Class: 2 (SUV/Crossover friendly) Length?: 6.2 Miles from Toston
High-Clearance Required?: No Wide/Long Vehicles?: No issues
Type?: Same way in & out
Lombard - Then & Now
Lombard is, IMHO, a great Sunday ride kind of trip and location. Though, you can go most any time. A little exploring and may be a bit of history too.
According to Wikipedia:
Lombard was established in 1895 as the western terminus of the Montana Railroad, and the location of its interchange with the Northern Pacific Railway. In 1908, the Montana Railroad was incorporated into the new transcontinental main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("the Milwaukee Road"). This lessened Lombard's importance as a railroad operational base, but the town survived as an interchange point between the Milwaukee and the Northern Pacific.
"The Northern Pacific Railroad ran through Lombard in 1883, but the building of the Montana Railroad put Lombard on the map in 1895. The town had a general store, a post office, a school and a famous hotel owned by Billy Kee, a Chinese immigrant and the town's mayor."
Lombard was named for A.G. Lombard, the chief engineer of the Montana Railroad at that time. The town's post office was first opened in 1896, and closed in 1957.
The post office is the closer building in the photo
Rail Bridge in Lombard (1907 or 1908)
Rail Bridge. Lombard (Now)
Getting to Lombard
This is a pretty easy route. Start in Toston and follow Lombard Road, to Lombard. This is a bumpy and sometimes winding road with some steep hills and loose gravel.
Basically, when you run into the Missour River and the old rail bridge accross it, you are there. There is little left but some old cars and building foundations. There are some historical markers a little uphill from the road, so you may have to look for them or you may not notice them there.
NOTE: The train tracks along the Missouri are still in use, so don't let the kiddies play on or near them.
Just to the east of the old townsite is an old rail bridge (pictures above) crossing Sixteen Mile Creek. About 3/4 of a mile down the old track bed is what is sometimes called the Lombard Tunnel, though it is officually the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Tunnel #9. It is short tunnel but it is a nice stroll along the creek and is a rather scenic walk to get there.