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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 will extend another 7 miles to Monterey where it will link with that town's Monterey Erie Trail.
The trail passes through a landscape of hardwood forest, sand prairies and wetlands, far enough away from major roads and developments that it allows for peaceful exploration. You may encounter wildlife along the trail, including turkeys, deer, waterfowl and other birds.
You can park in North Judson along Main Street (the trail's northern end) and at the intersection of State Route 10 and County Road 250 West.
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.
Rode the trail today and will definitely be back again. Smooth riding and very enjoyable
My wife and I have rode on this trail several times. It is not far from where we live, so it is convenient. The trail is paved and mostly smooth. There are a few dips and bumps along the way. You are riding mostly in the sun. There is a small pond along the way and prairie land and farms. There are no bathrooms or drinking fountains. We parked at US 10 just west of CR 250 and rode to route 35 and back which was about 16 miles. It was a nice relaxing ride and we only met up with one fellow walking and two other bikers. The trees and bushes are hanging into the trail and need to be cut back. We still love this trail and always enjoy the ride! There are several geocaches hidden along this trail as well.
We were only on this trail for a short while to check it out, but we were happy with what we saw; lots of nature, well marked mileage notes. Also, there is parking on US 35 at the east entrance. We plan on running/biking the entire length soon and will report back :-)
Great trail for those who are bike riders out to take their time and enjoy nature. 7/25/13 morning ride was beautiful. No hills, just level ground, asphalt surface,(some valley dips but not noticable) through North Judson. My husband and I parked our car at the begining of the trail(we took 421 south to 10 east into North Judson, at junction 39 & 10 turn left, take this road to the railroad crossing on the right you will see where you can park and the trail begins), about 1/2 mile on the trail you then cross over Rt 10, on your left off of RT 10 you will see a larger area to park; there is a picnic table(that is the only one you will see).
There are no facilities on the trail, once you are on this 9 mile one way trail there is nothing but farms on both sides. The trail ends at Rt 35. You turn around and ride back. You will cross over several streets like 800S, 700S,etc. If you like to see just landscape that is all there is. We were practically the only ones on the trail, only 3 other riders(just like last fall, we rode our bikes on the Panhandle Pathway trail road to Indian Creek, this year we are going to start on the Southern end at Kenneth and ride to Indian Creek.) These two bike trails are the same, asphalt, flat land and greenery on both sides. The only negative, the people who take care of the North Judson trail need to cut back the bushes and trees on both sides of the trail. There was only one section that was not growing onto the bike path. My husband and I ride several different trails during the year. We do have our favorites, and most them are around Hobart to Chesterton, Crown Point through Schererville, Griffith, Highland.
The picnic table is at the parking area located on the south side of US 10 just west of CR 250 and East of the HVRM crossing.
I live in South Bend , however I have not found any paved trails in the area and quite frankly had gone as far as Grand Rapids where I did the Musketawa Trail (which I absolutely love). After an internet search I found this one and it was worth the drive.... It appears to be relatively new with lots of amenities that were mentioned previously... I always take my backpack with snacks and plenty of water so I really don't require a restaurant nearby.
The Erie Trail is not far from home for me so my son and I decided to give it a try this past weekend. Just getting introduced to the Rails to Trails experience we were thrilled with the opportunity to ride without worrying about automobile traffic. We parked in the lot along Route 10 and headed East. The trail is easy to travel (flat) without any curves to deal with (straight line) but the scenery was nonetheless great to witness. We saw deer, wild turkey, and a wide variety of song birds. Well worth the time we spent. We will certainly return to ride this route again soon.
My wife and I walked the trail on June 13, 2012. Contrary to a previous review we did not find any picnic table along the trail. We purposely packed a picnic lunch so that we could stop and rest and enjoy lunch at the picnic table ..... Maybe somebody stole the picnic table, it was no where in sight so we had to stand along side of our bikes and eat lunch. Other than that the trail was okay, nothing spectacular.
Trip date April 22nd 2012 North Judson Erie Trail 9 miles each direction
We started at the Hwy. 35 parking lot. It is easy to miss the parking lot. There is no sign along the road, so you need to be looking on the west side for it.
Start/Finish Parking Lot on Hwy. 35…Just south of county road E 800 S (website directions are incorrect…refers to County Rd 250 West and Hwy. 35, but map picture shows the correct location)
GPS Users…Hwy 35 parking lot…N41.18409……. W86.60213
Start/Finish North Judson….no parking lot at the trailhead here. Many possible places around town.
Trail was paved and perfectly smooth…easy riding for anyone.
There are 2 bridges over creeks, a few wetlands, and a new lake under construction along the trail.
Parking area and picnic table available at about the half way point in the trail. No water.
There are mile posts along the way to help gauge your trip progress.
Best Place to eat and have a beer……Wooden Nickel Tavern in North Judson. Broasted chicken/fish was the best! If you arrive on a Sunday….. $10 gets you all you can eat brunch. Tap prices…$2 domestics…$3 imports It is located right on Main St..
Notes….We like to start at hwy. 35 so we can have North Judson as our destination for eats and treats.
Best Attraction (North Judson) Hoosier Railroad Museum…May to October…Saturdays only…free admission to museum, and fees for train trips. Bike trail goes right to the place.
Kersting Cycle Museum.. Phone: 574-896-2974 $5 admission...over 100 bikes. Located 4 miles south of North Judson on Hwy. 39…caution…this is a rural highway with fast moving vehicles.
Very Interesting Shopping…….Bailey’s on Hwy. 10 just a few miles east of North Judson. Locals refer to it as “Hillbilly Wal-Mart”. It’s a very large close-outs store. Everything from food to furniture.
We camped nearby at Tippecanoe State Park. They also have great looking small cabins available for less then $40 per night.
Rated the trail 4 stars because of all the fun things to do while on or near the trail area.
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