Riding the Hiawatha

You can ride or hike the trail any time between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from its' opening date (generally Memorial Day weekend) to its closing date (usually the first weekend in October).

The trail is operated and maintained with fees collected from all users.

A shuttle bus can transport you and your bike between Roland & Pearson trailheads.



  1. Bicycle helmets and lights must be worn at all times.  Lights may be affixed to bikes.  We recommend lights with 300 lumens or more.
  2. Adult supervision is required for all children under the age of 14 years.
  3. All trail users must purchase a ticket and display that ticket on your bicycle, while on the trail.
  4. Sorry, no dogs or other pets are allowed on the route, with the exception of trained service animals.
  5. Please do not litter! Bring everything out with you that you brought in. Pack it in - Pack it out.


  • Remove sunglasses before entering a tunnel and don't forget to turn on your light before entering and turn it off after passing through. 
  • Bring a jacket, sweater or sweatshirt even on warm days, expecially for the Long Taft Tunnel as it registers a cool 47 degrees year round.  This is natures A/C and it is appreciated on hot days along the trail. 
  • We suggest walking your bike into a tunnel until your eyes have adjusted to the darkness.
  • You may walk your bike through a tunnel if you are uncertain of your ability to ride through tunnels safely.
  • Do not stop in the middle of the route or tunnels.  Pull off to the side to stay out of the way of others. Do not block the route.
  • Rear reflectors on bicycles are recommended.
  • Be courteous of oncoming riders and stay to the right.  If you are riding uphill, please yield to downhill travelers.
  • Pull off to the side if you encounter a vehicle in a tunnel.
  • Use casual speeds. This is a scenic trail - not a race course.
  • Standing still? Stand aside so others can easily pass.
  • Be alert.
  • Keep right, pass left and provide an audible warning, Say "Passing - on your left", before passing.
  • Pets are not allowed.  Please leave your pet at home and don't leave it in your vehicle at the trailhead -  it can get hot at the trailhead and neither the Forest Service nor the concessionaire can be responsible for your pet's safety.
  • Use restrooms at the trailheads, Roland, Adair & at the bottom of the trail. Please do not dirty the woods. 
  • Do not throw rocks or other itmes from or off a trestle.  There may be people below you.
  • View wildlife from a distance. Do not attempt to feed or pet a wild animal.
  • Come prepared with water and snacks and rain gear, if necessary.
  • Check tires and the functionality of your bike and other equipment before riding the trail.
  • Leave artifacts and other objects of interest in place along the route for others to enjoy.
  • Trail Marshals are happy to assist with reasonable accommodation needs and information.


Contact Lookout Pass Ski Area for bike rentals.


"The best darn railroad in the world" is the way one old timer referred to the Milwaukee Road. The incredible history of the construction of this line was followed by the unprecedented electrification of several long stretches of the main line, forming the longest electrified mainline railroad in the world.

Italians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Austrians, Belgians, Hungarians, Japanese, French Canadians, Spaniards, Irishmen, Swedes, Norwegians, and others worked together from 1906 to 1911 to construct the Pacific extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. It took thousands of workers, at a record cost of $260 million, but they managed to do it in record time. Then, generations of railroaders proudly kept the Milwaukee Road running until it finally went bankrupt in 1977.

Today, people are working together again on the railroad. The project has captured the imagination of hundreds of volunteers and organizations who have donated funding, labor, materials and equipment to make the dream a reality. The US Forest Service has transformed the railroad grade into the Route of the Hiawatha Rail-Trail.

For more information contact: