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The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail currently runs for more than 5 miles through Niles, Michigan, on the eastern bank of the St. Joseph River. The trail occupies a former New York Central Railroad corridor, abandoned by Conrail in 1980. In fact, the large Riverfront Park in downtown Niles—through which the trail runs—was once a large rail yard for the New York Central Railroad and its immediate predecessor, the Big Four Railroad. A historical marker in the park commemorates the extensive local railroad past.
Riverfront Park offers a playground, pier, boat ramps, picnic shelters, charcoal grills and even an amphitheater where concerts are held throughout the summer. In the north, the trail ends at Plym Park, which provides playing fields and tennis courts. As the trail heads south from downtown, it leaves the river’s edge and ends at Niles’ southern city limits at Fort Street.
The second segment of the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail extends south from the Brandywine Creek Nature Park through Niles Township, within an abandoned Michigan Central Railroad corridor. At the Michigan–Indiana border at State Line Road, the trail meets the LaSalle Trail, which occupies the same former railroad corridor farther south in Roseland, Indiana. Now cyclists, runners and other recreationists and non-motorized commuters can travel seamlessly on a trail network from Niles, through South Bend, to Mishawaka.
Parking for the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail can be found in Niles at Riverfront Park off Front Street or Bond Street. Farther north, parking is available at Plym Park on Canal Street.
For the southern segment, parking is also available at Brandywine Creek Nature Park (1701 3rd Street, Niles) as well as Fireman's Baseball Park (1935 S 3rd St)
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