just discovered a new trail part of which is already in existence. It will eventuallly come to my area … Fort Wayne, Indiana. Right now what exists starts in the northwest side of Kendallville , IN. and goes northwest to near Sylvan Lake near Rome City, IN. There is a one mile long portion of this trail which has been built here in Fort Wayne. I rode it a couple of days ago.

BTW, if you aren’t already a member of I highly recommend them as a great resource concerning trails. It may very well be the best I have found. There is no cost to join TrailLink.

Here is the start of the trail in NW Kendallville …

I have been on North Angling Road many times when I was younger. There use to be a gravel pit just off of this road I went  to along with a couple of friends where we would ride our motorcycles back in there. We had a blast until they closed it off to the public. These many years later I just took a look on Google satellite image of the area and I can’t even see any evidence of a gravel pit ever being there. But back to the Fish Line Trail … most of the trail utilizes the historic railroad corridor that once carried trains for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The trail is just over 7 miles long at this time. It is my understanding that it will eventually be built south to Fort Wayne as we as further north. Trail Link reports that the trail’s current northern end lies in Rome City on Lions Drive, just at the edge of the open space of Gaff Park.  The trail requires another brief on-road connection via County Roads 450 E and 800 N, before resuming southeast on the former railroad corridor all the way into the outskirts of Kendallville.  The Fishing Line Trail, located in Northwest Fort Wayne, is named for its history as a railroad corridor. Formerly the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, residents in Fort Wayne used to hop on the trains and head north to Michigan to fish. So now you know … that is where the name comes from.

Right now the Fort Wayne portion of the Fish Line Trail runs for only one mile in between Washington Center Road and Cook Road (red line in image below). This is west of Lima Road. Eventually it should connect to the existing trail in NW Kendallville. Of course Allen County will only take the trail north to the county line and Noble County will bring the trail south to the county line where the two will meet up. I rode Fort Wayne’s section today. It is a nice trail. Our city’s Trail Manager told me that the Fish Line Trail is a “regional trail” which will eventually go north to Grand Rapids, Michigan. That would be a long ride. In other words, it won’t stop in Wolcottville. The trail manager said that Fort Wayne may have some problems trying to take the Fish Line Trail north of Dupont Road as much of the area is already developed and privately owned. She said that they may have to use some other trails to get further north before they can take it to meet up with Noble County’s trail. By the way, she also said that she thinks Noble County has built about 12 miles of the Fish Line Trail so far. Here is a map of the Fort Wayne Fish Line Trail that has been built thus far …

That reminds me of some humor I came across as a teenager. When the railroad was being built across the United States the eastern portion was to meet up with the western portion. A golden spike was to be used to connect the rails together. Here is the humor in how the tracks met up together at Promontory Point …

The existing trail in Noble County is well maintained by volunteers but it isn’t plowed off in the winter time. The trail is almost all asphalt paved with the exception of the very northernmost section … from the area of the Gene Stratton Porter Memorial Home to Kendallville. Of course, it is possible that by now it is all paved.

There is a Facebook page for Fishing Line Trail.


The next 3 pictures are all taken on Fort Wayne’s one mile section of trail …

Crossing Ludwig Road …

North end of trail at Cook Road …

Noble County Trails has plans to expand Fish Line Trail north to Wolcottville, IN and south to Avilla, Ind. Avilla is getting closer to me but it is still quite a distance from the Allen County line where I am at. I would be very surprised if much of anything happens in Allen County as far as Fish Line Trail expansion to the county line. It is not even listed among the many trail development projects which I receive monthly updates on. I doubt if it will ever get done in my lifetime or at least in the time I have left I will continue to ride. It would be great if it all got built fairly soon as it would make for a great trail to hop on and ride some distance.

Lagrange County Trails (the next county north of Noble County) also has trail building plans.  I don’t think they have any immediate plans to continue the Fish Line Trail further north. Instead I think their future trail will have another name but may connect to the Fish Line Trail. The proposed 17 mile Hawpatch Trail, which will stretch west to east from Millersburg to Topeka, and from Topeka to Wolcottville is getting closer to its beginning. As I stated above Noble County is suppose to extend the Fish Line Trail further north to Wolcottville. The image below shows the approximate route of the Hawpatch Trail.

This is a poor quality video for sure, but it is the first and only one I could find  when I first looked …

Definitely parts of it look like a fun ride with several sharp turns. As you can see in the video there are at least two times the trail incorporates the use of county roads as part of the trail.

Noble County Trails shows on their website — Benefits of Trails:  When a trail is constructed, people use the path for many purposes. The multiple uses are one reason why trails are so successful and appeal to so many people. Trail benefits include: Improved Health  … the Indiana Trails Study, which surveyed trail users on six different trails in Indiana, found that in all locations, over 70 percent of trail users reported that they were getting more exercise as a direct result of the trail. (Indiana Trails Study, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University, November 2011), Safe Transportation, Economic Boost … The bicycle industry is estimated to support 1.1 million jobs, generate nearly $18 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and contribute $133 billion annually to the U.S. economy. (The Active Outdoor Recreation Economy … by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, 2006), and Better Quality of Life.

I can’t argue against any of that! I am an avid trail supporter and trail user. I love riding on trails. Hey, ENJOY THE RIDE!

HERE is an online map showing existing, planned and proposed trails in Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana.




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“NORMAL” is not coming back … JESUS IS!





The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is a rail trail between Goshen and Shipshewana, Indiana.  It is about 17.6 miles long. It has a 15 mph speed limit on it. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on it. Class 3 are not allowed. I have ridden it about 3 times. I didn’t care much for the section between Goshen and Middlebury. I found it rather boring as many rail trails are. It was pretty straight and no shade. I much preferred the section between Middlebury and Shipshewana.

There is a nice bicycle shop in Middlebury quite close to the trail. They also sell and service tadpole trikes. It is called Pumpkinvine Cyclery. They sell Catrike, Trident and Azub recumbent tadpole trikes. In the image below taken from the trail you can see the bike shop just straight across the highway.

Pumpkinvine Cyclery is right across Indiana Highway 13 from the trail. There is a sidewalk all along the highway on the west side so one could exit the trail at York Drive onto the sidewalk and ride to the shop without having to cross the highway in front of the store … which would be a little safer. On the map below the side walk is shown in black.


The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail also connects to the MapleHeart Trail which runs alongside of a highway going from Goshen to Elkhart, Indiana … a 5 mile distance.

There is a great FACEBOOK page for the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail.

A one minute video featuring nature’s sounds along the trail …

BTW, I have failed to mention that this trail is in Amish country so expect to see Amish people out and about. Be careful around their buggies, wagons and  horse pulled farm equipment. Horses spook easily. The sound of flapping flags can spook them. It is best to slow way down or even stop and allow them to pass you. There are often Amish people bicycling on the trail. Shipshewana is definitely a rather unique town with various Amish stores, restaurants and a flea market. The trail used to stop a short distance outside of Shipshewana, but I understand that since the last time I was there riding the trail they have extended it on into town.

1.75 miles of the trail north of Goshen is packed crushed limestone. The rest is all paved with asphalt. 1/2 mile of the trail utilizes a county road as part of the trail.  That is east of Middlebury if my memory serves me right. It is low traffic so there should not be any concern. The local motorists are quite accustomed to sharing the road with trail users.

I just found this website Bike Trails in Northern Indiana which has these trails plus some others in northern Indiana.





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The NIRCC (Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council) has a website with some useful information. I just discovered in thanks to our local trails  senior manager who is in charge of trail planning and construction for Fort Wayne and Allen County. She sent me a link to the NIRCC website as I had emailed her asking a question about the status of the Poka-Bache State Visionary Trail. Allen County is currently working on the last section to be constructed in the north end of the county. Then Allen County will be thru with their  portion of the trail other than a connecting section between the north section and the southern section which is scheduled to be built in 2024. BTW, the Poka-Bache Trail is called the Pufferbelly Trail in Allen County.

I was hoping the two counties north of us will have their sections they are responsible for completed near the same time Allen County will have their section completed, but our trail manager said it will probably be another 15 years before the Poka-Bache Trail is completed. I doubt if I will still be alive in 15 years much less able to ride at all  let alone tackle the 81 mile long trail. On the map below sections that still need to be constructed are shown in yellow so you can see much remains to be done. … about 50 %.


Even Allen County has a southern section that still needs to be built. Allen County has constructed far more of the trail than any of the other counties involved. Dekalb County has done very little so far. The existing trail they have shown in red between Auburn and Waterloo has been in existence for a very long time … since 1976, some 47 years ago. In fact, it is referred to as Indiana’s first rail trail. I have ridden it 2 or 3 times. I have written one article on the Poka-Bache Trail in Auburn and Dekalb County. The 7 mile long section in Angola to the north was completed in 2009. I have ridden it once, but it was only in Angola and out to the north a little ways them. It did not go to Pokagon State Park then. I don’t know when they added that as I had never heard about it being built.

Anyway, this website provides information on each individual county and town/city involved in the construction of the Poka-Bache Trail as well as other trails and bike routes in N E Indiana.



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130 with 170 to go

Fort Wayne is a city in northeast Indiana. It is Indiana’s 2nd largest city with a current population of 269,621 (within city limits). It is about 346,000 if you take in the Metro area. It is relatively small as cities go but it is growing and has much to offer.

Paved bicycle trails are among the offerings. I think we have at least 130 miles of trails built so far. The eventual goal is 300 miles of trails. That is quite a lot for this size of city.

Building trails is quite expensive so it is usually a fairly slow process due to lack of funds. I am sure the cost has gone up over the last couple of years. It used to be about $750 per linear foot for a 10 foot wide paved trail. I have written about trail construction and trail planning before.

All of our trails are multi-use type. Bicycles, walkers, runners, skate boarders and roller skaters are allowed on them. Horses are not allowed with the exception of one trail twice a year for a few hours.

Motorized vehicles are not permitted but sometimes they can be seen zooming up and down the trails. There are always those who could care less about the rules. I have stopped some of them and told them that their vehicle is not allowed on the trails. Most of them give me a ridiculous story that the police or some other city official has given them permission to do so. I know better than that so I insist they get off of the trail and stay off of them. Only a few seemed genuinely sincere saying the did not know and would get off at the first exit they come to. Most remain defiant. I rarely try to confront any of them anymore. This day and age it could be a very dangerous thing to do. It is just not worth it. I could call the police but by the time they show up the law breaker is long gone. I used to be a Greenway Ranger which means absolutely nothing as we have absolutly no authority out on the trails. All we can do is call the authorities. I had some fun with photo editing. I modified my Greeway Ranger Identification Card by adding the “badge”, picture with name and the FW Trails logo.


It is extremely rare to see any police out on any of our trails. The police used to have regular bicycles but now they have e-bikes. They have never had emergency lights or sirens however and I don’t think that has changed.

I am  nearly 76 and a half years old now. It will be interesting to see how many of the remaining 170 miles will be built that I can ride on while I still can. Each passing year I notice a little change in my physical abilities.

Well, it is time to stop typing and go for a ride while I still can. Catch ya on the rebound as they say.



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“NORMAL” is not coming back … JESUS IS!


I am sure most of us have experienced trail users do really stupid things like step right over in front of you just after you told them that you were going to pass them on their left side. It has happened to me numerous times … nearly every day that I go out riding. What is wrong with these people? Maybe they need to attend  a Basics-101 class.

I often find myself thinking … “I hope they don’t drive like they walk”. The trail rules are plain enough … “STAY TO THE FAR RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS”. It is not just a rule, it is common sense. Yet so many pay absolutely no attention to this. They walk right down the middle of the trail. To make matters worse they often meander around  going all over the trail. Most bicyclists do the exact same thing. There is no possible way to get past them unless and until you get their attention and cooperation to get out of the way. And rarely do they pay any attention to whether or not anyone else might be coming up behind them. I  have had trail users refuse to move over out of the way. Again, WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?

Of course, I don’t mind if they are over to the left when something is on the trail on the right side. I would be on the left along with them. I don’t even like to run over an insect.

Sometimes one just has to forget about continuing on down the road or trail. It is somewhat like “turn around, don’t drown” … except it is more like turn around, don’t become a victim. I ain’t messin’ with that.

One thing I have observed … people don’t have to be wearing earbuds to be “tuned out”. Of course, I am of the opinion that many people are tuned out due to taking drugs. I find that often when ordering food in a fast food restaurant. Many young people just seem to be in  a daze … in their own little world. They just stand there with a blank look on their face. They don’t even hear what I say to them. I have even had to get someone else to take my order. And I have spoken to the manager about what is going on.

Well, I doubt if this will ever change. It is just something we have to deal with. People will be people … with all their faults.



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Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana we have a trail which at this time lacks a connecting section between what is built to the south and what is built to the north. I am talking about the Pufferbelly Trail which I have written about before. The section which needs to be built to connect these existing sections must cross a busy six lane highway (Coliseum Blvd). Obviously the very safest way to accomplish this is to build a bridge which goes up and over the highway. That is the eventual plan but that costs big bucks which the city does not have at this time. So for now the plan is to have a street level crossing. I have to admit that has me concerned. We have already had two trail users killed on this trail on the north section. Both were hit by cars as they attempted to cross roads in the crosswalks. And these were only 2 lane roads and not heavy traffic like Coliseum Blvd. In both fatalities the car drivers were at fault.

On the same trail we have a bridge over another often busy street (West State Blvd). It is really nice and is great to use.

Coliseum Blvd. aleady has several traffic lights and one more is not going to be welcome by motorists. Below is a map of the section of the Pufferbelly Trail which is suppose to be built next year. Coliseum Blvd. was originally built as a by-pass but it didn’t last long before it was all built up and very congested. In the aggrevation and frustration that followed it became known as the 7 mile long parking lot.

On the map below the section which needs to be built yet is shown in orange. The sections shown in red are already built and in use.

In the satellite image below it shows where the crossing will be located. It shows that there will be a “refuge island” out in the middle of Coliseum Blvd. Personally I would like to see some sort of gates come down stopping traffic so that they could not get to trail users without crashing thru the gates.

Here is a street view of the area on Coliseum Blvd. where the Pufferbelly Trail will cross. As you can see there are 6 lanes of traffic. The one side doesn’t appear to be very busy as traffic behind the camera  is stopped by a traffic light when the picture was taken.

At another busy road (Dupont Rd.) they built the trail going under the road which is even nicer than a bridge going over a road. They were able to do this while rebuilding the road. I think the road project paid for it and a good chunk of the money came from the State of Indiana.

Although I am somewhat terrified at the thought of crossing this busy road (Coliseum Blvd.) I am looking forward to having this connecting link completed so trail users have a way to ride the entire trail. They are currently working on completing the trail north on to the county line where the next county will continue it to their northern county line and so on with each county involved. Eventually it should be an 83 or so mile long trail one can ride. I will probably be too old by then to ride it. Meanwhile my plan is to …



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Looking ahead at the ten day weather forecast 7 out of 10 days shows rain or snow for Fort Wayne, Indiana. (For what it is worth,  I also checked out the ten day forecast for Floral City, Florida and there was no rain in the forecast.)  It is that time of year … Spring … when rain is all too common. Of course, with rain comes river flooding and closed trails. Some of our trails are still closed from rain a few weeks ago. And we keep getting more rain so the river silt (mud) on the trails can’t dry out so it can be removed off of the trails. So the trails stay closed with no hope of opening back up anytime soon. Winter brings quite a bit of precipitation  causing all of this and then Spring comes along . I sure wish the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana never would have built so much of our trails along the rivers. What trails we have which were not built along rivers don’t have this flooding problem. At least I have those to ride on when the other trails are closed. Even some of them get flooded over by nearby creeks and ditches but they don’t flood nearly as often and when they do they don’t stay flooded very long compared to the trails along the rivers.

If ever any of you are considering riding the Fort Wayne Trails it would be advisable to check on the status of trail closures by going to THIS webpage. It is usually kept up to date. You are also welcome to CONTACT ME as I usually know what is going on with our trails.

tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com      (

Today (as I compose this) has been a warm rainy day so I took advantage of it and spent several hours working on my trike. Tomorrow is not suppose to rain so hopefully I will be able to ride and test out all that I did to my trike today. The following day some nasty weather is forecast so I won’t be venturing out. But whenever I can my plan is to …



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Flooded over trails is something that happens all too often. All it takes is one day of rain and some of our local trails close for weeks sometimes. This is something I have written about several times before so I won’t repeat myself here. I will simply provide a link to a past article I wrote about it.



I am amazed that one of our local rivers rarely ever rises up under a major highway flooding over the trail which goes under the highway. Looking at the river here one would think it would readily flood over. Yet I have only seen it flooded over a couple of times. And this river has flooded over elsewhere at other locations and doesn’t even rise any here oftentimes.


It is a mystery to me, but I am glad about it as I can still ride this trail when others are closed due to flooding. I may have to take alternate detours elsewhere but most of the trail is rideable when others are not.

Dealing with all too frequent flooding and trail closures gets old quick. Never the less, I am thankful I still have other trails to ride that usually don’t flood. And if worse comes to worse there are always streets and roads to ride … as hellacious as they are. I am talking about pot holes. I don’t know how many thousands of dollars I have spent repairing my trike from damage Fort Wayne streets have caused. The heavier duty BMX wheels I have now are holding up much better than the stock Catrike wheels did. Still I hate hitting pot holes and there are lots of them and I can’t usually avoid them. With the Catrike wheels I was constantly breaking spokes … I mean dozens of them. I think I have had only one broken spoke since I got the BMX wheels. I have put a lot of money into my trike over the years, but it is serving me well and holding up well with the components I now have on it. I just wish I had made the changes sooner rather than keeping it stock for so long.

In addition to the trail closures due to flooding there are also several utility, construction, tree removal, and bridge closures all going on at the same time in many different locations. As they say “when it rains it pours”. And as they say … “you’ll have that!” And I can vouch for it … we got it.



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Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live we currently have about 130 miles of paved trails. The city of Fort Wayne and the Fort Wayne Trails organization offer programs to the community where once a week guided bicycle rides and guided walks are offered to the public giving people an opportunity to get better acquainted with our trails. A different section of a trail is featured each time. Also twice a year (I think) they offer the same thing to horse riders. That is the only time horses are allowed on our trail system.

I have written about this before. And HERE is another posting about it. Those articles only covered the TREK the Trails. I have never written about TREAD the Trails nor TROT the Trails before.

TREK the Trails is for bicycles and happens Tuesdays at 6 PM during the months deemed comfortable enough weatherwise to do so. Most rides are 8-9 miles long covering a different section of the trails each time. The average speed is 10-12 mph. There is always someone bringing up the rear so no one will be left behind due to not keeping up with the group or mechanical failures.

TREAD the Trails is for walkers, runners, etc. and is on every other Thursday evening. It is a 5 km walk starting at a different place each time.

TROT the Trails is for horses. At present there are no horse trails available in Allen County although they are working to change this. For now twice a year a limeted portion of one of our multiuse trails, the Maumee Pathway, is made available … always on a Saturday and only during strict hours. Much of the riding is done on old golf course trails on a defunct golf course the city now owns which is adjacent to the trail. The satellite image below shows the golf course property outlined in red. You can see the golf cart trails running thru it. Clear to the bottom is the Maumee River and the Maumee Pathway (Trail) alongside of it.

Fort Wayne Trails



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Yes, I have written about this before. That was 7 years ago. Some of us have no trails near us to ride on. So sorry for you. Some of us have planned out bike trails which have been built which we can ride on. Some of us have rail trails near us we can ride on. And some of us have both types of  trails near us we can ride on. I am fortunate in that I have both near me … over 125 miles of trails. That being said rail trails may or may not be among my favorite trails to ride on. Rail trails are particularly interesting because they take advantage of existing “corridors” which are no longer in use by a railroad company. Because the route was laid out with trains traveling along them they don’t have sharp curves nor steep grades. So if you don’t like steep grades and sharp curves this is good for you. Train corridors may be fairly straight and without shade … neither of which appeal to me. I have ridden rail trails which I very much disliked because of these reasons. In a word … “BORING”! Just miles and miles of nothing of interest to see nor curves to break up the monotamy. And in hot weather … “MISERABLE”! … as there is no relief from the sun. And yet rail trails can have lots of curves, be very scenic and offer great shade making them great to ride on. At this point in time we only have one rail trail here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area where I live. It is named the Pufferbelly Trail. It is a mixed bag. Most of it is fairly straight with no shade in parts of it while quite a lot of it has really nice shade.

If we play the game of “Let George Do It” we might find things going nowhere fast. The more ‘we the people’ get involved the more likely we will see progress made.

RTC (Rails Trails Conservancy) has lots of videos. And no, they are not all about raising funds, promoting and growing trails.



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want so much to go down to Florida to ride on the Withlacoochee State Trail and videos like this make me raring to go. I see all of the tadpole trikes on the trail and I want to join them. I would like to go there in February when the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally is going on. My wife said no to my going this coming Feb. but she said I can go in 2024. I sure hope so. It would be so neat to be a part of this.



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Yes, trails are awaiting! I have been watching videos of some nice trails down in central Florida and wishing I was there at this time of year to ride them … ride them all.

Florida Hikes have a lot of nice videos of trails and other places one can check out Unfortunately they can’t be embedded on websites. You must view them on Vimeo.

Of course, YouTube has numerous videos on paved bicycle trails in Florida.

So many trails already exist and they continue to build more. I like that! That might even tempt me to move there … something I swore I would never do after spending a couple of years there while in the Navy. I might have to make some changes in my lifestyle … like getting up earlier and out riding before the heat of the day hits.

HERE is a list of bike trails in Florida. And HERE is another good source concerning bicycle trails in Florida.

To view this map in a larger size online click HERE.

Still the trail calling out my name the loudest is the Withlacoochee State Trail.



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Some progress is being made on the Great American Rail-Trail. It is quite a project. I first wrote about it a couple of years ago . Click HERE to view it. From the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington one will be able to ride the entire distance on paved trails. It is reported to be about 53 % completed at this time. That is not really much of an increase as it was just over 52 % two years ago when I first wrote about it.

And here are a couple on bicycles riding on some of the existing route …

David has a total of 11 videos of his Great American Rail-Trail ride in case you want to watch any more of them.

With so many of us having electric motors on our bikes and trikes that becomes a major concern and consideration as our batteries need to be recharged. I would say that we are pretty much on our own as far as having a means of accomplishing this. Buying some sort of generator or other power supply can be expensive and can be heavy weight to carry along with us. Yet it is a necessity. I know that there is solar power but personally I don’t think it is very practical.

I doubt if I will ever ride the Great American Rail-Trail. I consider myself as having done well to have ridden the trails I have in the past when I was younger. And some of those trails are part of this Great American Rail-Trail project as they are using as many of the existing trails as they can in the route planning.

Click HERE to visit their website.

Click HERE to visit the routing in each individual State.

 Since I live in Indiana I am featuring Indiana’s part in this.

Click HERE to check out the State of Indiana. The report shows great detail. All States involved are available to view.

As the legend indicates the blue lines are existing trails being used. The red lines indiate gaps requiring connecting trails to be constructed. Indiana does not have much needing to be done. Some States have a whole lot of trails needing to be built. I wonder how popular it will be. Do you think you might ride it someday?



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Although we often call them bike trails most are multi-use trails intended for walkers, runners, skateboarders, roller skaters, and bicyclists. Some trails also allow horses. I have never had a discussion with anyone about this but I bet if we were honest we would say that we as cyclists would prefer they were strictly bike trails. And walkers would say they would prefer if no bicycles were allowed. I can understand why as many cyclists display bad discourteous  manners and give cyclists a bad name. Of course, most walkers do the same. And watching videos of various trails I have noticed that people are the same all over the world. Then I recall the famous words … “Can’t we all just get along?” I would be the first to admit that it is quite challenging. People aren’t going to change.

Multi-use trails don’t include sharing the pavement with airplanes, right? Or does it? This cyclist definitely has a front row seat. I am pretty sure that is closer than I would care to be.

Some animals I am thrilled to share the trail with …

And some I want no part of. I am glad I don’t have to share the trail with this guy …

And another …

And another …

And another …


Unfortunately there are too many vicious acting dogs out there and many of them are not on a leash like the law requires.

And another …

I don’t mind small harmless snakes but this fella (or gal) I find intimidating.

And some more …

Even our fellow cyclists can be a royal pain …

Cars are not allowed on trails, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t encounter them …

A friend of mine told me about a car passing him on a trail. He estimated the car was doing about 30 mph. I have only seen motorscooters and motorcycles which, of course, are not allowed either.

And hopefully we won’t be party to a police chase while riding along the trail …

That could have some really bad results.

So I guess one could say that there is good and bad in multi-use trails. I reckon that is true of just about everything in life. Dirty Harry said it … “go ahead, make my day” … only I would alter it … “help me to make your day”. Since we all have to share the trails together may we make the effort to make each other’s day. It is not easy dealing with others but we really need to make the effort. And may God add His blessing!



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Did you know that some trails are available to view on Google Street View? Yep, you can actually go right onto the trail with the camera as though you were actually there. The picture up above is of the Maumee Pathway in Fort Wayne, Indiana using the Google Street View feature. It is a great feature for checking out trails. You can move along the trail in either direction or look off to the sides and zoom in to see what it there. Only the trails that someone has gone to the trouble to video using the Google camera setup loaned out to them by Google are available to view in Street View. I have used this feature to check out several trails. I have “virtually ridden” entire trails and familiarized myself with them without ever leaving my home here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I feel like I know the Floral City-Inverness, Florida area fairly well as a result of using Google, especially Street View. I think if I were to actually go there I could readily navigate my way around this area including driving on the highways and streets.

Some of Fort Wayne’s trails are available to view on Google Street View. Years ago our assistant Trails manager and another city employee undertook the task of videoing some of our trails. I posted an article about it showing the camera equipment as they were using it.

I have been talking about the Withlacoochee State Trail in Florida lately. I have spent more time viewing it on Google Street View than any other trail as I want so very much to go there and ride it. I may never get to but I have already done it on Google … not once but several times. Just last night I did so.

To use Google Street View to check out a trail you simply click on the Street View icon and hold  the left button down on the mouse to drag the icon onto the place you want to view. You can only view those places which are shown with blue lines. If the trail does not turn into a blue line it has not been videoed and is not available to view in Street View. In the image below I have drug the Street View icon over onto the Maumee Pathway. It is circled in red.

To go to Street View all I need to do is release the left button of the mouse on the blue line and it will go to Street View.

Once in Street View I can use the mouse to turn the view 360 degrees. I can pan up or down. I can advance in either direction along the trail by using the mouse to click on the chevron in the white circle. It can be moved up or down the trail to move faster (farther distance) or slower (less distance). I can also zoom in much closer to take a look at something such as a sign. Here is the same image as above only it has been zoomed in. There is a compass displayed which illustrates which direction the viewer is looking. It can be changed.

For trails which are not available in Street View you can simply use the satellite image mode and zoom in on the trail. It is not as good as Street View but it works somewhat.

BTW, I read that people can also use their own 360 camera to “film” a trail and then submit it to Google.



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Recently I posted an article about the Withlacoochee State Trail. One of the advantages of being down in that area is being able to attend the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally which is held in February and lasts 7 days. It is held in Inverness, Florida which is right by the trail near the half way point of the 46 mile long trail. Below are videos of the event from 2020. It is set up to where participants can pretty much do as they want as far as riding the trail. One can ride as much and as far as they want … or as little. The event simply brings recumbent riders together.

And here is someone else’s video of the event …

And this was posted on Facebook:
Big Honkin’ Trike Rally, Inverness, FL 2023
This Trike Rally is a non-sponsored, non-supported and loosely organized event for mainly recumbent trike riders. The rally will last from Sunday, Feb 19, 2023, to Saturday, Feb 25, 2023. Participants can attend on one day or several. A list of area bike trails will be available in case you wish to explore other area trails. Participants can ride by themselves or in their own groups on any of the trails, or ride with the main group at the listed time and day. All rides will be out and back, so riders can ride at their own pace and distance. Wednesday, Feb 22 there will be no group ride as this is for participants to visit local attractions or ride on their own.
There is no fee and only one organized event – a barbeque meet and greet provided Sunday afternoon (Feb 19, 2023) by the Traveling Trikers/Citrus Cyclepaths group, free of charge to all persons attending the event. All are encouraged to attend this meet and greet where you can get to know some of your fellow trikers from around the country.
All rides will originate from the Depot (under the water tower) at Wallace Brooks Park, 208 N. Mill Ave, Inverness. All miles noted on the rides will be figured from the Depot.
A couple of administrative items: Please obey all trail rules and signage which include riding in single file when meeting, passing or being passed by other trikes/bikes or pedestrians (joggers, walkers), and always alert those you are passing with “On your left!” or bicycle bell. There are several road crossings on the Withlacoochee and other trails marked with stop signs for bikes. If vehicles are approaching, they have the legal right of way – however, most vehicles in this area are familiar with the trails and bikes and will stop to let you cross (do not take this for granted). Be sure the driver sees you and is definitely stopping for you before you proceed. If you are riding in a large group, please “double up” at these intersections in order to cross as quickly as possible.
NOTE: All rides are out and back, so distances are for total length, but anyone can turn around at any time to ride whatever they are comfortable with. No pressure on distance or speed!!
Sunday, Feb 19, 10 AM – NORTH WITHLACOOCHEE – meet at Depot for quick welcome ceremony and then ride the Withlacoochee Trail north from Depot to end of trail – approximately 32 miles round trip.
3:00 PM – Meet and Greet barbeque at 4382 E Amsterdam St/4361 E Bennett St (outdoors in back yards), Inverness – free of charge for rally attendees. Follow the pink arrows from the trail.
Monday, Feb 20, 9 AM – N. WITHLACOOCHEE/BLUE RUN TRAIL – travel on your own or meet at Depot in vehicles (trikes loaded) and convoy about 15 miles to the Gulf Junction Trailhead, 2233 W Magenta Dr, Citrus Springs FL 34434, to ride N. Withlacoochee Trail to Blue Run Trail connector– approximately 24 miles round trip. Return for lunch (on your own).
Tuesday, Feb 21, 9 AM – (drive out time if you plan to follow us!!) – SANTOS TRAIL – travel on your own OR meet at Depot parking lot in vehicles (with trikes loaded) and convoy about 30 miles to the Santos Trail, Landbridge Trailhead, 11100 SW 16th Ave, Ocala FL. Santos Trail is about 30 miles long round trip and is a hilly, curvy and fun trail to ride. However, if you do not have e-assist or are not a strong rider, we recommend you pick another trail to ride on this day, as the hills can be very challenging.
Wednesday, Feb 22 – OFF DAY. Enjoy the sights, visit Orlando (Disney World, Universal Studios, etc), Tampa (beaches, shopping, etc) or ride other area trails.
Thursday, Feb 23, 9 AM – SOUTH WITHLACOOCHEE – depart Depot and ride south on the Withlacoochee Trail to the end (or as far as you feel comfortable) – approximately 60 miles round trip. On your return ride, Mike and Susan Gaeta will be hosting a free hot dog social at their home in Floral City from 11:30 – 1:30. If you plan to attend, please be sure you turn around in time to reach the restrooms on the trail at Floral City by 1:00. From the restrooms, follow the pink “BHT” arrows to 8898 E Washington Lane. From restrooms, ride through the parking lot, take a left out of the parking lot to stop sign. Turn left and then first right (E Marvin St) in front of the school. Stay on Marvin for 4 blocks and turn left on S Annie Terrace. (Remember: follow the “BHT” signs) Their house is the last one on the left at the lake.
Friday, Feb 24, 9 AM (drive out time!!) – WITHLACOOCHEE BAY TRAIL – depart Depot and drive to 10247 N Suncoast Blvd, Crystal River, FL, approximately 25 miles. Trail is 7 miles long one way. Follows the abandoned cross-Florida canal. Short, scenic and ends at the Gulf of Mexico overlook.
Saturday, Feb 25 – Pack up and say “GoodBye” to Inverness! We hope you have enjoyed your visit!! Travelin’ Trikers
SUNCOAST PARKWAY, Lecanto FL (10 miles from Depot) Trail is approximately 60 miles long one way, almost to Tampa. Parallels turnpike, not too scenic but if you want to ride fast, this is the trail.
WEST ORANGE TRAIL, Winter Garden FL (52 miles from Depot) Trail is 22 miles long one way. Nice trail through scenic Winter Garden area.
VAN FLEET TRAIL, Polk City FL (74 miles from Depot). Trail is 29 miles long one way. It is very flat and straight, but with lots of opportunity to see interesting wildlife as you cross the Green Swamp.
GAINESVILLE/HAWTHORNE TRAIL – Gainesville/Hawthorne Trail, 874 SE 4th St, Gainesville FL, approximately 65 miles from the Depot. This is a very scenic trail, mostly flat (a couple of hills) and fun to ride. It is approximately 34 miles round trip. After ride, there are several restaurants in the local area.



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Withlacoochee State Trail: This might be Florida’s best bike trail

MLK Jr. had a dream. I have one also. My dream is someday I will be able to ride this trail. Unlike some folks I have never been a person with a “bucket list” but I readily admit that I do have this one strong desire.

I titled this using the same title of an article I just read about this trail. I am not copying the article … only using its title. Over the years I have spent many hours  researching about this particular trail which intrigues and entices me so much. I like the idea of being able to ride such a long distance. My plan would be to start my ride in the Floral City area which is about in the middle of the 46 mile long trail. From there I could go north or south and have about the same distance. 23 miles out and back would make for a 46 mile ride which sounds ideal for a day’s worth of riding. As a bonus one can often see various kinds of wildlife on or near the trail.

This map shows the area of Florida this trail is located.

It is my understanding that this trail is popular with many tadpole trike riders. That really appeals to me as I would like to be able to ride with others.

And in Floral City right next to the trail one can find “TrailSide Trikes“. They not only sell and service several different brands of tadpole trikes but they are there as friends to trikers. Many trikers meet together there. Trail rides are offered as well as some events at their location. I would love to be a part of that.


I may never see my dream fulfilled but I am not giving up on it. I am almost 76 years old so time is slipping away. They even have a pretty fancy outhouse alongside the trail.

It is my understanding that much of the trail is shaded, especially the northern half. I like that! Also I read that the scenery along this trail is better than most. I like that also!

One thing that I read which I don’t care for is that portions of the trail have horse trails alongside of the paved trail. That ruins bike trails in my opinion. In fact, I think it ruins it for everybody including the horses.

A few years ago they had some unwelcome activity on the trail which I hope never happens again. A police chase occurred in the Floral City-Inverness area. I wrote about it at the time.

That is a little more excitement than I care for. That tadpole triker was spared but that is too close for comfort. That would scare most of us half to death. BTW, if you watch the first video I posted the pickup truck the police are chasing turns off onto the trail at about 6 minutes and 5 seconds into the video. (This is where I start the video in the link above.) He goes on and off of the trail several different times. What makes this scenario all the more dangerous is that there is a rural road and a highway which run alongside of the trail not far away. If a trail user heard sirens he would naturally think that the police cars are over on one of the roads and not on the trail.

Every February the Big Honkin’ Trike Rally is held in Inverness, Florida. It lasts 7 days and brings recumbent riders together with a more less open schedule where they can meet up with other riders and ride as much and as far on the trail as they care to. I have an article about this rally scheduled to be published Nov. 16th. (The link to the article won’t work until the 16th.)

And a 10 mile extension trail named “The Good Neighbor Trail” has been built connecting the Withlacoochee State Trail to  Brooksville, Florida.

Yes, indeed … I can identify with this. One of those trikes could be mine. I can dream anyway. Yes, I have a dream …

that someday I will be seen on my trike on the Withlacoochee State Trail. I have even thought about moving down there … something I swore I would never do as I don’t like heat, humidity and insects galore. I could handle snowbirding but I could never afford it.  But I can dream …



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Part of our newest trail, Becketts Run, goes thru a declared “Wetland Area” and so the trail can’t be maintained along the sides like is normally done. Instead they put up these ridiculous signs and just let the weeds grow. And that is all that is there … weeds. It sure would be nice if they could mow it but the Federal Government says no. If there were something there I could understand and  go along with it, but as I said … it’s just weeds. It doesn’t look a bit different than nearby areas along the trail that they do mow. It would all be a bunch of weeds if they didn’t mow it. Some laws are just stupid. Areas where they are allowed to mow look  the same as those where they are not allowed to mow. Go Figure as they say. Nope, it makes no sense to me.

By definition this area does not meet the requirements of a wetland area so I don’t understand why it is declared a wetland area. This much I know … it is not any fun getting smacked in the face by various forms of vegatation growing out over the trails. It is simply stupid in my opinion and entirely unnecessary.

Hey, speaking of stupid laws I read that it is against the law in the State of Indiana to stand up  and pedal a bicycle. … the rider must remain seated while riding a bicycle. Yep, it is a law still on the books from long long ago.

You know what they say … “ya can’t change city hall” … so I guess I will just keep on getting smacked in the face as I plan to …



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Long before you and I were born there existed transportation canals. They were man made. Most of them are gone now but some of our bike trails have been built along some of them. Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana the Wabash-Erie Canal passed thru.

We have at least 4 local trails that go along the paths of these canals. If I had not researched a little bit about this canal I would have remained totally ignorant of it. The Wabash-Erie Canal pretty much followed along near the Maumee River from Lake Erie near Toledo, Ohio  to Fort Wayne. From Fort Wayne it continued on southwest to the Wabash River and followed it southward until it headed back southeast to the White River. It ended at the Ohio River at Evansville, Indiana for a total distance of 497 miles. Perhaps you noticed that the sign shows the canal as being only 468 miles long instead of the 497 I stated above. I don’t know which is correct, but 497 is what I read online. On the map far above you can see the several canals that used to exist. The picture below shows a typical canal boat used on the canals. They were drawn by a team of horses or mules from the shore alongside of the canals. Those paths were called “towpaths”. There are some modern day trails  which have “Towpath” in their name. We have one right here in Fort Wayne.

The canal was abandoned in 1874, sold in 1877, and its path through Fort Wayne sold in 1881 to the Nickel Plate Railroad for its roadbed. The last boat was seen on the canal in 1882. Historical Society Marker

I read that these draft animals can pull 50 times more weight on a boat in water than they could if it were on  a wagon on land.

Along the Towpath Trail there are still some remains of the canal. I have ridden past there hundreds of times and never realized  this. Just yesteday I found out about it.

For what it is worth right after I composed this article I rode the Towpath Trail again looking for signs of a former canal. I stopped and got off of my trike and walked over to the area shown circled, but I saw no sign of a canal ever being there.

From the St. Joseph River a “feeder canal” was built taking water from the St. Joe River down into downtown Ft. Wayne to provide additional water to the Wabash-Erie Canal. The St. Joseph Pathway and Becketts Run Trail  follow alongside of it in places. I have seen sections of this feeder canal as it is quite obvious.


In the picture above the red line indicates the Saint Joseph Pathway as it passes thru Purdue University property. The yellow line indicates the feeder canal. It runs in a straight line all the way up to where it connected to the St. Joe River further up north of Becketts Run Trail in what used to be called Robinson Park. It is all gone today as it has been made into a housing subdivision. The blue line indicates the west bank of the St. Joe River. The picture below is of the same area. You can see the water filled canal running alongside of the bike trail.

Here is a sign concerning the feeder canal along Becketts Run Trail.

This is a modern day replica of a canal boat. This one is made of aluminum and is used to offer rides to those wanting to take a river cruise aboard it here in Fort Wayne. There is a monetary charge for it. It operates mainly on the Saint Marys River and it docks downtown at Prominade Park.

I find it interesting that the Towpath Trail is named after the towing path alongside the canal used by the horses and mules to pull the canal boats, but there is nothing to see as you ride the trail. If there was a canal out there with banks alongside the horses and mules walked on I sure don’t know where it is and I have ridden it hundreds of times. I have often wondered about it. If anything is there to see I am not aware of it. The next time I ride out on the Towpath Trail I am going to look harder to see if anything is there.

I posted an article awhile back about a tadpole trike ride along the Erie Canal. There are several YouTube videos documenting the ride and the remains of the canal.

I contacted a key person with our trails asking if any map is available that shows the former route of the canal and our trails. I was told that none exist but another person came up with a map in a .pdf file format which I have been unsuccessful in posting here. However, I saved it as a .jpg format which I can post here.

If you live near so that you can get to ride near any of these old canals used to exist you might want to check them out to see what remains of them.



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I mostly ride my tadpole trike on our local Fort Wayne (Indiana) Trails so I don’t know what it is like riding where you are at. I assume it is about the same as here. One of my biggest pet peeves is contending with bicyclists. Most of them ride like they are the only trail user out there. They ride mostly in the middle of the trail. Sometimes they ride left of center. Almost always they meander back and forth side to side. They ride two or three abreast paying absolutely no attention to whether there is anyone behind them. They often pay no attention to whether there is anyone ahead of them coming toward them. I have had several very close calls dealing with idiots riding bicycles barely avoiding a head on collision with them. Most of them have been ‘roadies’ bent over forward with their heads pointed down toward the pavement and not looking ahead of them. Some have been listening to ‘whatever’ on earbuds/earphones and not paying any attention to their riding.

When I come up behind these screwballs I sometimes purposely just follow behind them just to see if they ever wake up to reality. They seldom do. I have followed behind people riding along side by side. At least one of them had turned around and saw me behind them but they would not get over to the side where they are suppose to be so that I could pass them. They are just being “shitheads” in my book.

I see a lot of bicyclists who, in my opinion, have no business riding a bike as they are very poor riders. They are not only a danger to themselves but present a serious threat to the safety of others.

And then there are young children who ride wherever they want to and definitely meander all over the place. Their parents do not teach them the trail rules. The parents don’t obey them either. It is downright scary to pass kids on bikes or on foot for that matter. You can’t trust them to stay where they are at. I have had them move right in front of me several times. And I am talking about after giving an audible warning such as  “passing on your left/right” or “coming by you”.

Some parents must believe that a trail is a good and proper place for young children to learn to ride a bike. I certainly don’t agree with that. I think it is a very poor place. I think they should practice in an empty parking lot with nobody else around.

One thing I am always amazed with is how only 2 people can manage to take up the entire width of a trail so that it is quite impossible to pass them unless one is able to get off of the trail passing  along the side.

The sad part of all of this it is just the way people are and it is not going to change. We just have to CONTEND WITH IT.



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