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Find the top rated atv trails in Portage, whether you're looking for an easy short atv trail or a long atv trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a atv trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
The trails aren’t marked, there is trash everywhere. It feels like walking through someone’s back yard. Parking is crap! The trails are crap! The trash is ridiculous.
Reading so many negative reviews before I started to ride this trail had me expecting much worse conditions than I actually encountered. I rode from 12th avenue in South Haven to the Hartford trailhead, which took about 2.5 hours. I am not young (57) or in particularly good shape (200+ pounds), but I was able to ride virtually all of the trail. There were two large flooded areas, with one I was able to ride on the side and get through cleanly, on the other I had to walk on large sticks/saplings that people have put there for that purpose. Yes, there's some mud and sand, but I was able to pedal through all of it. There were a couple of trees down, and some that had been cut out recently, so no issues with trees at all. No issues with tall grass either, because I rode on a particularly cold April 6th. The temperature was right around freezing and the trail was mostly firm. Many of the reviews mentioned tall grass, but there was none at all when I rode.
A few times it did seem like I was riding in somebody's back yard, and I did have a small dog chase me at one point. I just talked to it and kept riding at the same speed and it lost interest. A few blueberry farmers were out, surprisingly, I guess they were pruning. One reviewer said that they stopped and ate blueberries, which I suspect is not allowed. There was a lot of signage telling people to stay on the trail.
I was very bundled up, and rode continuously, but even so, the 30-degree temperature was too much for me to think about riding all the way back. I stayed inside the Hartford public library (bike rack!) until my ride could come and get me. If I had had to ride back on my own, there were large sections where paved roads ran beside the trail, so using those would have made the return trip easier.
I did this ride on a 29-inch mountain bike, and you definitely would not want to try this on a road bike. It was a workout, which was what I wanted, as I try to get into shape for the riding season. The scenery was somewhat interesting, pretty much what you would expect to see in terms of vegetation, lots of trees with no leaves. Many people's back yards contained a surprising amount of probably-no-longer-useful items, so that provided some interesting scenery as well.
The paved section from South Haven to the Van Buren state park would be a nice ride for road bikes. I saw a skateboarder riding on the trail near 12th avenue in South Haven.
I think my ride yesterday was more fun, though much more challenging, than my ride of the Kal-Haven trail a few years ago.
As part of an awareness event I was doing in Elkhart County, I completed the entire Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in my wheelchair in one day. As has been noted, this is a remarkably beautiful trail that nicely captures Elkhart County including Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana.
The local Amish community, which has a high population here, frequently uses the trail on their bikes. While I've heard from some locals that they're stand-offish, I found them to be absolutely delightful.
The trail is mostly rural, though Elkhart and Goshen are decently populated areas and the trail itself is so popular that you will likely run into some people along the way.
As a wheelchair user, I made it from beginning to end without too much problem. There's about a 1.75 mile section north of Goshen that goes from asphalt to packed limestone and involves some country road travel. It's definitely passable in a wheelchair, but a little more challenging.
You could easily make a weekend of the trail - start in Elkhart and end up in Shipshewana where there's some great country shopping and a couple nice Amish-style hotels.
If I were to recommend an Indiana trail, Pumpkinvine would be near the top of the list. However, be aware that Elkhart County is impacted by lake effects during the winter. This trail is probably best to enjoy during spring/summer and early fall.
Trail has great view of the St. Joseph river the whole way with old stone walls lining part of the path. Only problem is it’s prone to flooding so you might have to make a slight detour on your route.
I rode this trail in June of 2017, and had a great time. I rode from South Haven to Kalamazoo, biked into town for food, and then hit the trail again to return to South Haven. It's a ride I would do again.
Trail conditions - the surface was quite nice. Not too many potholes. Under the right weather conditions, I'd feel great riding this on a road bike with 28mm tires. However, I ran across plenty of twigs and small limbs on the road. I might be hesitant to ride with a caliper brake road bike because of them. When I rode the trail, I used a cross bike with 38mm aggressive tires and cantilever brakes. I didn't feel that the tire friction was too much - in fact, I was happy with my pace for the day and felt like I didn't have to fight too hard for it. The limbs and muddy spots weren't an issue. I thought my setup was a great fit for the trail, although in the right conditions you could probably get away with anything from a road bike to a mountain bike.
Scenery - it's not breathtaking by any means, but there is a variety, and I found it pleasant. There was open farmland, thick brush, swamp, and forests to ride through. The climb in the forest up to the Kalamazoo trailhead was particularly nice.
Amenities - there was plenty of water along the route. And while the trail didn't directly pass through many towns, about every 5 miles there was some sort of town that was close, so I never felt concerned for my water or food situation.
Topography - It seems pretty flat when you ride it one way, but the elevation difference between Kalamazoo and South Haven is sure noticeable when you turn around and ride back the other way. If you're planning to do the full out and back, keep this in mind.
Finally, miscellaneous tips:
- Bloomingdale was a cool town to ride through, and sits at the halfway point of the trail. If you're looking for a shorter ride, this would be a good turnaround point from either end.
- Biking to fast food from the Kalamazoo trailhead is a bit of a ride, and features plenty of traffic. It is perfectly doable though.
- Wading out in the beach at South Haven was a great way to cool off post-ride, and I'd recommend it....if you don't mind getting very sandy.
Last biked the trail in 2013 and not much has changed, still gorgeous but now four years older the hills seemed just a bit steeper and longer but the curves, and hills were a nice change from most railtrails. Would not recommend the D Ave start for little kids. Walk it or bike it you will not be disappointed. The parking area at D Ave has been enlarged.
Now that the portage bike way, north of Milham, has been redesigned, it's an even better ride north to Kilgore. Riding by the old cider mill dam site, brings back many memories. I was hoping that Portage would do something there. Clean it up, or rebuild parts of the old dam. My dad and I would fish the mill pond back in the mid 50's for Trout and Chain Pickerel. Beautiful ride through that area.
My wife and I are in our late 60's and we have been riding rails to trails all over the country. This trail is as good as we have ever ridden. It was an easy ride and very little elevation change. A perfect blend of shaded canopy and open farm lands. The scenery is fantastic. The Amish farms on the trail have so many horses and the occasional Amish horse and buggy just adds to the ambiance. We are coming back in the fall for sure.
This is NOT a rails to trails, there is NO rail grade anywhere, this shouldn't even be listed as one. This trail is far beyond need of rehabilitation, parts of the trail seem to have been ripped up making for uneven and nasty surfaces...and that was some of the better spots. 6" high "speedbumps" cover the trail where roots came up under the trail, tons of large deep cracks as well. Even watching and knowing the trail was unmarked, we had to backtrack as we missed the turn.
This is by far the worst trail I've rode in years, I will not be back and shame on RTT for even listing it.
Sometimes it seems like you are riding through peoples backyards. Some parts swampy. Some parts soft sand and we had to walk bikes. Rode this trail from Hartford to South Haven. Found alternate routes on the country roads for the way home. Won't be riding this again. Ever.
I have ridden it twice and enjoyed the natural setting, many wild flowers and butterflies, and varying terrain of this moderately curvy and hilly path. Mountain bike or at hybrid suggested due to fine gravel surface, so slow down in curves, some mildly washed out sandy areas, and on board walks when damp. The Ott Biological Preserve has separate foot trails and the North Country Trail also separates for a while, which otherwise follows the trailway. Most of the trail is wooded and shady. Historic Bridge Park at the southern end has a nice picnic area, canoe launch, and playground.
My husband and rode this trail for the first time and loved it. It amazes me that people call a trail such as this boring. It is beautiful nature----loved the first part out of the Kalamazoo trailhead---pristine and full of lush trees. We rode 10 miles and turned around and saw rolling landscapes and agriculture. Gentle incline but be prepared that it is a gravel trail. After the first mile it became hardened and easier. Also---keep your heads up for the crossroads. Next time we will start in South Haven. Beautiful and we are very appreciative that we are provided with trails such as this to keep us off the road.
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