In 2019 Indiana DNR awarded the Prairie Trails Club a Round 1 Next Level Trails grant to extend the Erie Trail 2.1 miles from US 35 east to Starke Co. Road 700 E. In April 2021, DNR deemed the engineering and design phase of the project complete and approved the PTC's selection of bidder Thomas Excavating & Welding to construct the extension. The Erie Trail east of US 35 is a work zone closed to the public, and the Erie Trail immediately west of US 35 may be closed temporarily for construction. Other portions of the trail remain open but are subject to social distancing protocols.
The Erie Trail is a non-motorized route extending nine paved miles, within a Starke County public greenway, from North Judson to US 35 near Bass Lake. An equestrian trail borders the paved trail from Starke County 100 W to US 35. To the east in Monterey, Pulaski County, is a shorter paved trail.
Located on the rail-banked right-of-way of the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad, the Erie Trail has great views of the Kankakee River sand country. You will see rich Indiana farmland, as well as natural groves of oak savannah, wildflowers, prairies and marshlands. The level railbed allows easy hiking and bicycling.
The Erie Trail is part of the American Discovery Trail from Delaware to California; the Great American Rail-Trail from Washington, DC to Washington State; and USBR 35 from Ontario to near New Orleans. The Starke County Commissioners have approved four share-the-road routes for better connectivity to the Erie Trail.
Visit the Hoosier Valley Rail Museum found near the North Judson Erie Trail!