This is the Sheyenne River Bridge, a railroad trestle at the north end of Lake Ashtabula, in the marshy transition between the lake and the Sheyenne River. Built in 1912, it is 2,736 feet long, making it a little shorter than High Line Bridge in Valley City and a little longer than the Gassman Coulee Trestle in Minot. Railroad bridges played such a crucial role in the settlement of our state that we’ve chosen to occasionally feature some of them here, even if they’re not abandoned.
We’ve heard this one referred to simply as the Karnak bridge after the near-ghost town about a mile down the track. Though not as long as High Line Bridge in Valley City, I would argue this one is more beautiful in setting. It’s remote, wild, and incredible. This area is also part of the North Country Trail, an ongoing effort to create the longest scenic trail in the nation.
There’s one narrow dirt road that descends down to the west bank to a boat launch and a short nature trail.
Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright © 2014 Sonic Tremor Media
Troy Larson is an author, photographer, gentleman adventurer (debatable) from Fargo, North Dakota, and co-founder of Ghosts of North Dakota. @NorthDakotaTroy