KENDALLVILLE – Noble Trails, Inc., is a non-profit volunteer organization that was formed in 2010 to develop trails throughout Noble County for pedestrians and bicycles.
Noble Trails gave a presentation regarding the trail status at the April 2nd Kendallville Common Council meeting. They began with a trail connecting Rome City to Kendallville using the old Grand Rapids and Indiana (nicknamed Fishing Line) railroad corridor. Starting at the Rome City end in 2015, they cleared the old railroad bed and in 2016, paved the first section.
Since then, more property has been acquired and they have created more trail. With the planned opening of three segments this year, they will have a trail which connects the Noble County Convention & Visitors Bureau to the east side of Kendallville at the intersection of Dowling Street and Allen Chapel Road. There is also a branch on the trail which leads to the Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site.
The next community to connect with on the trail is Avilla. This trail would begin at Kraft, Inc., on the south side of Kendallville and follow the old railroad to Avilla. They are still working on the plans for how to connect this to the existing trail at Angling Road on the north side of Kendallville, and include Main Street and the new middle school, if possible. Excellent feedback has been received from the property owners for this route and they are supportive and willing to make this happen.
Noble Trails has applied for a Next Level Trails Grant through the Governor’s Office for connecting the trail to Avilla. Many applications were submitted for this grant, so there is no guarantee that they will receive it. If not received, there will be more opportunities to apply. With or without a grant, they will continue working on this trail.
The City of Kendallville also applied for the Next Level Trails Grant. Noble Trails has partnered with the city to develop trails from Fairview Boulevard west to Friendly Village, and also from the Dowling Street and Allen Chapel intersection east to the Walmart intersection. The engineering work has been done at the expense of the City of Kendallville and, if the grant is received, Noble Trails will provide the 20 percent local matching funds so that work can proceed.
Noble Trails is having their third Fishing Line Trail 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 27th. This helps raise funds to maintain and develop the trails.