Segment 20: Indiana
Wait. Didn’t we just cross the border from Iowa into Illinois at the Quad Cities? And now you’re calling this the Indiana Segment? What gives? What do you have against Illinois, dude?
Patience, patience, patience, Sensei. Illinois is next. And it’s worth the wait.
Trail sticks with the American Discovery Trail’s Northern route across Illinois and northern Indiana following significant sections of bike trail along Hennepin Canal, the Illinois and Michigan Canal, the Old Plank Road Trail, Erie-Lackawanna and Erie and Monterey Trails, the Nickel Plate Trail, The Cardinal Greenway, and some connecting road walking to where the northern branch of the ADT joins with the ADT southern route at Elizabethtown Ohio. Then it’s back west across southern Indiana. And here is where the best stuff is to be found.
First the trail passes through one of the biggest and one of the nicest historic downtown districts in the country at Madison, Indiana. There are 133 blocks of designated historic district. After hiking Clifty Falls State Park's 2.8 miles of trail just west of Madison, the route makes a short deviation from the ADT road walk in order to take full advantage of the off-road Knobstone Trail, Indiana’s longest continuous footpath, through escarpments and rugged terrain in state forest land.
Next it’s back to the ADT for road walking punctuated by some great woods hiking in Hoosier National Forest. The trail continues into Illinois west of Mt. Vernon, crossing the Wabash River on state highway 62, which becomes highway 141 in Illinois.
MAPS and TRAIL GUIDES:
American Discovery Trail in Indiana: http://www.discoverytrail.org/states/indiana/index.html
HEART OF THE TRAIL:
Knobstone Trail end to end, including the full Delaney Park Loop (51 miles).