52 Hikes in 52 Weeks: Hike 12, Bonneyville Mill North Loop

April 14, 2016

53373 County Road 131, Bristol, IN 46507

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For the first hike of the day, we visited the beautiful Bonneyville Mill County Park in Elkhart County, IN.  The mill was established in the mid-1830’s and is still in operation.  Historical interpreters open the mill to the public for demonstrations Wednesday thru Sunday, May thru October.  The park has shelters for rent, fishing, picnic tables and of course, hiking trails!

The park has two sets of trails, the North Loop and the South Loop, together making up a total of 7 miles.  We began our adventure on the North Loop, passing by some man-made waterfalls.

We started on the Levee Trail with the intention of following the big outer loop.  The trail map showed a fairly straight forward loop but once on the trails, we found that there were a lot of intertwining trails that we found to be quite confusing.

Once we realized we weren’t actually following the outer loop trail, we just wandered around the trails following whatever seemed like the most interesting path.  The trails were well maintained despite not being well marked.  We went through various terrain, from low wetland areas, riverside paths, pine woods and open field.  There were several bridges to help us over the wet areas and rivers.

Eventually we made our way back to the Mill after wandering just over 2 miles.  Despite having difficulty following the map, we never felt “lost” and roughly followed our plan.  We had hoped to finish our hike with a visit to the Mill but unfortunately it was not yet open for the season.  We had a wonderful visit anyway and would highly recommend this park, especially during the months when the mill is open.

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