About Prairie Trails
The Prairie Trails Club Inc. (“the PTC”) is a nongovernmental support group that helps maintain the Erie Trail and its Connectors in Starke County, Indiana. The PTC is supported through private donations, grants, and membership dues. PTC volunteers are not compensated for their services.
The Erie Trail is part of the transAmerican routes for the Great American Rail-Trail, the northern branch of the American Discovery Trail, and US Bike Route 35. Other completed sections of the Great American Rail-Trail and the American Discovery Trail are in Lake County, on the Nickel Plate Trail from Rochester, and on the Cardinal Greenway at Muncie. US Bike Route 35 is intended mostly for bicyclists adept with traffic on share-the-road streets and highways.
The Erie Trail is a free access, public multi-use path and greenway. Nine miles of paved trail extend east from Main Street in North Judson to US 35 near Bass Lake. Motor vehicles are prohibited except for emergency, maintenance, or ADA approved vehicles. The route is paved and intended for hiking and bicycling. A separate, unpaved equestrian trail for horseback riding shares the corridor from CR 100W to US 35. In development are two additional miles of trail east of US 35.
Located on a 100-foot wide corridor of the rail banked right-of-way for the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad, the level rail bed makes for easy hiking and cycling. Please be a good trail citizen and refrain from trespassing on neighboring private properties.
The Starke County Commissioners have approved four share-the-road Connectors to facilitate access to the Erie Trail. Routes selected for these Connectors avoid roads with heavy vehicular traffic. A new trailhead is planned at Bass Lake on Connector S-13.