Recently I took a morning to go check out the mountain bike trails at Imagination Glen, located in Portage, IN. The trails are divided into two loops, the Front Side (3 miles), for beginners, and the Dark Side (7 miles), for more experienced riders.
While the Front Side is a beginners’ loop, it still throws plenty of obstacles at you so, if you’re like me and haven’t ridden in a while, you might find yourself walking dome of the steeper downhills. If you’re out of shape like me, you’ll definitely find yourself walking some of the longer uphills.
The Front Side loop is made up of a variety of terrain, and you’ll find yourself riding on all sorts of surfaces: packed dirt, asphalt, sand, mud, gravel and boardwalks. Throw in lots of exposed rocks and roots and it’s a nice, challenging place to ride.
Best of all is the undulating terrain, with flat sections lasting for relatively short times before there’s a rise, a fall, or longer elevation changes. The Front Side does include some trickier spots, but the design of the trail allows you to navigate them at your own pace or bypassing them with an easier option. This makes it as great place to improve your skills even though riding the same loop.
The parking lot at the trail head gets crowded – I’ve visited several times and each time had to park elsewhere. That being said, it’s not far from anywhere in the park and just means you’ll have to ride across some grass fields to get to the start.
Imagination Glen Mountain Bike Trail Front Loop Slide Show:
While the loop is relatively well-marked, I’d suggest bringing a map via phone or navigating using All Trails or similar app. There are just a ton of intersecting trails that aren’t part of the loop, so you may end up shortcutting yourself overall. Or, you may have a better time, who knows?
Directions to Imagination Glen Mountain Bike Trails:
- John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve, Portage, Indiana
- Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk
- Tolleston Dunes, Portage, Indiana
More Midwest Mountain Biking: