Bicyclists and pedestrians utilizing the trails in North Judson now have some signage to guide them.
Back in May, Prairie Trails Club Representatives Steve and Kathy Lucas came before Town Council members, requesting permission to place signs around town that would help guide people using the trails. The members unanimously approved the request.
As a reminder, The Erie Trail in North Judson runs a little more than 9 miles and is a part of two major trails that stretch across the whole country. It is included in Indiana’s portion of the U.S. Bike Route 35 that starts in Canada and ends near New Orleans. That trail will eventually reach the Gulf of Mexico. The Erie Trail is also a part of the American Discovery Trail which runs from Delaware to California.
Ever since they received permission, Steve, Kathy and other members of Prairie Trails Club have been coordinating with Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe with Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann about the ideal places to erect the signs.
On Thursday, August 9th, they put their plans into action, according to Prairie Trails Club rep Peggy Bohac. Bohac also serves as the town photographer and she followed around crews on Thursday and snapped pictures as they put signs up in various places around town.
Multiple people also joined in with Thursday’s excursion around town including Town Superintendent Marshall Horstman and members of his utility crew Kim Kapp and Jason Manns as well as Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe and Steve and Kathy Lucas. The Starke County Community Foundation’s Jessica Martinovic and Miranda Shepherd were also present and so were Nan Wellman and Amanda Brewer from OTES, the company that created the signs.
In addition to alerting travelers that they’re on a specific trail, Bohac noted that these signs will help direct people toward local services on their way through town. She mentioned that since North Judson is the only municipality that travelers pass through between LaPorte and Rochester, it is crucial to let them know where they can find resources in town.
Bohac added that with the initial plans for the US Bike Route 35, it wouldn’t have passed through the heart of North Judson. She stated that back in 2011, the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council recommended a route that would have skirted the northern edge of town. However, Bohac said that Town Council members made a decision in 2012 that led to the route that is there currently in place, which gives better access to commercial and public services in town.