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  1. #1
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    Bike trails in Indiana & Michigan

    Does anyone have any idea of the good bike trails in northern Indiana and southern Michigan? I'm looking for some nice scenic areas to ride in. Thanks

  2. #2
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    I live in South Bend and do a decent amount of riding in the "Michiana" area. It isn't great, but there are indeed some very nice rides. From South Bend I usually either head south to and around Potato Creek State Park (the roads to get there are good for cycling for the most part, and there are designated bike paths in the park) or North into Michigan. There are also some nice rides to the southeast, but it is a little more trouble to get from South Bend to the nice areas. Getting into Michigan gives the most opportunities-- there are very nice rides to and along Lake Michigan.

    The only trick is getting out of South Bend because there are very few bicycle-safe routes to get completely out of the city (horrible planning, which unfortunately, still continues...). If you're in South Bend, I'd be happy to share my routes for getting out of the city. Once out, there really are some very pretty rides.

    You should check out the MBA: Michiana Bicycle Association. I'll paste the URL below. Many of the rides mean driving my bike to the designated meeting spot, but the folks are friendly, provide decent maps and will be a great way for you to learn about cycling options in the area.

    http://www.mbabike.com/

    If you're solely interested in bike trails (i.e. not on safe roads to ride, but designated bike trails), I'm afraid the situation is not very promising. Indiana property owners have traditionally taken an unusually hostile stance against abandoned railroad lines being used for projecs like Rails-to-Trails. There is some chance this will improve in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath. That may be overly pessimistic, however -- the governor (Mitch Daniels) just announced his desire to get a trail network through the state... maybe some of the revenue from leasing "The Toll Road", i.e. Interstate 80/90 will be used for this purpose? Time will tell if anything will come of this...

    -D

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    I live in South Bend also, and I'm getting into cycling. Can you share your routes out of the city please? That DOES seem to be the hard part- getting out of town and not taking one of the big and busy roads.

  5. #5
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    Well, one of my favorite rides still uses a decently busy road. I like to ride Ironwood south until it ends at New Rd. That works out to about 11 miles round trip.

  6. #6
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    The link below will give you a PDF I made showing my favorite route for getting south of South Bend. Ironwood is okay, but this will get you all the way to Kern Road on residential streets. It makes for a very nice ride. The map only shows the part that is confusing: the part through the Twyckenham Hills neighborhood because it has a lot of windy roads and dead ends. I managed to get totally lost the first couple of times I went through If you use this map in conjuction with Google Maps I think you'll get a good sense of the roads to take.

    Kern Rd goes east-west-- if you take it to the west there are several nice routes get take you to Potato Creek State Park (one of my favorite rides). Kern isn't the greatest because there aren't adequate shoulders, but it is a straight shot with good visibility, and I've only had good experiences interacting with drivers.

    Let me know if this is helpful; perhaps we can share routes as we find them. Ideally, I'd like to host a web site with detailed maps through the challenging areas of South Bend.

    http://homepage.mac.com/pscotts/File...Bend_South.pdf

    -D

    Quote Originally Posted by sarill9
    I live in South Bend also, and I'm getting into cycling. Can you share your routes out of the city please? That DOES seem to be the hard part- getting out of town and not taking one of the big and busy roads.

  7. #7
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    I'm almost up to York as it is so I take it south quite a bit.

  8. #8
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    Ah, okay-- sounds like you've already got a good handle on the southerly routes. How is Ironwood between Kern and New Roads? Is New Road good for biking? I don't think I've ever gone that far south on Ironwood. I'll check it out-- thanks for the tip! I took Ironwood north into Michigan a couple of weeks ago and although doable, it wasn't very inviting for a future ride.

    BTW, did you get a chance to check out the Bike to Work Day setup at the College Football Hall of Fame this (Monday) morning? It was very nicely done and had a good turnout given the weather. The Mayor was there, who seems sincere in wanting to improve biking condtions in town (painted bicycle lanes and bike racks downtown).

    Quote Originally Posted by sentinel4675
    I'm almost up to York as it is so I take it south quite a bit.

  9. #9
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    Ironwood from Kern to New is OK. The traffic varies but there is room to move if you need to. New is also somewhat heavily travelled because it is a good east/west road.

  10. #10
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    Does anyone know a good way out of town north (to Niles) from Notre Dame? Or East to Granger? Let me know if you have any good routes....

  11. #11
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    To go north I follow Riverside along the river. You can get to Riverside from ND by heading west on Angela. To get to Niles, you could try taking Riverside all the way to Darden. Go east on Darden to Laurel and head north; at the IN/MI border Laurel makes a slight jog and becomes Adams. Continue north on Adams until you hit Bertrand. Head east for just a bit on Bertrand and then go north on Bond which will take you into Niles. I've ridden all of this except the last bit on Bond into Niles, but I'm optimistic that it will be a nice route.

    [Edit on 6/9/2006]: Oops! I made a big goof when I wrote this-- you can not take Laurel straight through to Adams due to St. Pat's Park. One way around is to take Laurel to Auten and then go East to Kenilworth and then go West at State Line Road to get on Adams (this is not far out of your way). Also, I rode Bond into Niles last night and found that it isn't paved for part of the way. However, it was fairly smooth and I had no problem riding it with my smooth 700 x 35 tires. It connects to a bike path into town. Alternatively, you could just stay on Kenilworth and take that all the way into Niles (it turns into 3rd). Sorry again-- if this caused you any problems I'll owe you a beer!

    -D

    Quote Originally Posted by sarill9
    Does anyone know a good way out of town north (to Niles) from Notre Dame? Or East to Granger? Let me know if you have any good routes....
    Last edited by Derailed; 06-09-06 at 03:42 PM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tips!

  13. #13
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    If you google indianabiketrails.org, then click the first heading "Greenways Foundation" you will get an update of bicycle trails in indiana.

    If you have a Delorme Map, I can give you some routes that, for the Hoosier State, are somehat scenic and have some topographical variety.

    hoosierexplorer

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