Palisade Trail Bridge

Warren Through Truss Bridge over Mississippi River
Palisade, Aitkin County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Palisade Trail Bridge
Built By Minnepolis, St. Paul & Saulte Ste. Marie Railroad
Contractor Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company of Minneapolis
Currently Owned By Minnesota DNR
Length 360 Feet Total, 115 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 30 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Warren Through Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Timber Pile
Date Built 1910
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Regional Significance
In 1910, the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway continued to expand their Minnesota empire by building from Moose Lake, Minnesota (at the junction of a newly built line) to Plummer, a distance of 193 miles.
Throughout the first decade of the 20th Centry, the MStP&SsM (Soo Line) built numerous lines, crossing Minnesota to compete with the Northern Pacific and Great Northern.
This line was no exception, connecting Moose Lake to Bemidji and northwest Minnesota. It served a very agricultural base.
While the Soo Line continued to prosper through the 20th century, gradual decline became apparent after World War II, when branch lines would be abandoned.

In 1984, the Canadian Pacific acquired the Soo Line, and operated
This line was still in use until 1987, when it was abandoned from Moose Lake to Gonvick.

In the 1990s, it was converted to a trail from Leanord to Moose Lake, which currently serves as the northernmost Soo Line Trail.
The remaining stub is part of the Canadian Pacific Portal Subdivision.

This beautiful through truss bridge crosses the Mississippi River at the small town of Palisade.
Built in 1910, the bridge consists of a single 6-panel, riveted Warren Through Truss. In addition, the bridge is approached by deck girder spans and wooden trestling.
The entire bridge rests on wooden substructures, a form of non-permanent construction. However, these still appear to be in good condition.
When first constructed, the bridge was over 1000 feet long. However, it was gradually filled in.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. With proper maintenance, this bridge should continue to serve pedestrians for the longterm future.

The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the truss design and contractor.
The photo above is an overview.

Mississippi River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Cohasset Rail Bridge
Downstream Brainerd Rail Bridge


Source Type


Build Date Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company plaque
Contractor Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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