Winter in Indiana is certainly different from other seasons and can have a charm of its own, especially on the Fishing Line Trail. Non-profit volunteer group Noble Trails oversees this 8.5 mile stretch of trail that primarily follows a former railroad corridor. It connects Kendallville to Rome City, stretching through the countryside inbetween.
Under a cloudy winter sky, the Northside Trail extension of the Fishing Line Trail near Riley Road in Kendallville is mostly obscured by snow.
So far this winter has been, surprisingly, mild. Even though the trails aren’t plowed in the winter, that hasn’t been a problem as there has been very little snow. That means this winter the trails are seeing quite a bit more traffic than they normally would.
Rather than lacing up the snow boots for a stroll on the trail, many people are lacing up their running shoes to take advantage of the unseasonably warm temps and lack of snow. Cyclists haven’t put up their bikes for the winter; instead, they’re being loaded onto vehicle racks for a trip to the trail on the first available 40 degree day.
Checking out the newest sections of trail have led to more traffic this winter, as well. Just this fall, API was hired put down the first layer of asphalt on the trail from the Streb Apartment Complex on Angling Road east to Riley Road. The trail there is open, but it’s not quite finished yet. The company must wait on better weather to add the top coat and shoulders.
Even though the weather is allowing us to enjoy more outdoor time this winter, there are a few things to keep in mind for your safety.
1. Dress for the weather. If you’re walking, be sure to bundle up. If you’re heading out on a bike, clothing to block the cold wind is needed to make sure you’re not chilled to the bone as you ride down the path.
2. Stay hydrated. It might seem like you don’t need as much water in the winter since you’re not hot, but you still need to stay hydrated as you exercise.
3. Wear bright colors, especially during hunting season. The trail borders private property in many locations, and those owners have a right to hunt (though not near the trail). “Hunter Orange” is the color of choice to make sure your movement is not mistaken for an animal.
4. Watch out for slick spots. Even if there is no snow on the trails, there could still be “black ice” that you might not be able to see until you slip. Tread carefully.
If you don’t mind a little nip in the air, winter is a great time to hit the trails. The barren woods and empty fields create a completely different ambiance than you’ll find during the summer. When you need a break from the “winter blues,” head out to the Fishing Line Trail to walk, run or bike, and just breathe in the fresh, crisp winter air.