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The Urban Trail system in St. Joseph is a suburban jewel, with lush, green scenery along most of its route. The system branches off in several directions, offering a number of customizable routes for a shorter or longer trail experience. Sections of the trail feature steep hills; some may wish to walk their bikes up these sections, but the climbs are never long and the downhill experience on the opposite side is worth the trek.
Hyde Park marks the start of your journey on the Urban Trail system. There are two parking lots at either end of the park; the trail begins at the westernmost end, featuring a wrought iron gate with the name of the park. Note: There are trail paths in the park, but instead of taking those, you will need to cross Mason Road to begin your journey.
This section of the trail parallels Southwest Parkway, with well-marked crosswalks as the trail cuts across the parkway. Greenery is abundant in this section, though shade cover is sparse. The trail continues to wind its way through the parkway, meandering up and down hills. Some are steep and may require walking a bike, but the downhill coast on the well-maintained concrete trail is a smooth ride.
The trail crosses under I-229 and continues through a green landscape. After the next separated-path bridge crossing, the route passes through a residential area, with a recreation center on the left. You’ll soon reach a roundabout with red brick. For a longer trail experience, bear left and continue north (directions below).
Heading east: For a shorter trail experience, bear right and continue on. On this section, suburban homes peek through the trees and, as the trail curves to the right, it parallels I-29. An off-street bridge connection will take you over I-29. At the next street intersection, turn left to head down South Leonard Road. At the end of the road, the trail enters a tree-lined area; from here on, the lush green landscape never leaves the trail. The route alternates between open and shaded sections and features a scenic trestle bridge. The trail ends at the intersection with busy South Riverside Road.
Heading north: After bearing left at the roundabout, you’ll continue your journey north through a green park area. The trail passes under US 36 and continues to parallel Southwest Parkway. After passing through a local park, there is a short on-street connection through a low-speed residential neighborhood for less than half a mile. At the end of the road, turn left onto Parkway A and follow the bike route signs to pick up the trail. Bear to the right and continue down North Noyes Boulevard for 1.3 miles. At the busy multiway intersection with Ashland Avenue, cross the street first and then turn right onto Ashland Avenue. Keep your eyes peeled for the entrance to the trail, marked by two low brick walls. If you reach the next cross streets—Crescent Drive or Hundley Drive—you’ve gone too far.
In this section, the trail travels through a town park, with plenty of trees and shaded areas. You’ll come to a four-way intersection with the option to continue north or travel the east-west corridor of the trail system (directions below).
Heading north: Continue straight on, passing through the park into a residential area. Bear right at Lover’s Lane and take care while crossing the unmarked intersection to pick up the trail for another three-quarters of a mile. The trail ends where it intersects with Ferndale Avenue.
East-west corridor: Turning right at the intersection, the corridor travels along a linear park with a few hills and lots of greenery and shade. The segment ends where it meets Ashland Avenue, about a mile up the trail. Turning left at the intersection, the corridor soon enters a short off-road portion, crossing North 22nd Street with Corby Pond on the left, before picking up the trail again. Paralleling Corby Parkway, the trail passes through a suburban area for a little over a mile, eventually reaching a park on Mapleleaf Boulevard where the trail ends.
To reach the Hyde Park trailhead, from I-229, take Exit 3. Head south on S. 22nd St. and turn right onto Mason Road for a little over a mile. Hyde Park is on the left with a large iron gate marking the entrance. There is some parking at this entrance and some parking at the other end of the park, as well.
To reach the northernmost terminus close to the intersection of Ferndale Ave. and Northwest Pkwy., head north on St. Joseph Ave./US 59. Turn right at the exit for Northwest Pkwy., just before Karnes Road. Turn left onto Ferndale Ave. and the trail is on the right. A few parking spots and on-street parking are available.
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