Take a scenic drive through southern Michigan farm country to the City of Niles and explore "Michiana" on the Indiana-Michigan River Valley Trail.
This growing multi-use paved rail trail system begins at Plym Park in Niles and passes along the St. Joseph River, on the former "Big 4 Railroad" (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis), and connects with a sprawling network of urban trails through South Bend and Mishawaka, Indiana, and the campus of Notre Dame University.
Although the trail officially begins in Plym Park, a good place to begin your journey is at Riverfront Park in downtown Niles where you will find ample parking, and public restrooms at Wonderland Cinema. The Michigan segment of the trail system is 6 miles long from Plym Park to Stateline Road. Between Fort Street and Brandywine Creek Nature Preserve there is a 0.6-mile void in the trail. Ride south on 3rd Street to make the connection. Trail officials hope to complete this section of trail in the summer of 2016. The 3.3-mile section from Brandywine Creek Nature Preserve to the state border was completed in the summer of 2014. The new smooth pavement makes for a pleasant and easy ride. The staging area at Stateline Road is adjacent to historic Kubiak's Tavern.
Indiana trail officials hope to complete the connecting trail to South Bend (on the same abandoned rail bed) within the next three years. In the meantime, you can connect to the South Bend Riverside Trail on Darden Road or the Lasalle Big Blue Stem Trail at Cleveland Road by riding south on Kenilworth Road. The entire South Bend and Mishawaka trail system currently consists of over 35 miles of paved multi-use paths and dedicated bike lines. Its a fun way to spend a day exploring a land called Michiana.