Erie Trail


19 Reviews

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Erie Trail Facts

States: Indiana
Counties: Starke
Length: 11.1 miles
Trail end points: Main St south of Simmons St (North Judson) and CR S 700 E (Bass Station)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6355463

Erie Trail Description

The Erie Trail (otherwise known as the North Judson Erie Trail) occupies the railbanked right-of-way of the former JK Line Railroad, running over eleven miles from downtown North Judson southeast to County Road 700 near Bass Lake. Eventually, the trail will extend another 5 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.

Parking and Trail Access

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. There is a small parking area at the intersection S 100 W. 

Erie Trail Reviews

Nice trail with better potential

Road the full trail, both ways, and our app tracked 22.5 miles. Paved trail is a little longer on east end than map shows. Asphalt is wearing and sinking in several spots on west half. Nothing to see on east end; it just dead-ends at a road. Portable toilets and trash cans would be a good addition. Hope they can extend this some day and add some amenities. Based on some previous reviews we were expecting more shade but we were disappointed - maybe 20% shaded between 11 and w:20

N Judson Erie Trail

A very pleasant rural ride. Great on a hot day when riding in tree tunnels.
Trail is still under development and has changed several times over the last several years.
No restroom facilities or drinking fountains at this time.

Great ride through quiet countryside

Peaceful ride starting at a small town and leading out past railways and farms and over streams. Three busy road crossings, interesting historical and NASA-based planetary sign markers along the route, and a trail mostly to yourself. Would ride again.

Quiet and Peaceful, but be careful

The trail is paved, straight and level. Much of it is shaded by trees (great on a hot sunny day), but can leave debris on the path. We saw a deer and wild turkeys along the way and very few other riders. We started at the trailhead in North Judson. There’s only 3 or 4 parking spots, but there was only one other car there on a sunny Saturday morning . You may want to start 1 mile east where there is more parking and picnic tables (look for the giant bicycle sculpture). The trail ends at 11 miles. There’s a bench to take a break or you could lake local roads around Bass Lake. Turn around and head back another 11 miles, 22 miles total. Be careful, there are several sections where the pavement has settled and is falling away and in need of repair.


Great Trail

This trail is a great gem for the community. I stopped by while visiting family and was thoroughly impressed by this trail. Yes there are some cracks, but not nearly as many as many other rail trails and most have pink spray paint to point them out for bikers and, I am assuming, to fix them. The trail is also a decent distance and is close by to an ice cream shop (perfect after a 90 degree ride!).

Really nice little nature trail

I really want to give this 5 stars because it is a gem of trail for the community and surrounding area. We had a camper van so parked off of 10/39 and S. 250 W just outside of North Judson. Trail was paved, but there were some dips to be mindful of in one section closer to North Judson (mentioned by someone else) otherwise it was well maintained. Heard lots of different species of wildlife and enjoyed our ride. Would we make this trail a destination? No. Would we change our route 20-30 minutes to be able to ride this again? Yes.

North Judson, IN...Erie Trail

We rode this trail July 2020...for the most part nice trail with some rough spots due to typical deterioration...two small wood plank bridges to cross with rest restroom facilities, but plenty of wooded areas...the start/end points, very limited parking, as the best place to park is just off of hwy 10 and 250 W, plenty of parking; as they continue to improve this area...we will ride again.

jbat Aug 2018

Yes flat nature trail with no facilities unless you go into N Judson but not very helpful at the other end. There were low branches but for the most part clean. Only came across a hand full of people and they were part a youth group ride that were ahead of us. It was a very hot windy day, not the best conditions for cycling. We parked in town unable to find the parking lot with the picnic table which is on Rt 10 east of town pass over trail parking up on right

Nice trail

I thought the trail was great but there are many low hanging branches on the north side of the path that really need to be trimmed.

Prairie rider

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.

Nice trail

Rode the trail today and will definitely be back again. Smooth riding and very enjoyable

Still Lovin It!

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.

initial impression

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 :-)

Beautiful Morning Bike Ride

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.

Great trail... the locals are lucky to have it

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.

Great Weekend Ride

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.

North Judson Erie Trail

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.

North Judson Erie Trail

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.
GPS Users….N41.21944….W86.76854

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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