owned by adjacent land owners. From Clearwater to St. Augusta area portions are used as recreation trail. In St. Cloud around 33rd Street south to 3rd Street north the old grade is a paved biking and walking path. The old Tileston Mill Spur is also a paved biking and walking path called the Beaver Island Trail, named after the views of the multiple islands in the Mississippi River that the early explores/settlers said had an abundance of beavers.

Thanks to Adam Jelinski for contributing information about this route.

As of the Fall of 2013, the paved bike path on the old railroad grade was extended from 33rd St South to 38th St. South.

Adam J.
Little Falls, MN
8/21/2014

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