Author Topic: South Bend IN to Dunes NP  (Read 617 times)

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Offline Gypsea

South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« on: February 21, 2022, 05:29:57 pm »
Ok, another routing question...It appears to be less than 50 miles from South Bend IN to Dunes National Park. Google has 3 route options US 20, E 150 N, and US20/Chicago Trail. Any recommendations or alternatives?  US 20 looks to be pretty busy.

Thanks again.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2022, 05:49:11 pm »
My quick down and dirty answer would be to check out the Stava Heatmap https://www.strava.com/heatmap#10.79/-86.58492/41.67109/hot/ride and then take the county roads to the west north west (near state line) to Michiana and then south on Lake Shore Drive to Michigan City where you would connect with the crushed gravel Calumet Trail and take that to Dunes NP.

It would be be a bit longer than the other routes but I would bet it would be much quieter and probably more scenic since you ride along the shore line and then on a rustic trail.  You would also have services spaced decently along the route.

Again, check out the Indiana Traffic count maps to pick a quiet route. 

Looks like you are having a fun trip!

Tailwinds, John

Offline Gypsea

Re: South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2022, 06:15:21 pm »
Strava is a pain and I don't want to start their free trial. :)

But thanks for the tips and I'll look to navigate toward the Calumet bike trail and/or Lake Shore Drive. That I94 Emergency road looks pretty bad.  I think I can avoid it.  I will check out the Indiana Traffic Count information.

Half the fun for me is figuring out the logistics and routes. Thanks for the great information, John.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2022, 06:33:12 pm »
I don't use strava except for the heat map.  Yes, I wish the map were easier to read but it does provide valuable information. 



Offline canalligators

Re: South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2022, 08:55:53 pm »
I default to county (or local) roads and improved trails.  I use busy highways ONLY if they have adequate shoulder space and no/bike-friendly rumble strips, and there is no other way.  I might use the highway if the side roads are indirect or it's getting late in the day.  Sometimes I'll use the highway when the side roads are dirt or hilly.

Offline dan_t

Re: South Bend IN to Dunes NP
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2022, 09:12:01 pm »
I haven't ridden that route specifically, but I grew up in the area and have a sense of what the traffic is like. And I rode from South Bend airport to Valparaiso a few years ago. Generally, I'd recommend avoiding 2, 12, 20, 35 and all of the other state or US roads. Some have shoulders, but speed limits are 55+. Cars are not used to seeing cyclists on them, and it will be a loud, unpleasant ride. Most of the county roads are fine. There are a few with 50 mph speed limits, but roads are generally flat and straight, so cars will see you from a distance and slow down. It looks like you can take county roads to Michigan City or Chesteron without too much zigzagging.

Since you're going to the park, I'll mention that the national park itself is underwhelming. All the good hikes etc are in Indiana Dunes State Park, which is surrounded by the national park. Trail 9 in the state park is my favorite.