The towns of
Chesterton and Porter are two locations along a cross-state bicycle route
system proposed by the Hoosiers Rails to Trails Council.
The Porter County
Commissioners on Tuesday this week gave permission and their endorsement for
the non-profit HRTC to use the roads here as part of their AA route creating
a link from Dyer to Fort Wayne and making further connections into Illinois
Indianapolis-based HRTC, Raymond Porter said the organization wishes to
develop the Hoosier Hike and Bike Centennial route to be completed in time
for the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 11, 2016. The different routes would
form a trail system reaching to all corners of the state, he said.
Porter’s map, the local arm of the AA route would enter Porter County
through the Prairie-Duneland Trail which starts in Hobart and ends at its
eastern trail head at 15th Street in Chesterton and would then go north to
Woodlawn Ave. in Porter.
Hooking a right,
the route would then turn left on Waverly Rd. which intersects the Calumet
Trail north of town. The HH&BC would leave Porter County on the Calumet
Trail and continue east to Michigan City.
Porter said other
locations planned for the AA route include South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart,
Goshen and Angola. The hope is for the HH&BC to also connect to the United
States Bicycle Route 35, which runs from Northern Michigan to Mississippi.
Richard Vonnegut said the route will use existing roads and bike paths so
there is no extra cost for maintenance for the communities they seek
endorsements from. Counties and municipalities can decide if they want to
use signage, and are not required to, he said. Many bike maps can now be
accessed on electronic devices in lieu of signage, he added.
benefit financially from having biking and hiking trails because they
contribute to local tourism, said Vonnegut. Those who travel on them are
more likely to stop and spend money in local communities than those
traveling by car, he said.
standards set by the American Association of State Highway and
Transportation officials, Porter said he will be asking all municipalities
on the route for their endorsement. He said he explained the route to the
Chesterton Town Council last week and they “seemed to be on board, for the
He plans on
speaking with the Porter Town Council soon.