The Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail, is an assemblage of separately built and managed trails. It will someday extend from Mishawaka, IN to Niles, MI and developers continue to make herky-jerky progress toward its completion. Some futurists envision the day when it will run from Elkhart, IN to Berrien Springs, MI, and even all the way to Lake Michigan.
Notable progress has been made recently.
A section in Niles has just opened which extends the trail southward from downtown Niles to the Fort/3rd Sts. intersection. A ribbon cutting will be held October 30th at 10:00 am at Niles’ River Front Park.
In South Bend, IN, extension of the section known as the Northside Trail is in the planning stage. A public hearing was held a few months ago. Based on public comments, planners have fine tuned the plan and a second public hearing will be held at 6:00 pm on October 27th at the River Park Branch Library at 2022 Mishawaka Ave. The extension will more-or-less parallel Northside Blvd. from 21st Street to Logan St. where it will link up with Mishawaka’s Riverwalk.
The section from Roseland, IN northward to the state line, known as the LaSalle Trail, received a boost this summer. A trail study was done at Cleveland Rd. and at Darden Rd. The Cleveland Rd. crossing has been especially worrisome because it is a busy 4-lane road, and some people thought an expensive pedestrian bridge might be required. The good news is that the Indiana Department of Transportation has approved a ‘user activated signal’ crossing. The bike/ped signal will be tied into the signals at IN-933 and Cleveland: the crossing will also include some type of motorist warning at the Cleveland curve just to the west. Money for the crossing, estimated at only $200 to $300 thousand is a fraction of the cost of a bridge, and will be much easier to come by. Since the St. Joseph County Parks department already owns virtually all of the LaSalle Trail land, it is hoped construction can start as early as 2013.
More information is available at IN-MI River Valley Trail page of the Southwest Michigan Plan Commission.