Opened in November 2019, Creekside Bike Trails in Valparaiso has offered bikers a chance to experience mountain biking the way they never have before. Now coming up on one year of being opened, Creekside is looking forward to expanding and offering local and out-of-town adventure seekers even more exciting attractions in the year to come.
Located off of Lincolnway in Valparaiso, Creekside Trails is a multi-use trail system spanning over five miles of soft surface perfect for biking, hiking, and walking. In the year Creekside has been open, Valpo Parks has created a place that connects Region residents to the natural beauty in Valparaiso and provides them a full-scale outdoor experience that you can’t find elsewhere in the area.
“You can expect a variety of features when weaving through Creekside,” said Kevin Nuppnau, Business Operations Director. “There are some boardwalks, dirt jumps, and flowy trails that are exciting for anyone of all ages and abilities.”
Building the trails with age and ability in mind was a goal from the very beginning. According to Nuppnau, creating a trail with a balance in skill levels was something the Valpo Parks team was aware of.
“We didn’t want the trail to be too easy, where there wasn’t a challenge and something for people to progress to, and we didn’t want it to be too difficult and discourage young or new riders from enjoying the trails,” Nuppnau said.
Valpo Parks worked around this obstacle by building options to go around sections of the trails with jumps or other features that may be too extreme or difficult. Where there is a jump or another obstacle perfect for intermediate and advanced bikers and hikers, there is a space off to the side where the trail expands, allowing for novice bikers and hikers to move through the trails easily.
“With it being Valpo’s first mountain biking trail, we knew there weren’t many people who have ridden mountain bikes on a trail like this before,” Nuppnau said. “In order to grow the sport and to excite those who have been interested in it, we knew we needed to build it so that people would be encouraged to visit us and try it out.”
“And just like Creekside Golf Course, the training center was built for people to learn and progress in the sport. We’ve applied this same model to the trail. We want it to be a training center, where you’ll experience things that you can work on and be prepared for when you visit another trail somewhere else.”
Creekside also encourages bikers to get out and meet like-minded people with its popular group rides. These group rides allow for additional socialization within the biking community, providing people to meet others with the same interest and currently in the same skill level.
“We did morning, evening, and even some night group rides,” Nuppnau said. “While night riding isn’t allowed inside the park, if riders are with a dedicated group, they can enjoy the trails at night. It’s a completely different experience at night with your lights on. The trail looks completely different and it’s a fun experience.”
Riders can look forward to more group rides in 2021, when there is a dedicated day for riders.
Creekside is anticipating exciting changes in the coming year. Through the end of this year, Valpo Parks is looking to make the trails even more exciting and enjoyable for riders.
“Our future plans, what we call Phase 2, is to add more miles to the trails,” Nuppnau said. “We want to get an additional two or three miles more, so that the total number of miles is closer to eight.”
“We also want to add more features to the trails that people wouldn’t see anywhere else. Whether they’re biking locally or regionally, we want Creekside to be a place where you can find a wall ride or a flight deck or a whale tail, things we have that you can’t find anywhere else in the Region.”
For more information about Creekside Mountain Bike Trails, please visit their website at https://www.valpoparks.org/551/Creekside-Park.