Raccoon Run Trail
ElevationAscent: 89' 27 m
Descent: -62' -19 m
High: 858' 261 m
Low: 780' 238 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)
Current trail conditions
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“A winding trail through the forest that connects the park sections together.”— Rafi Wilkinson
Park at the Nature Center. Make your way out on the road around the "R" in the Studebaker Tree Sign to the west. The trailhead is NOT marked but can be found by looking for an old roadbed off to the right. Don't be confused by the mountain bike trail. Follow the roadbed along the fence line until it turns to the south and up the hill. Soon after there is a trail junction marker. It is confusing because none of this is marked on the trail map. Follow the roadbed straight until just before the road. There is a new trail marker. Take the trail to the right as it makes a small loop in the woods before coming back to the road. This is also not marked on the map.
Cross the road and head towards the maintenance yard fence. There is no marker but the trail can been seen as you get close to the wood line. This section of trail is lovely with really large trees and an open understory. Pay attention to the trail map at this point to make the correct choice at the next five trail junctions (left, left, right, right, right). Not all of these have a marker. This will lead you a road. Cross the road and pick up the trail. There is a trail marker.
The trail is now within the mountain biking area. The singletrack bike trail can easily be distinguished from the pedestrian trail. Do not take any of the mountain bike trails that cross the main trail. The trail is relatively easy to follow. The trail will again cross a road. There are trail markers. The final section of trail is not on the trail map. Follow the trail back to the original trail junction. Take a left back the trailhead.
The proving grounds were sold to the Bendix corporation in 1963, which in turn donated 195 acres to St. Joseph County to establish the county park. The rest of the acreage is still being used as automotive proving grounds today. Bendix used the grounds until 1996, selling it to Bosch who then sold the land to Navistar in 2015.
For more information about Bendix Woods, visit the following website:sjcparks.org/bendix.h
Land Manager: St. Joseph County Parks Department