pufferbelly sign

This morning I went for a ride on one of our local trails I seldom ride on. It is a rails to trails trail called the Pufferbelly Trail (named after the steam locomotives which used to run on this railroad track). It is a really nice trail and rather busy (popular), but it is far away from me and short in length … only one mile is completed so far and not connected to any of the other trails at this time (other than a two mile loop around an adjacent YMCA and farm property). It is part of a rails to trails project which when completed (if it ever is) will be a very long trail … approximately 80 miles is what I understand. I don’t think they have a name for this planned trail yet. When dealing with the government there is always so much red tape and delay in trying to get anything done. Fort Wayne and Allen County’s portion will be about 13 miles long and it will be known by this name. They have “broken ground” earlier this summer on the next 1.25 mile section to the north. This trail is going to be within yards of the back side of Fort Wayne’s largest bicycle shop (Summit City Bicycle) so that will be great both for the shop and for bicyclists. Because this trail is far away from me and so short in length it is not practical for me to ride it. Like I said, hopefully someday it will be completed and will connect to other trails so that I can ride to it instead of having to drive to it and unload my trike to ride it like I do now. A 13 mile or so drive one way just to ride on one mile of trail isn’t too practical.

Pufferbelly Trail swamp 2

There is a real pretty swampy area alongside the trail. This picture doesn’t capture the beauty I saw today. It will be getting even prettier as the Autumn change of leaf colors come on. There is a park bench there to sit on and take it all in. I got to thinking about all the beauty of nature the Lord Jesus Christ has created which we can enjoy.

For those who live where there are 4 seasons there are some things unique to each season.

leaf covered boardwalk

autumn leaves

We are coming into the Autumn season and soon the leaves will be changed over to their beautiful colors.  Of course, they will be falling and hiding the surface of the trails making it interesting, challenging and a bit dangerous to ride. When the front wheel goes off the edge of the trail because you can’t see the edge it can be all of the above. If your front wheel drops off the edge of the pavement be careful as you could wreck trying to get back up onto the pavement.

tadpole trike in snow

snow covered road & trees

Following Autumn comes Winter for those who live in a northern climate. Snow is always pretty as are ice storms although I don’t wish the latter on anybody. Riding along under trees covered with ice is very dangerous as that stuff tends to come off and gravity brings it down on us. That could really mess up not only your ride but your day. Like I said, snow is pretty, but it sure isn’t any fun to try to ride thru, especially if there is any depth to it or if it is a wet heavy snow. The front wheels of a tadpole trike just don’t want to roll thru much more than 2 or 3 inches of light “dry” snow and the rear wheel loses traction pretty easily, especially if you don’t have some sort of winter tire replacing the standard tire. I personally use an aggressive knobby tire on the back during the winter. It makes a world of difference.

pink blossoms on trees

Spring flowers


Springtime is up next with it new green buds and grass, pink and white blossoms, and other pretty colors. And sooner or later flowers come into bloom which are always pretty.

Fort Wayne Trail summertime

Summer brings us full circle and usually comes all too quick as far as I am concerned. (I like a long Springtime and Fall but a short summer as I don’t like heat. It is even worse if there is also humidity. I couldn’t survive down in the deep South, especially Florida. It is bad enough here in northern Indiana.) Anyway, we have to deal with whatever weather we get. Summertime is usually quite green unless we go without rain for a long time and things brown and dry up. That’s not so pretty. Of course, the weeds are usually green regardless.

Four Seasons and all they bring with them their particular beauty and wonder. Man can paint some awesome scenes but only Jesus can and does create the originals. Man only duplicates as best he can in artwork. I try to ride year round so long as the weather cooperates sufficiently. I know many of you do as well. So let’s all try to …


A FREE GIFT awaits you!

BTW, since I first wrote this article the several more miles of the Pufferbelly Trail have been built and more are planned this year. As it is built northward our local efforts will end at the county line and then it becomes the responsibility of the next county north of us to continue it on to the next county line where the next county north will have to continue it. Right now in 2021 there are still about 4.3 miles to be built further north in the Fort Wayne area to reach to county line. There is still some more to be built southward as well to connect to what is already built further south. The trail will cross a busy highway, Indiana 930, which will be challenging. Eventually a bridge up and over the roadway is planned but that will be costly and won’t happen for awhile.

If you ever have the opportunity to ride on the Pufferbelly Trail beware that it is said that you may encounter a real true “Pufferbelly” locomotive out there … truly from the distant past.


Don’t worry. He’ll have trouble getting past that bollard.

Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (


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