The trestle bridge in the picture above is outside Uno in western Manitoba. The bridge spans Minnewashtack Creek just before it joins the Assiniboine River. The surrounding valley of the two rivers is spectacular this year with lush green growth everywhere. The Uno bridge, 1533 feet long, is supported by steel trestles. On average one train an hour crosses it. Access to the Uno bridge is off MB Hwy #83. On K Hill Road, drive two miles west of Beulah, MB, turn south for 1.5 miles, turn west for about a mile. In Uno, cross the tracks and turn left. In a kilometre or so the trestle bridge will arise on your left. There appears to be one occupied house left in Uno, appropriate I’d say.
This much more modest trestle bridge spans the CNR mainline about five miles east of the steel trestle, again off Hwy #83 outside of Miniota, MB. Made entirely of wood, this bridge gives access to farms, the Silver Bend Trail and the Wakpa Tanka Lookout site. The driving surface, also wooden, is basically two ramps and a flat joining section. This trestle bridge is located west of MB Hwy #83 north of Miniota. Watch for the Wakpa Tanka site signs by the highway. Click on either picture to watch my video of trains passing over and under both trestle bridges.
I filmed another freight train going under the trestle bridge from on top of the bridge. Watch the 3:40 video here.
For thousands of years the valley of the Assiniboine River provided food, water and shelter. Along its banks are numerous known and unknown former campsites where evidence of habitation can be found.
In 1992, pipeline crews discovered a rare campsite on the banks of the Assiniboine near Miniota, MB, rare because the site was used only once before it was covered with river sediment from flooding. The archies thoroughly dug the site and preserved dozens of artifacts dating back 1000 years to the Avonlea people. Today a viewing platform and information board perched high above the river offer access to a millennium of river history.
Called Wakpa Tanka Lookout, the site provides a panoramic view of the river valley, which includes an oxbow of the Assiniboine. Translated from Dakota, Wakpa Tanka means “great river.” A sturdy well-constructed kiosk provides written and pictoral background on the site’s history and details about the grand valley view before you.
Also at the site is the trailhead for the Silver Bend Trail, a trail with exceptional vistas of the Assiniboine valley. Signage along the trail speaks of aboriginal peoples and settlers offering insight into their daily lives. Steamboats plied the river delivering supplies to settlements along the banks.
The site is easy to find. Access to the trailhead and Wakpa Tanka Lookout is off Hwy #83 about a mile and a half north of Miniota. By the highway is a sign for Silver Bend Trail. Turn west onto a good gravel road, drive over a small wooden trestle bridge and into the site. This trestle bridge, which spans CNR tracks, is a rarity in Manitoba as it is completely constructed of wood, even the driving surface.