By Joseph Dits South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND — The new extension of the LaSalle Trail isn’t officially open yet. Then again, there aren’t barricades at Darden Road to stop curious bikers and hikers who head north to check it out daily — including a regular stream of them Sunday when I took the GoPro camera and previewed the fresh concrete.
It was a fall treat. Sunshine polished sparks of autumn color that had just spread a little more. Twigs and tree litter peppered the path from Saturday’s rain. Towering trees and neighborhoods mark the character of this 1-mile trail extension that the county is paving between Darden and Auten roads — a segment of the greater trail that now spans, with gaps, from Mishawaka to Niles.
As we reported in The Tribune in July, officials hope to fill all of the key gaps in the Mishawaka-Niles trail by the end of next year, including about 1.1 miles from Auten north to the Michigan line and a separate 1.2-mile stretch just north of U.S. 12 in Niles Township.
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