Name this spot 001


After living here for 33 years, I’m still discovering interesting ‘spots’ in the Northfield area.

So I’m starting an ongoing series of ‘name this spot’ blog posts with a photo or two as clues.

Here’s the first. Click the photo to enlarge and post your guess in an attached comment. After a few of these posts, I may create a geo-tagged map for a growing archive.


  1. Holly Cairns said:

    Hey, good idea. I like it. Are any of the places in Dundas etc. or is it just Northfield?

    May 14, 2007
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    I’d like wide latitude, Holly… how about “Northfield and surrounding area”?

    That way I can roam into the adjacent townships.

    May 14, 2007
  3. John S. Thomas said:

    Guessing by the amount of litter and other storm debris, I would say downstream of Northfield.

    That is a lightly used railroad bridge, so I would guess, that it might be the spur to Randolf off 47?

    I would therefore have to say that this is in or along the arb, along Hwy 47 near the rail line, before you get to the turnoff on the bridge.

    My guess is right here.,-93.139188&spn=0.002855,0.004989&t=k&z=18&iwloc=addr&om=1

    That little depression between the highway and the rail line, off of 47, due south of that house.


    May 14, 2007
  4. Holly Cairns said:

    Hi, I’m for wide latitude too.
    And surrounding area.

    May 14, 2007
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    You nailed it, John. I’ll blog the spot with more photos later this week, as it has some relevance to the Mill Towns Trail discussion.

    May 14, 2007
  6. John S. Thomas said:

    Its all that good ARMY training… Terrain association and all that.

    If you would have shifted a bit, and not had that railroad bridge, it would have been MUCH tougher.

    There are not may locations in the area that have a rail line and water in close proximity.

    The concrete was preformed, so it had to be something to do with a highway, or other improved road. It was too square and solid for a walking tunner.

    Also, you spend too much time in the Arb, so that was a natural place to begin to look. 😎

    May 14, 2007
  7. John S. Thomas said:

    err, tunnel.

    Also, the picture said to me, road, rail, water, all with 100 meters or so. Those three features on a map stand out pretty easy.

    Not many places like that. Google Maps on Northfield, follow the rail, then hit the sat view.

    Thanks Griff. If the next one is more natural, it will be much more difficult. Get off the beaten path so to speak?

    May 14, 2007
  8. John S. Thomas said:


    I have never seen the plan, but this looks interesting.

    I expanded the sat view out, and this tunnel is right under 47, and there is a nice wooded area that goes almost directly west to the park there. From there, its an easy connection to Hwy 3 (although a dangerous crossing) by Hauge Water.

    This would be an easy connection to 320th street, points west, as well as links going up to Lakeville and Apple Valley.

    Also, if I am seeing things right, that rail line DOES NOT connect in front of the waste treatment plant? Either that, or there is a very drastic “S” curve between that house and the plant entrance.

    You could follow that spur under both Hwy 3 near the AMCON to St. Olaf Ave. But, logically, you could connect to Dohomey Ave/Water St North, that would take you to the crossing, which is supposed to connect to the riverwalk at some point, that will connect to 5th, that will connect to the trailhead.

    ITS A STRETCH, but it makes you wonder.

    Going out the other way, you have the steel bridge, that would connect to 320th Street, which is a straight shot all the way to Stanton, and connects to HWY 19, headed to Cannon Falls.

    Gee, this sounds like a no brainer. Am I close? or did I just discribe the plan that was discussed earlier in the week on the other discussion?

    To take a look at what I am seeing, do a google map search for 55057, then do a hybrid view, and follow the rail and 320th.

    Have a good night.


    May 14, 2007
  9. Bill Ostrem said:

    Even if the route John describes is not used for the Mill Towns Trail, I’ve wondered if part of it – the part along the railway from St. Olaf Ave. to Water St., which goes under Highway 3 – might not be a good way for people to get across Highway 3 without having to go through an intersection (that is, UNDER it).

    It has the disadvantage of not being the most direct route for most people. Also, shared right of way would have to be negotiated with the railroad, which might not be easy. But it would give us a nice option that doesn’t involve crossing that very wide highway.

    May 15, 2007
  10. Peggy Prowe said:

    When renovating Highway #3 north of Northfield, MNDOT requested pedestrian use of the extra space under the viaduct from Union Pacific. They were turned down. It would be a valuable connection from Greenvale Avenue for walkers.

    May 15, 2007
  11. Ray Cox said:

    I’m guessing it is the box culvert near Lincoln Parkway.

    Good idea to do this Griff.

    May 18, 2007
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    Here are more photos from Name This Spot 001. John Thomas correctly ID’d it.

    May 28, 2007

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