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Old 04-06-2013, 11:25 PM   #31
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It was pretty vast at one point. If you look at google maps of the area you can still make out a lot of the area the tracks once ran. The area was a major train yard before the one in Elkhart was built and then after it was basically dismantled. I think it stopped being a major hub probably in the 30s but the land was never repurposed other than the actual rails being pulled out. The old turn table is still over by the old national standard building and somebody has made it part of their business.

If I remember right we used to go in off White or Korn just off M51 by the white house but I'm not positive of the exact location. There was an old rail crossing that didn't have gates or anything. We would head east a little ways and turn to the right into a sort of wooded area and there was lots of old two tracks in there where a lot of people used to drive back into the area. Probably mostly kids drinking and other stuff and why the law would watch over it in later years. At one time back in the mid eighties though it was quite a hot spot for jeeps, dirt bikes, and 3 wheelers. I remember law enforcement on atvs back there after too many people were beginning to take it over. But the last I went in was the early 90s and it seemed like not much activity was back there anymore. I remember a rail trestle bridge that went over a creek and I think I spotted it on google map near where the current in use rail line is. The main yard ran north south next to the current in service tracks and took up a fairly large tract of land just to the east of the current tracks. The tracks eventually went north and curved almost 90 degrees to the east. This area looks to be fairly wide open and driving by it you might never notice it but you can make it all out plain as day from satellite pics. You can also make out where the individual single rail spur lines split off and headed out to various towns north and east of Niles. Many of those old beds would make cool snowmobile trails. I'm surprised if someone owns all the land as it went on forever. The place was big. But I guess it would make sense this many yrs. later. One of the old rail bridges is still up there and I remember driving under it. It wasn't as much technical off roading as it was just cool to be back in a ghost area of the industrial age and that all that land had sat untouched for so long. There was some mud, logs, some hills, and lots of long and winding two tracks. People used to dump crap back in there. Plus we were young and knew we weren't supposed to be in there and it all added to the excitement. I need to get back up there and see if I can remember the layout better. I can imagine that a lot of the growth is 20 years more overgrown and I might not even recognize it anymore. I know some of the land as it gets closer to town was beginning to be bought for development but if you look at how the old rail beds head up to the north and curve to the east back out into the country I would bet a lot of that is still accessible without stirring up too much attention of the neighbors as there doesn't look to be much of anything done to the land still. I also wonder if it might be possible to find out from a local council person who has rights to the land and how much of it is claimed. I would think a lot of it is owned by the city or county just by eminent domain but that they just don't have anything to do with it. You can bet people that live by it are running their skis thru there in the winter.
I've looked several times and the city has put fence post by the entrance off air port road and terminal but send post pics on the tread and I will try to find some of the places you are talking Bout bc I live on lake st right in between air port and terminal so it's like a min drive to modineer

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Old 04-07-2013, 05:56 PM   #32
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Hey, jp2611 sorry I meant to reply to your other comment about this yesterday & just forgot about it. Thanks for letting us know about that! I'm not sure if I can make that run yet. As soon as I know for sure I'll let you know.
Do you plan on going then? Do you plan on having yourb new top and other Mods completed?
Dredging up the past 'cause the 20th is comin' soon!! We had a meet and greet at Decatur IN yesterday with some of the People going to Bundy...I was pretty impressed most of the Jeeps they were driving-while "older" like LIL RED...were pretty built for the most part, I have 33" Duratracs and proper lift/ discos/ flares to allow them to work and I was (once again) one of the smallest Jeeps there and that included GCs!!1 yeah and I was the only one with no winch....kinda made me feel good they are more prepared but also made me think I may not be able to "Keep up"!!


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What about the new park called "Kids in the Mud"? Has anyone been there, what's that place like? They claim on their website that they are constantly building new trails, climbs, pits & ladders. Any of you got any details you would like to share?

So the new park up there...having issues finding things, google not pulling maps like it used to probably operator error but IDK....bottom line where is it from Bundy? am decent with compass directions...like if you tell me it as about 2 hours nw from Bundy it probably won't work if you tell me it is 3 hours west of Bundy might work...make sense?


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I have been told by a few people that your just not allowed out there anymore. Not sure why, I assume it was owned by the railroad back then? It seems like someone told me that its owned by the city now.

I'm not sure though, so I will start asking around and find out what's up with it.

Has anyone in the Niles area or anywhere else ever looked into buying an old rock quarry? It seems like they are all over the place. I would be awesome to get access to something like that. I think I will figure out how to get in touch with the right people in the city council & see if they can help with some off road options for this area.

Think you made ODz Jeep Jam last year? Remember the "gravel pit" mud bog quarry? Been hearing rumors thoughts of turning it into a "Bundy Hill" in IN....but no actual facts to back it up yet.....

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Old 04-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #33
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I live a couples miles north east of the movie theater and the YMCA, just off the 31 bypass.
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Old 04-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #34
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Everywhere to wheel is hours from here.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:49 PM   #35
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Bamaboy94, The area I was thinking of where we went in was on Korn between Burton and Hand Roads. You could go north or south. If you went north, you eventually got to an area where the old rail beds curved and headed out and under the Thomson Rd. bridge. Thats where there is a large tract of land that is squared off by White, Thomson, and Hand. There is a creek that runs through there and it actually passes under a small rail bridge just south of where White crosses the existing train tracks. I remember going by that bridge back in the day. There is a wooded tract south of Korn that we went in too. If you went far enough past this you would end up by the turn table/ round house. We played more north of Korn and out by the Thomson bridge. We also could get to this area by taking White from M51 and as soon as you crossed the tracks you could turn right (south) into that area by the creek.

Looking at the aerial map, it looks like the old bed that heads east from the Thomson bridge actually goes out of town and passes through some accessible areas too. Looks like a lot of cool undeveloped areas bordered by White, Dailey, Detroit and Anderson. Looks to be some water and a lot of wooded unfarmed area. Let me know if it looks like you can still see those areas off Korn. P.S. I know this is a land "use" thread and this area has always been private. But it was a well known play area 20 yrs ago and its been cool rememebering it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #36
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im going to niles tonight wave if you see me!
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #37
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Do you have permission to be there? No
Is it Private land? Yes
Is it a DNR ORV trail? NO
Do you have an ORV sticker to help support trail repair and building new trails? Most likely you don't
This is exactly why so many areas are being closed down and there are no DNR ORV trails in your area because of years of abuse.

Find a legal place to wheel!
Try Rocks and valleys, Bundy, Mounds, Badlands and make a weekend out of it.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #38
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Yeah I have ORV thank you. Was just asking the locals about a place that was well known for miles around and frequented literally by hundreds of people 20 years ago. I noticed from satellite its mostly still the same. I did not tell anybody to go out there. Now if anybody does....I know nothing!
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #39
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Do you have permission to be there? No
Is it Private land? Yes
Is it a DNR ORV trail? NO
Do you have an ORV sticker to help support trail repair and building new trails? Most likely you don't
This is exactly why so many areas are being closed down and there are no DNR ORV trails in your area because of years of abuse.

Find a legal place to wheel!
Try Rocks and valleys, Bundy, Mounds, Badlands and make a weekend out of it.
I would never wheel illegally and i do have an orv sticker.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #40
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I would never wheel illegally and i do have an orv sticker.
That's the best news I've heard today.

I was having a bad day and didn't mean to come across so harsh.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #41
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Hey i checked out the terminals today. Of course its all heavily signed "no trespassing", there is still a trail intersecting korn between burton and hand. Looks like its currently maintained. Complete with little signs with a jeep in a no sign. Also signed "no wheeled vehicles" Some of it looks like its even being used as hunting land. On thompson st theres a little bridge that looks like its from the late 1800s/early 1900s and i saw one of the old rail beds.

Looks like a neat place, i only checked it out for historical reference since i was already in niles. I wonder what it would take to get permisssion to hike in. I want to see whats in there.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:00 PM   #42
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That's the best news I've heard today.

I was having a bad day and didn't mean to come across so harsh.
Youre good. I understand. if you were talking to me i was going there because ive been dating a girl in buchanan...
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #43
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That's cool michiganadam. I was thinking of going up there myself just from a research perspective. You know from the paved road of course. Well at least that would be my intent lol. You should have got a pic of your Jeep in front of the no Jeep sign. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I can almost bet that you can see gobs of snowmobile tracks all thru there in the winter. I guess they don't have wheels though (sigh) It really was a big area and is kind of a shame it's just sitting there with no real purpose. Back when we would take dirt bikes in there it was pretty popular and everybody knew what the terminals were when you mentioned it. Today a lot of kids might not have any idea. It was a fairly significant historical part of Niles. I don't think the local authorities thought that much of it because it was old abandoned land anyhow and people could spend an afternoon in there no problem. And I know they knew we were in there. You could hear the bikes for sure. But it really grew to be kind of a spectacle after a while and I'm sure the local attorneys and insurance companies became a factor. At that point the locals started sending cops out there on 3 wheelers even. That was pretty much the end of it other than the late night teenagers sneaking out there to drink or whatever. I found some sites online that some train buffs have taken pics of the area. All the way from the roundhouse, north through the Amtrak service areas, the old ice house and then all the way out to Thomson bridge that you described. That bridge is old like you said. It's amazing it's still is use pretty much as it was built back in the days of steam trains. So if you were on foot and maybe had a camera, people probably wouldn't think much of it. Around that same time we used to have a tract of land that runs along the I&M high tension lines to where the old power plant used to be on the river in Mishawaka. It ran north of Jefferson up to Mckinley and was anther nice dirt track. People would park their trucks right on Jefferson with trailers on the back. We'd be gassing up right out on the road and the cops would just drive by. Boy how times have changed. We also used to have several old gravel pits south of town but a couple stupid kids here or there had to go out there and get drunk and drown so now those places are all locked up now too. I better quit reminiscing the old days when we used to be able to have fun on land that wast ours and the cops even left us alone, before I get yelled at. Does anybody remember when we got bb guns when we were 12, jumped bikes off homemade ramps with no helmets, and all the principles in school had paddles hanging on the wall? I'm showing my age.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:43 AM   #44
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Hell any time i ask anyone my parents age about wheeling, they always mention the terminals. They get alll dissapointed when i say its shut down.

Ive been told some guys wheel on the lawn here in st joe at riverview park....facepalm...

Yeah i should have gotten a pic at the no jeep sign. Ill go back wednesday lol...

Do you remember the end of reeder st in benton township? I used to live around the corner from there and screw around on minibikes there in the 90s. The cops never messed with us, and we were even riding them there. They didnt want us in the street but it was ok if we were going there. My neighbors rode up and down the street and almost lost their bike though, lol.

I went there about a month ago and it was too wet to mess with alone .... i went there this weekend and found out they just bulldozed it!!!! Theyre building a road wtf.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #45
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I have now moved to buchanan and am now your neighbor, op. For now anyway.

I have noticed some interesting "roads" in galien. Some are just wide enough for one vehicle to go through.

There was no no jeep sign at the terminals, it was a no snowmobile sign.

The trails there are maintained by the four flags snowmobile club.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:57 PM   #46
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snow? spring? you're in the southern hemisphere then?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:53 PM   #47
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I'm headed to Bundy Hill this Saturday, if any of you guys want to go, let me know. They are having their Pit Trash Shootout this Saturday, you can check it out on their website. Let me know, I will be leaving Niles sometime between 6-8 am
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Old 01-10-2014, 09:41 AM   #48
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Here's another thread redemption...

Hi Guys, I'm in South Bend and am just working on my JK. Should be done in February. I have another friend with a JKU here as well that used to wheel with me back in college when we had YJs and TJs. I occasionally have access to a cornfield in Niles when it snows and we go out and tow a sled around for awhile, but no trails...

How do I get one of these ORV stickers? Is it just from joining Tread Lightly? I plan on joining once I have the build done, and I know there's the Michiana Jeep Club that has meetings at Lochmandy in Elkhart. I may join up there too since I hear they have access to some land near here with trails.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #49
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Whats an orv sticker have to do with joining tread lightly? They come from the state........

You gotta go to michigan.....go to walmarts sporting goods section (or pretty much any store that sells fishing licenses, comes off the same system). In michigan of course.

One problem......They expire in march 31st of 2014. Don't waste your money until you can get one that expires in 2015. They usually switch over march 1st.
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #50
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Did anyone find any spots whatsoever at all near niles anyway?
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:40 AM   #51
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Yeah, I didn't know what the ORV sticker was since I don't live in Michigan, I'm about 6 miles south of the MI border. If I'm going to wheel in MI though, I would like to support the state if that's what the ORV stickers do. I've never heard of something like that in Indiana, but my dealer kept talking about Tread Lightly supporting trails, so I assumed that's what that was.

I have heard the Michiana Jeep club used to have a place in Jones, MI. I'm still working on figuring that out.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:24 PM   #52
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There are some trails in Yankee Springs (Barry County) that are pretty fun. Its owned by the state. No flags required and no ORV passes. Trails can be pretty fun in certain spots, especially when there is a little snow on the ground. There are enough good trails out there that you could be on them for a few hours, if not a day and not get bored. There are two campgrounds close by too, with beaches and fishing and such!
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:51 PM   #53
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For those of us not as familiar...how far "Up in MI" and which side East or West, is Barry county....yeah I could google it, but a "nearest cross roads" will be my next question.....we go to Bundy Hill off road Park and I know there is more up closer to the U.P. but time and distance doesn't work right now with the family......someday.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:21 PM   #54
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For those of us not as familiar...how far "Up in MI" and which side East or West, is Barry county....yeah I could google it, but a "nearest cross roads" will be my next question.....we go to Bundy Hill off road Park and I know there is more up closer to the U.P. but time and distance doesn't work right now with the family......someday.
Barry county isn't up at all. South of 96 between Grand Rapids and Lansing!
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:01 PM   #55
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Everything is "Up there" from Indiana ....that is why I said "how far"...I know the "Blessing of the JEEPS", is "Up There" (in MI), but it is almost 5 hours.......how about that crossroads I was looking for earlier? It appears to be almost 3 hours from here...I can get to South Haven MI in about 2-2.5 hours from my drive way if I don't stop for anything. But I see that it is a little more North but also East of South Haven....beautiful country up there....South Haven is where we Vacation every year.....
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:59 PM   #56
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Yeah, I didn't know what the ORV sticker was since I don't live in Michigan, I'm about 6 miles south of the MI border. If I'm going to wheel in MI though, I would like to support the state if that's what the ORV stickers do. I've never heard of something like that in Indiana, but my dealer kept talking about Tread Lightly supporting trails, so I assumed that's what that was.

I have heard the Michiana Jeep club used to have a place in Jones, MI. I'm still working on figuring that out.
yeah your $16.25 will support the trails that require the ORV sticker. Im perfectly happy with buying it.

If you go to silver lake state park you can get a sticker there and theyre smaller than the ones from meijer et al.

still havent found anywhere near niles to go wheeling.

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