One of the best ways to explore The Bend is on two wheels.
Let the wind ease through your hair on a laid back bike ride along the St. Joseph River. Feel the adrenaline course through your veins on a challenging mountain bike trail. Whatever your style, The Bend has bike trails for you.
In fact, the League of American Bicyclists in 2018 named South Bend a silver level bicycle friendly community. It’s only the second Indiana community to ever receive the silver designation.
What’s the best way to take advantage of this bike-friendly status? Here are a few ideas for getting to know The Bend via bicycle. And don’t forget, many of these trails can be walked or jogged too!
Lime Bikes in downtown South Bend
Cruising through downtown South Bend via bicycle has never been easier.
Well-marked bike lanes line many downtown streets, complete with green areas to denote bike crossings. For example, you can easily make your way from a bar or restaurant down to Four Winds Field to catch a South Bend Cubs game by following the lanes.
Even better, you don’t need your own bike.
Lime Bike’s introduction to South Bend makes traveling by two wheels simple. All you need to do is download the Lime app onto your smart phone, scan the code to unlock the bike then start riding. It costs $1 to unlock the bike then 5 cents for every minute ridden. Once you’re done, park the bike anywhere, push the wheel lock back into place and you’re set.
You’ll see Lime Bikes throughout The Bend. Not needing to dock at a specific point makes them convenient to grab and go.
Tackle rugged terrain
Less leisurely riding is around every corner.
Rum Village Park offers about six miles of mountain bike trails for any skill level. Beginners can utilize about a mile of trail. Intermediate adds another two miles and advanced another three. Hills turn steeper and more challenging with every uptick in skill level. Steep drops and climbs await on the advanced section.
Mountain bike through a forest at Bendix Woods, one of St. Joseph County’s parks. The park boasts 6.6 miles of mountain bike trails for beginners and experienced riders. Cyclist get everything from rolling hills to tight turns and log piles to hop over.
Potato Creek State Park has 7.7 miles of mountain bike trail that’s well-known as great for beginners. Although there aren’t a lot of obstacle challenges, the trails offer an abundance of natural scenery. More experienced riders will find it a track designed for speed, so get ready for that adrenaline rush.
There are also 3.3 miles of bicycle trail at Potato Creek. You can wind up and down wooded hills then pass through wetlands at a less heart-pounding pace. It doesn’t get much more scenic than our very own state park.
More information on all the best mountain bike trails in The Bend can be found HERE.
Let the river be your guide
Catch some natural beauty without having to leave the city by utilizing one of the many trails that run adjacent to the St. Joseph River.
East Bank Trail runs about 3.5 miles, starting on Angela Boulevard just west of Burke Golf Course near the University of Notre Dame. Soon after, it crosses North Shore Drive and brings riders next to the river, opposite Leeper Park. The southern end point is near Veterans Memorial Park. But you need not stop there.
Near Veterans Memorial Park, you can connect with Northside Trail. This adds another 1.65 miles. It takes riders along the river still, past Indiana University South Bend and toward Mishawaka. The Logan Street Bridge serves as an end point for this trail. But, again, it doesn’t have to end there.
Northside Trail then connects to the Mishawaka Loop, which utilizes both sides of the river and multiple city parks over another 2.5 miles. The Mishawaka Riverwalk is well known as one of the best showcases of the river.
Feel free to combine all the trails or pick just one. Either way, you’ll see the river in all its glory. To see a map of the trails throughout downtown South Bend, click HERE.
Bikes on Trains
Coming from Chicago and want to bring your bike for the weekend? Perfect. You can do so without having to load up the car.
Between April and October, the South Shore line offers bike transport on select trains. Bike-approved stations include Millennium, Van Buren, Museum Campus, McCormick Place, 57th Street, Hegewisch, Hammond, East Chicago, Dune Park and at the South Bend International Airport.
This opens up a wide variety of trails throughout northwest Indiana, plus everything The Bend has to offer! Click HERE for more information on the program.