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Explore the best rated trails in South Bend, IN. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Prairie Duneland Trail and Granger Paths. With more than 46 trails covering 4000 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.
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.
We road the trail from Kalamazoo to New Haven. We were riding hybrid bikes with 28x1.75 tires. The crushed limestone is much smoother than most crushed rock trails we've ridden. We don't ride crushed rock because we usually get flats from the splintered rock. But the limestone is much finer and we weren't worried about flats at all. The trail is not as smooth as a paved trail, but nearly. In fact one town paved a section of the trail and it has rivets and bumps actually making it the worst part of the trail.
We really liked that most of the trail is shaded and secluded. So really felt like we were getting away from it. The biggest problem with the trail is that there is only one water faucet (in New Haven). That faucet doesn't spray high enough to fit a water bottle. You need to plan to carry or buy the water you need for the trip. There's also only port-a-let toilets at the trail ends and nothing in-between.
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.
This trail is awesome for a gravel bike ride. My hygienist drove me to the start and raced me on the road, I finished the trail just in time for lunch break and beat the hygienist's car!! Then I got back to my dental work so I can get paid and buy next year's Cervelo.
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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