This scenic route is brought to you by Abigail Snyder, a pro mountain bike racer from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Photo Credits: Abigail Snyder
This is a beautiful intermediate route with great gravel terrain. At 80% gravel, it is nearly entirely gravel with very few paved roads (and most of those paved surfaces are rougher than the gravel!)
The loop goes through Parke County, also known as "The Covered Bridge Capital", which is home to 31 covered bridges with unique histories. This route will take you on a tour past and through about eight of the unique bridges. (Some you can still bike through, while some have been bypassed and are for walking only.)
You'll begin in Turkey Run State Park, where there is a nature center, historical sites, hiking, swimming and more if you want to play more before or after your ride.
While you can enjoy this ride year-round, it was ridden in in the fall, and so it was absolutely gorgeous with the leaves changing color.
This route gets 5-stars, so not much to complain about at all! The return stretch is pretty flat and open, so be aware that if you ride on a day where there is a wind out of the east, it could be a pretty brutal fight against headwinds.
Do this ride if you are looking for a terrific intermediate scenic route with more gravel than pavement and multiple picturesque covered bridges.
The start is at Turkey Run State Park, so there is plenty of parking and bathrooms at the beginning, but nothing on-route that I'm aware of.
There is a fee to enter the state park ranging from $2-$9. More info here.
Abigail Snyder currently, lives in Fort Wayne, IN, but she's moving to Roanoke, VA shortly. She races mountain bikes (and gravel bikes, occasionally) for Team Neighborlink, Ronin Velosport, and the 2021 Eliel Factory Team. She is also a 6th grade English teacher at Maple Creek Middle School in Fort Wayne, Indiana in addition to working part-time as an Assistant Sales Manager and Marketing Content Creator at Summit City Bicycles & Fitness.
"Competing as a pro athlete while maintaining a full-time career as a middle school teacher requires a tremendous amount of dedication, passion, and focus. My unique position as an athlete and a teacher allows me to connect with a broad audience, sharing lessons between the trail and the classroom. Each school year, I enjoy the chance to engage my middle school students in exercises that teach the principles of having a growth mindset, while sharing with them my own failures and lessons in developing a growth mindset as a mountain biker."