Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway


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Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway Facts

States: Indiana
Counties: Lawrence
Length: 10.3 miles
Trail end points: Lincoln Ave & 10th St (Bedford) and Williams Dam State Recreational Area (170 Williams Dam Rd, Williams)
Trail surfaces: Cinder, Crushed Stone, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 8184118

Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway Description

The Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway (also known as the Milwaukee Trail) will one day stretch 20 miles through southwestern Indiana from Bedford to Indian Springs. The region’s rural beauty will be showcased along the way with limestone rock cuts, shady tree canopies, wildflowers, and numerous creek crossings.

The rail-trail follows the route of the former Milwaukee Road Railroad and, as of August 2023, over 10 miles of this crushed limestone path are now open from Lincoln Avenue in Bedford to the Williams Dam State Recreational Area (170 Williams Dam Rd, Williams).

E-bikes are permitted on this trail, but ATVs/UTVs are not allowed.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available by the southwest end at the Williams Dam State Recreational Area (170 Williams Dam Rd, Williams) and near the northeast end in perpendicular spaces along 9th Street between Lincoln Ave and O Street. At the parking on 9th Street, you'll find trail signage and a direct connection to the northeast trailhead via a paved alley with a smooth and level surface.

Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway Reviews

Beautiful Trail

This trail is beautiful. The trail surface is smooth and well maintained. There isn’t much signage at the trailheads. You will need to take water with you as there is no place to stop. Parking is ample on the Williams end. Definitely a must do trail! Very easy out and back for a total of 20 miles.

My husband and I rode this trail on August 6. We loved it! It was very peaceful!

My husband and I rode this trail on August 6. We loved it! It was very peaceful!

Trail repaired

Late May 2022 storms caused Spider Creek to overflow its banks and cause severe erosion in several places between bridges 1 and 5. This has all been repaired and the trail is in good condition.

May 29 out and back ride

A friend and I started at Wilson Park and used the access trail to get on the rail trail. Almost immediately we encountered severe flood damage to the trail. This lasted for probably at least 1/3 of a mile. Later we encountered minor flood damage but much less of a problem. I assume this was a recent event since the trail was in perfect condition when I ride it last fall. Despite the flood damage, this is a very pleasant ride. It was interesting to see the dam with the river so full. We stopped along the trail a few times to enjoy the river views, stack rock and the high walled canyons created when the rail bed was built. A very enjoyable trail


maiden voyage

My husband and I started at the dam and road to Bedford. So much parking and nice parking lot. It was a beautiful spring day on the trail. First ride on our new bikes and we are glad we picked Milwaukee

Good Rural Southern Indiana Route

Rode from Wilson Park in Bedford to Williams Dam and back. Actually parked next to the Boys and Girls club as the spur trail is very close, nicer starting point as mentioned in a previous review. There was minor trail damage to the trailbed southwest of Coxton road, just don’t want to hit the ruts going too fast. Totally clear of trees when I was there.

My wife and two boys rode out from Williams 7.25 miles toward Bedford. Very scenic and peaceful ride with the White river. A 14.5 ride total.

My wife and two boys rode out from Williams 7.25 miles toward Bedford. Very scenic and peaceful ride with the White river. A 14.5 ride total.

Alternate Parking...

I've seen and heard many ppl complain about the parking area near L and John Williams Blvd (official trail head) Don't do this bc this parking is a run down area! That first couple miles is awful anyway. It's in an industrial area. And there's better parking at WILSON PARK. Free parking, restrooms, picnic area, rec area. Ya know, a small city park. Google it. You'll find a primitive dirt trail that zig zags a hill. Some of it's steep so be warned if you have mobility issues. This spur-trail is less than a quarter mile long. At the T with the main trail, head left to the westXsouthwest.

Also note, check ahead about the water fountain and restrooms; they were locked up due to covid in autumn of 2021 - hopefully that's not the case now. However, the parking and access are 24 hours with free parking. It's a much better trail head/spur/base. You'll like better, I promise. You'll only miss the most boring parts and awful view to the north east. Happy Trails!!

Not bad conditions, no washouts, only a few sticks, but watch for walnuts! There is no parking at the U Street trailhead, but there is parking approx 1/3 mile east with trail access..

Not bad conditions, no washouts, only a few sticks, but watch for walnuts! There is no parking at the U Street trailhead, but there is parking approx 1/3 mile east with trail access..

Rural Indiana at it's best.

We started at the Williams Dam and rode to the end at Bedford, then back. Very shaded and nicely packed trail. Nice scenery and many bridges make it an interesting ride. The trail was in good shape the whole way. It was a great ride.

Trees down

There are presently trees down on the trail following a storm (Probably July 11 or 12, 2020). The route is very blocked by bridge number 8, though walkers have moved around one side. This looked too difficult for us to navigate with bicycles. There is a large tree down over the path just east of bridge 16, approx. mile 4.7. It is possible to walk a bicycle under this tree. I do not know where or how to report these. Love the trail, good shade and good condition and beautiful.

Shaded trail keeps you cool

Great tree canopy for majority of trail, the bait shop and Williams Dam are must sees. First few miles from Bedford start need attention, stone should be crushed and packed down and many wash outs need to be addressed

Fantastic scenery

We rode the first 5 miles west from Bedford. The trail lacks good maintenance but the scenery is spectacular. We found a place to get on the trail just south of John Williams Blvd on U Street. This trail has great potential because of the surroundings. It was all shade on our ride.

Walkin the trail

Had a really fun time. Great for walking your dogs. The nowhere to park thing sucks and there arent any water fountains like the kind they have at the B-line trail in Bloomington. But it has great sceneryb nice mile markers.

Milwaukee trail springtime

Beautiful trail, lots of wildlife.

Great trail

Great trail but hard to find. Started on the Bedford side and even stopping to ask directions it was hard to locate. Also nowhere to park had to park on the street. For such a good trail you would think the city would do more to help out of owners locate it. If there was parking and signage would have given a 5.

good ride!

Just rode this trail yesterday, but got stuck in the local coffee shop for 1.5 hours waiting for a strong storm cell to pass through. We almost gave up and headed home but the rain finally stopped and away we went. starting from the "U" street access there was parking but I think the parking area belongs to the business close by. Its a gravel area and I don't feel the business minds a few cars parked at the far end of their property. Although the trail has its ups and downs the overall flow is downhill from the "U" street starting point making the return trip a bit more aerobic. The trail was covered with forest debris and 6 downed trees due to the storm that just passed through. My son developed a slow leak in his rear tire at about the turn around point (10.2 miles out) so I topped off his tire pressure hoping it would hold out for the return. No such luck, with about 7 miles to go he went totally flat. we ended up fixing his tire right next to a guys house (the trail crossed over his front driveway). The owner came out to check on us. Great guy, retired, and offered his air compressor to fill the new tube. We were on our way in 10 minutes. I would recommend no smaller than 35mm width tires. we used our mountain bikes with larger tires and due to storm debris, I'm glad we did. When we got back to the car my sons front tire was nearly flat. What ever he hit, he got both tires. We decided to stop at a local restaurant called "Pappas". Very popular with the local Bedford residents. Its not fancy but the fried chicken was excellent and the wait staff was great. We enjoyed the trail and will ride it again. The three star rating is due to no water on the trail so bring plenty and a less than perfect parking situation. There are two porta-potties. One at the trailhead and one more about 4.5 miles out


They're only a couple places you can get onto this trail. It seems pretty inaccessible other than the start and end. Have a Specialized hybrid. and it did not handle well. Had to turn around shortly after starting. Wish this was paved!

Great trail

3/20/17 rode my Trek X-Cal 29er roundtrip from N Street in Bedford to the Williams Dam - the trail is complete and well-maintained. A great resource for locals and a hidden gem for travelers. Bedford is a friendly small city and this location will be on my regular circuit.

Awesome discovery!

I started at U Street trailhead (the only parking that I am aware of) on a hybrid 15-speed. I think that this is the perfect bike for the trail. Skinny street tires might not do so well in the gravel. The gravel is very small and well packed though. There was a port-a-john at U Street and at Cockston Rd. I rode about 55 minutes, and turned around just past a new covered bridge. The steepest portion was from Cockston Rd, headed away from Bedford. Riding it in the highest gear, I got a good burn going. The trail is very scenic, with rock outcroppings, woodlands, farm fields, etc. I saw one deer, and several rabbits. Do take water, as there is none on the trail. This trail has a five-star potential. It was a little weedy as I got further from Bedford, and a large tree had fallen across it at one point. I look forward to riding this again, and to seeing the future extensions opened.

Nice Easy Ride!

Biked from U street to Dams Rd. a bit father than 10 miles and then back to U street. We rode our mountain bikes and they handled the gravel easily. I didn't see any fresh water sources until the small market at the end so carry water as needed. There is at least one porta potty on the trail but the U street trail head sits very close to town with ample fast food places so you can easily make a pitstop before hitting the trail. Once on the trail we had a thunder storm blow through and took shelter under an overpass. Colorful flowers lined the path. It is obvious this trail is well maintained. The trail is quite an easy ride even stopping to take photos and snack we made the round trip in well under 2 hours. There is a lovely little covered bridge near the end and it was decorated with American flags and bows that was beautiful to see. The ride out from U street seems to be a bit more of a slight grade than the way back so it is even easier to make time heading home. It appears they are lengthening the trail as there are orange construction fences and barrels at the end blocking off what seems to be the next section. I can't wait to see what the trail will be like beyond when it is finished! I'm hoping for another 10 or 20 mile addition which would make this even more worth the 2 hour drive from home ( with all the construction :( on 37 )

Beautiful Ride and Good Challenge

Gravel path handled our thin tire bikes easily. They built a brand new covered bridge. It was all dressed up for July 4th celebration. The low gradient hills were just the right challenge. Sure glad we had gear shift bikes. At the end of the round trip 20 miles, our tungues were hanging out. Nice country store at the farthest point away fron Bedford. Bedford had a BBQ cook off downtown. We had BBQ for lunch. About three and one half hours to do the 20 miles.

Best in the area

I use the trail 2-3 times/week for running and occasionally biking. First section from U Street goes 5 miles before crossing Coxton Rd. Very safe and scenic. See lots of wildlife on days without heavy use (when others stay indoors). Large red fox on the trail today and deer are common in the fall and winter. Many red ringed snakes, common water snakes and occasionally I see turtles. Great for ride from U Street to Williams and back for a total of 20 miles. Bait shop at Williams Dam to get snacks.

not bad for rural in!

surprisingly good ride; a local told me it's rather new, so it made sense that several overpasses of the western half weren't finished. decks were in place, but no railings as of late april '16, so be sure to head out while sober that way for a while.

my 32c tire grip got quite loose on the cinders several times when i drifted into the middle; i recommend bleeding 700 tires down to 60psi or simply taking a mountain bike. pitch of the trail varied a lot for a rail trail, up to 3% maybe, and after riding end to end and back, i was beat. friendly people all along the way, but cattle far outnumbered humans as could be expected. the trail paralleled creeks/riverbeds much more than it did roadways, so the peace and quiet was the best feature.

Great trail !! My first Rail Trail !!

I currently ride MTB and Road bike. But,,, looking to explore some NEW biking adventures this year. I stumbled upon the Milwaukee Trail. Not knowing what to expect, I brought my MTB for this ride. Very surprised at how well the trail rode with crushed stone. I started at the Lincoln Ave. & 10th St. TH & rode to the other end which is at the Williams Dam. It's was a cool day of 50° (2/27/16) when I rode. There was several walkers and joggers in between Lincoln & 10th St. to Coxton Rd. THs. But, from Coxton to Williams Dam. pretty much had the trail to myself except for a few cyclist on my way back. I'd say you could easily ride this trail on a Hybrid and possibly a road bike with a bit wider tire than a true Skinny slick without TOO much difficulty. I love about 25 miles from Bedford. So, I'll be making several trips over here as I'm wanting to work up to riding the Katy trail and the Great Allegheny Pass this summer. This was a great 21.5 mile Out & Back experience for me. Go give it a ride !!!

Milwaukee Road Transportation Trail

This trail has huge potential, I hope the city of Bedford and the county continue to fund this trail as it will become a 5star trail. Once it's complete and some other things are cleaned up (such as; signage, condition of trail for first half mile, parking and some weed growth) but for now it's a 3 star

Great August Ride

Milwaukee Road Transportation Trail has tremendous potential. With some improvements along the way such as parking, signage and some trail path TLC leaving Bedford once it's complete its going to be an outstanding rail-trail. Hope Bedford and the county continues to develop this gem. 3 stars now but expecting 5 stars by this time next year

Memorial Day Ride

Weather cooperated for a late afternoon ride. Took some effort to find the trail head and parking is limited to residential streets. Trail has some loose gravel which really added to our work out but the swanky was fabulous. Ko

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