NICKEL PLATE TRAIL

The Nickel Plate Trail is a rail trail formed by the rail banking of the Nickel Plate Road railroad right-of-way running north and south from Rochester to Peru to Kokomo.  It is a 40+ mile corridor with 37 miles paved walking and bicycle trail and plenty of places to park and get on the trail.  There are many rest areas and trailheads along the trail.  To the south, the Nickel Plate Trail ties into the Industrial Heritage Trail that goes through Kokomo.  This trail is part of the American Discovery Trail Northern Route, Great American Rail Trail, United States Bicycle Route 35, and the Adventure Cycling Association’s Chicago to New York City route.

 
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LOCATION

County: Howard, Miami, Fulton

City: Kokomo, Peru, Rochester

Mileage: 40+

North Endpoint (#1) - Specific: Wabash Avenue - Rochester, IN

South Endpoint (#2) – Specific: US 35 Trailhead - Kokomo,IN

Direction to #2 from #1: South

Notable Trailheads: US 35 Trailhead - Kokomo, Bunker Hill Parking, Peru Parking, 1st Street Park - Denver, Wabash Avenue Park - Rochester

Near to US highways: US Highways 31, 35, and 24

Photo Courtesy of Ethan Hopper

 

TRAIL FEATURES

Type of TrailRail Trail

Surface: paved

Uses allowed: walking, biking.

Which uses NOT allowed: motorized vehicles, equestrians

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Photo Courtesy of Ethan Hopper

 
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AGENCY INFORMATION

Nickel Plate Trail, Inc

P.O. Box 875

Peru, IN  46970

Trail Website

Trail Map

Photo Courtesy of Ethan Hopper

 

From the trail agency website:

Nickel Plate Road History

 

Nickel Plate Road is an interesting name for a railroad line. It earned the nickname because when it was being planned, there were four lines surveyed for the position. The competition was fierce for not only the line but also the money that would be earned by having the railroad in the respective towns and cities. The editor of the Norwalk Ohio Chronicle referred to the New York, Chicago and St. Louis RR route as “Nickel Plated” due to the money that would be earned. The nickname stuck.

 

1846 – Peru and Indianapolis chartered
1851 – Peru and Indianapolis built, operated by Madison and Indianapolis RR until 1856
1853 – First train to Peru
1864 – P&I RR entered receivership
1864 – Line built from Peru to Michigan City. Became Indianapolis, Peru, and Chicago, a 159 mile line
1871 – CC&L sold to IP & CRR
1881 – 1886 – Line released to Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific
1887 – Line sold to Lake Erie and Western
1900 – 1922 – LE&W operated by Lake Shore & Michigan Southern RR
1920’s – Line came into New York, Chicago and St. Louis (NYC & StL) RR with nickname of Nickel Plate (NKP) RR
1933 – 1942 – NKP operated by Chesapeake and Ohio RR
1964 – NKP sold to Norfolk & Western RR
1990 – N&W merged with Southern to become Norfolk Southern RR
March 1999 – Segment from Cassville to Peru to Rochester was railbanked and bought by Indiana Trails Fund

 

(317) 237-9348

1060 N Capitol Ave Suite C 130, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

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