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Explore the best rated trails in Goshen, IN. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Granger Paths and Riverside Trail (IN). With more than 46 trails covering 3988 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
Sidewalk to nowhere
I'm the director of the Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail and we oversee the Van Buren Trail.
One of the biggest problems people encounter on the VBT is that they're not prepared for riding on what's essentially an undeveloped railroad bed and may believe that since it's a state park it has been developed. It has not. Engineering has been done to that effect and a development project is in the works but still years away.
Still... as you leave the paved section at 16th Avenue south of South Haven and continue down what looks like a powerline ROW, the VBT is rought and rocky, muddy and ditched and yeah, it's a mess. But man, once you get below Covert, the area opens up to thousands of acres of blueberry farms, horse and cattle farms and cranberry bogs.
As the trail crosses the Paw Paw river you're passing through Pokegon Tribal lands and along the way the remnants of Michigan's past peak through the brush and extensive wetlands that make the trail both a challenge and an adventure.
And there's more! But you do need to look.
Future plans call for a complete resurfacing that can handle pedestrians, bicycles, horses and snowmobiles. A Heritage Trail program that is not unlike the award winning project on the Kal-Haven Trail. Benches. Outhouses and more... but, those things are years in the future (unless you've got $15 million laying around you'd like to donate?)
In the meantime, don't let the 'bad' reviews fool you for, as noted, the trail is an undeveloped asset today. But if you've got fat tires or you're on foot or horseback or a sled do not miss a visit to this little-used and under-appreciated wander through the rural Michigan countryside.
Really, don't miss the VBT because of some 'bad' reviews! It's a wonderful excursion on any day if you're prepared for its rough and ready nature.
If you have any questions or concerns about the VBT you can call the State Park office at (269) 637-2788. You can also visit the Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or at our website, kalhaven.org or directly by email to email@example.com and we'll be more than happy to help you out.
PS: Please, don't steal the blueberries ~ as tempting as they are. I know! You're going to pass through hundreds of acres of them! We are working with a local farmer to allow a little more freedom in that but until such a time comes, stealing a man's income does not make for good neighbors and sets bad examples that others will use to stop trail development here, and elsewhere.
PPS: to the guy who had a small dog chase him... I've had a loose cow blocking my way and was attacked by chickens near Hartford! Okay, maybe 'attacked' isn't the right word... maybe 'crowded' by chickens is a better term? But think about it, isn't that part of the fun!? And for the record, the cow was cool. I found the break in the fence she had come through and walked her back through it.
PPPS: To the guy who wrote about the trash... yes, We've had some problems near Covert but ran a cleanup last year and hauled out two trailer-loads of refuse and debris and thanks to Martin Sell at the DNR we'll be back every year to keep the trail looking spiffy. Moreover, a new administration in Covert is trail-friendly so we expect more help from that community keeping things clean.
There's about 0.7 of a mile south of town that is great. The rest of the "trails" are just city surface streets declared to be "trails" with no signage to point you in the right direction. Nothing compared to the trail systems available in Goshen up the road.
The Portage Creek trail is the hub to a great system of trails.
We started on the south end of the trails at the Eliason Nature Reserve Pavilion where there's a parking lot with a full service restroom. The trail took us north through the Reserve to connect with the Shaver Road Bikeway. We took this to E Centre Ave where we crossed the street and biked the walking trail around Portage City Hall. This took us to the Veterans Memorial Park and east to the Portage Creek Bicentennial trail. On our return journey we explored the Central Cemetery.
At Celery Flats we stopped to take photos and read up on the historic Feed Mill and other buildings. There are full service bath rooms at Celery Flats. We detoured west from Celery flats to do the Millennium and Northwest Passage trails. Returning to Celery Flats we continued north on the on the Portage Creek trail to Milham Park. Just before the park there's another full service restroom at the Kilgore Trailhead. Milham Park is not really designed for bikes but it was fun to explore anyway.
On our return we took the Shaver Road trail east to Bishop's Bog Preserve. There are trails through the bog that you can walk but not ride. If you do the bog, expect to get wet. The floating pontoon trail is designed to squirt water up your shorts at every step.
We did not do the Romence or Lovers Lane trails as they appeared to just follow the roads. What we did ride was mostly wooded with plenty of shade. We did 24 miles total so i imagine you could squeek out 30 miles if you did all the trails.
All the trails were paved and in good condition (not including Milham Park which isn't really part of the trail). It was really an enjoyable ride and a nice way to spend a half day.
We took the Millennium Trail west from Celery Flats on the Portage Creek Trail to the Northwest Portage trail and then took it all the way to the end. Most of the trail feels quite secluded. There are a couple mildly busy streets to cross but they are quickly forgotten. There's a full service bathroom about halfway on the trail in Haverhill Park. On our return we took the right fork just before Constitution Blvd down to Romence Rd. This section is nice. We took Romence Rd east back to the Millennium Trail. The Northwest Portage trail is paved and in good condition.
This is a nice link between the Northwest Portage Bikeway and the Portage Creek Bicentiennial Trail. The trail gets away from the traffic and meanders through a wooded area with 3 lakes (or ponds). The trail is smooth and paved.
The north end of the trail hooks up with the Portage Creek trail and travels southwest along Shaver road for a bit before heading south and then east to Bishop's Bog. Where it turnes east, you can continue south through the Eliason Nature Reserve on a paved trail all the way to the parking lot and full service restrooms off of Osterhout Ave. This is a nicely wooded area with a winding trail. We actually started our ride from the parking lot heading north to do the Northwest Portage Bikeway and the Portage Creek trails. This gave us a respectable 24 miles of riding.
At the southest end of the Shaver Road trail you can continue into Bishop's Bog. The bog is tranversed by a floating plastic boardwalk peppered with holes. Each step will force water through these holes drenching your socks, underwear, shorts and at times face. A local hiker said it was ok and possible to go on your bike. It wasn't. Completely unridable as the water squirts through the holes in the platform and it's unstable. At the southern end there was a sign forbidding bikes.
The trail passes through what the locals call Winona Village which is a small peninsula with a shop lined canal and many picturesque houses. Definitely worth exploring. There's a side trail that takes you up to Grace College. It's a mile long and goes through secluded woods with trail side sculptures. That's a mile long so adds 2 miles. You can circle the lake (i suggest going clock wise so you are always making right turns and don't have to cross traffic). The college detour and circling the lake gives you a 10 mile loop. Detour into downtown for another 2 miles. There are many nice houses along main and center streets. The courthouse and surrounding square is very picturesque.
The best part of this trail is the bridge over the elkhart river. The rest was just a path along plymouth avenue. Handy for us as it lead to our b&b but not a destination. Not unpleasant but very suburban compared to the leafy Shanklin-Mullet and Millrace trails.
This trail starts in Goshen College and heads south along what I assume is an old rail trail. It's surprisingly secluded, quiet and peaceful. We hit the trail from the south end of the Millrace Trail where it terminates in the Shoups-Parsons Woods Park by taking Westwood Road east to the campus where there's a small curvy access trail. You can see this on the map just south of westwood on main st. There's a nice extension to the east worth a detour. Go north to explore the campus. Then the best part is heading south where the trail is secluded. We headed west from the southern end of the trail and explored Violett Cemetery as we headed back north.
The trail goes north from the pumpkinvine trail just south of middlebury. The trail briefly parallels state road 20 before branching off around a horse field and then into a golf course like park with a picturesque covered bridge. It finishes in the hugely popular Das Dutchman Essenhaus with it's many shops and restaurants. I recommend the cookies in the bakery. The north end of the trail connects with the Wayne Avenue trail which will take you into the center of Middlebury and the pumpkin vine trail.
The trail passes through what the locals call Winona Village which is a small peninsula with a shop lined canal and many picturesque houses. Definitely worth exploring. There's a side trail that takes you up to Goshen College. It's a mile long and goes through secluded woods with trail side sculptures. That's a mile long so adds 2 miles. You can circle the lake (i suggest going clock wise so you are always making right turns and don't have to cross traffic). The college detour and circling the lake gives you a 10 mile loop. Detour into downtown for another 2 miles. There are many nice houses along main and center streets. The courthouse and surrounding square is very picturesque.
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