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Noble County's Fishing Line Trail is an over seven-mile route that connects the small communities of Rome City and Kendallville, with most of the trail utilizing the historic railroad corridor that once carried trains for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The local trails group, Noble Trails, has done a tremendous job of expanding (and volunteer-maintaining) the trail since paving their first stretch of trail in 2016, creating a lovely paved, tree-lined route to link the area together and provide ample recreation opportunities.
The trail's current northern end lies in Rome City on Lions Drive, just at the edge of the open space of Gaff Park. This newest segment of trail runs south along the shady rail corridor before using a brief on-road connection on County Road 900 N to reach the next segment at the Noble County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Shortly after, the trail resumes along the rail corridor for a scenic, uninterrupted stretch - that is, unless you choose to detour north to the Gene Stratton-Porter Historical Site. Gene Stratton-Porter was one of Indiana’s most beloved novelists and conservationists, and her home and final resting place, “Cabin at Wildflower Woods” sits 150 acres right on the shore of Sylvan Lake near Rome City.
The trail requires another brief on-road connection via County Roads 450 E and 800 N, before resuming southeast on the corridor all the way into the outskirts of Kendallville. The route uses yet another on-road segment in Kendallville along the lightly trafficked industrial Stonebraker Drive (which occupies the space of the former rail line), before a brief trail segment brings you to the trail's southern trailhead at Angling Road.
Kendallville and Noble Trails recently added a northside connector segment to bring the trail north and east to Riley Road and the neighborhoods on the city's northern end, which will eventually connect to an evolving network of paths within Kendallville, allowing even more access to the trail and the region's outdoor beauty.
All told, the Fishing Line Trail is an inspiring example of a local community coming together to create a recreational asset that can be enjoyed by all. The paved pathway is well-maintained by local volunteers but is not plowed in winter - making it a great place to break out the snowshoes or cross-country skis.
Parking is available at several points along the trail. Near Rome City, trail users can find parking and restrooms at the Gene Stratton-Porter Historic Site, a short distance north of the trail on Pleasant Pt. off of County Road 850 N.
Parking is also available further east along the trail at a small trail lot off of County Road 600 E, north of Highway 6. In Kendallville, a few spots at the R.A. Streb Apartments next to the Angling Road trailhead are permitted for trail parking.
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