South Bend Mountain Biking Trails and Maps

249 Reviews

Looking for the best Mountain Biking trails around South Bend?

Find the top rated mountain biking trails in South Bend, whether you're looking for an easy short mountain biking trail or a long mountain biking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a mountain biking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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4 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Iron Horse Heritage Trail

2.4 mi
State: IN
Asphalt

Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park

34 mi
State: MI
Crushed Stone

North Judson Erie Trail

9 mi
State: IN
Asphalt

Van Buren Trail State Park

14 mi
State: MI
Ballast
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
The Iron Horse Heritage Trail in Portage, Indiana, runs for over 2 miles between Max Mochal Road (SR 149) at the east end and Hamstrom Rd. at the west end. The trail passes through a greenway corridor...
IN 2.4 mi Asphalt
More than a half-dozen old railroad towns between Kalamazoo and South Haven offer rest and replenishment to travelers using the Kal-Haven Trail. The 34-mile crushed-limestone rail-trail links these...
MI 34 mi Crushed Stone
The North Judson Erie Trail occupies the railbanked right-of-way of the former JK Line Railroad, running 9 miles from downtown North Judson southeast to US 35 near Bass Lake. Eventually, the trail...
IN 9 mi Asphalt
Head for Van Buren Trail State Park and take a walk (or ride) on the wild side. Wildlife abounds on this rural 14 miles between Hartford and South Haven. While you might see deer, rabbit, fox and...
MI 14 mi Ballast

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Trails by activity

North Judson Erie Trail

IN - 9 miles

The North Judson Erie Trail occupies the railbanked right-of-way of the former JK Line Railroad, running 9 miles from downtown North Judson southeast to US 35 near Bass Lake. Eventually, the trail...

Van Buren Trail State Park

MI - 14 miles

Head for Van Buren Trail State Park and take a walk (or ride) on the wild side. Wildlife abounds on this rural 14 miles between Hartford and South Haven. While you might see deer, rabbit, fox and...

North Judson Erie Trail

IN - 9 miles

The North Judson Erie Trail occupies the railbanked right-of-way of the former JK Line Railroad, running 9 miles from downtown North Judson southeast to US 35 near Bass Lake. Eventually, the trail...

Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park

MI - 34 miles

More than a half-dozen old railroad towns between Kalamazoo and South Haven offer rest and replenishment to travelers using the Kal-Haven Trail. The 34-mile crushed-limestone rail-trail links these...

Iron Horse Heritage Trail

IN - 2.4 miles

The Iron Horse Heritage Trail in Portage, Indiana, runs for over 2 miles between Max Mochal Road (SR 149) at the east end and Hamstrom Rd. at the west end. The trail passes through a greenway corridor...

Van Buren Trail State Park

MI - 14 miles

Head for Van Buren Trail State Park and take a walk (or ride) on the wild side. Wildlife abounds on this rural 14 miles between Hartford and South Haven. While you might see deer, rabbit, fox and...

Iron Horse Heritage Trail

IN - 2.4 miles

The Iron Horse Heritage Trail in Portage, Indiana, runs for over 2 miles between Max Mochal Road (SR 149) at the east end and Hamstrom Rd. at the west end. The trail passes through a greenway corridor...

North Judson Erie Trail

IN - 9 miles

The North Judson Erie Trail occupies the railbanked right-of-way of the former JK Line Railroad, running 9 miles from downtown North Judson southeast to US 35 near Bass Lake. Eventually, the trail...

Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park

MI - 34 miles

More than a half-dozen old railroad towns between Kalamazoo and South Haven offer rest and replenishment to travelers using the Kal-Haven Trail. The 34-mile crushed-limestone rail-trail links these...

Recent Trail Reviews

Van Buren Trail State Park

Horrible

April, 2018 by superman1973moore

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.

Van Buren Trail State Park

Greatly depends on your perspective and the time of year

April, 2018 by reid_abel

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.

Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

One of Indiana's Best Trails

March, 2018 by richard54

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.

Accordion

Northside Trail

3 mile run with the kids

March, 2018 by xlichampions

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.

Calumet Trail

Pioneers had better wagon trails

January, 2018 by kertai_tl

Not a true bike path. It's just a shared lane with a local utility. It's listed as a County park, no one has even mowed the weeds all year. Trail is closed for utility work.

Nickel Plate Trail

Fun trail

January, 2018 by joneszmusicman

I rode this trail in July of 2017. I went from Rochester to Kokomo, got food, and rode back up to my car in Rochester.

Surface - all asphalt, and in good condition when I rode it. Did it on a road bike with 23mm tires and had no issues - held a great pace and didn't get shook up.

Scenery - Relaxing, but nothing to write home about for the most part. Corn Belt views. However, there are some cool river crossings, and the descents into Peru from either direction were scenic and interesting.

Amenities - This trail passes through a good amount of towns. I never felt worried about my water access.

Notes:
- Biking to food on the Kokomo end is a bit of a haul. Not as bad in Rochester. But, there was a Hardee's there, so it was 100% worth it.
- Loved the southbound climb out of Peru. Stream crossings, curves, the bridge over the Wabash...highlight section of the ride.
- There's a road crossing every mile for most of the ride. Not busy roads, but it can be a bit annoying.

Kal-Haven Trail Sesquicentennial State Park

Good experience

January, 2018 by joneszmusicman

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.

Heritage Trail (IN)

Peace and quiet

January, 2018 by kujo574

The old trees and flowing stream provides the perfect backdrop for an afternoon walk or a quiet morning meditation.

North Judson Erie Trail

Prairie rider

November, 2017 by kathleenlucas216

Lovely trail! I understand the locals are working hard (without government funding) to extend the trail, add signage and amenities, and smooth rough spots. You will encounter very little traffic on the way, but you will likely see interesting wildlife and prairie plants. Most times you will pass friendly walkers and riders, but it is not so crowded as to be annoying. I highly recommend this trail.

Nickel Plate Trail

A true gem

October, 2017 by delmont425

We rode our tandem with another couple on singles today from Kokomo to Rochester and back. What a great experience! This is an outstanding trail with lots to offer in terms of scenery, solitude, very good pavement, and plenty of open space. It is also a very well-maintained trail--a storm came through last night with high winds, resulting in a few downed limbs and many walnuts strewn on the pavement. By the time we passed back through these areas late in the afternoon, someone had taken care of almost all of it! There was a tree across the trail at one point; another trail user told us she had contacted someone about getting it takne care of; that was around 10:30 and by the time we passed by on our way back south you'd have never known the tree was ever there. You can tell people care about this trail and it's one we very highly recommend!

Panhandle Pathway

The Panhandle Trail aka The Flat Forty.

September, 2017 by jwelhwel

When people ask me if I've ridden the "Hilly Hundred" the well known Brown County IN ride I respond: "No but I've done the 'Flat Forty' in Northern Indiana.

The Panhandle Trail runs from Logansport IN to Winamac about 22 miles. I like to start in Royal Center which is about half way between the two trail ends. I usually bike down to Logansport, up to Winamac and back to Royal Center, that makes if about a forty mile ride.

It's about as flat a trail as you'll find with a slight incline going North most noticeable coming out of Logansport (Kenneth) which is why I like to do that portion first. (Those under 60 won't even notice the incline).

There is now a nice parking area at the Logan end with a well kept porta-potty. The Royal Center Marathon station and store is a good half way stop for water, treats and facilities. Casey's General Store (near the Winamac trail head) has clean rest rooms and everything you need for your ride. There's a great Mexican Restaurant at the trail head as well.

The Winamac end of the trail has been extended about 2 miles which takes you to the old train station which is beautifully done and is in walking distance to downtown.

A great ride especially if you want to get a taste of No Indiana; it's mile after mile of soybeans, corn fields and grain silos. Local color stops in Star City, Royal Center and Winamac gives you a good feel for Northern Indiana. The most scenic portion of the ride is crossing the Tippecanoe river near the Winamac trailhead.

It's a well maintained trail and is a great ride if you want a casual ride or if you're a serious biker and just want to let it rip for about 20 miles or so.

Nickel Plate Trail

Gorgeous ride on a cool fall day

September, 2017 by kuffner

Rode 34 miles of the trail this weekend. Weather was cool with only a slight breeze. We started in Rochester and rode to Denver and back on Saturday. The trail gets prettier as you ride south. If you have limited time or energy start at Peru and ride south from there. Entire trail is clean paved and well maintained with benches about every 5 miles or so. Limited restrooms but plenty of remote areas for emergency use.

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