Bruce Jones remembers a time when he would ride through the woods just west of Andrews University. There was no precise trail then. But the up-and-down terrain provided a challenge for mountain bikers. More than 30 years later, Jones is proud to look around to see what these trails have become, and what they’ve offered to so many people.
The Trails at Andrews is now a 12-mile mountain bike system, tucked up next to Andrews. The volunteer-maintained trail has evolved over decades, becoming popular with locals, but also with many adventure-seekers who live outside of town and on the other side of the state line.
“It’s not a beginner trail system. It’s highly aerobic. You’re up and down constantly. We don’t have big climbs. We have little climbs stretched throughout the trail system,” states Jones, a lifelong resident of Berrien Springs. “It’s quite challenging on a cardio level, which is why it’s used by top athletes. It’s all single-track, all hand-built which is somewhat unique. There was no machinery used in building this trail. It doesn’t have a real homogenized feel as some of the newer trails often do.”
Within the last 10 years, Andrews has given the trail system a parking lot, which has helped increase its usage. They’re currently working on a color-coded map that will break the trail down into several loops. The trails are open for walkers as well. Because of the size and length of the entire system, walkers have time to step aside and make way for the bikers.
Jones adds: “As time has gone by, more and more people have gotten involved in mountain biking. Credit really goes to the numerous people who have worked on these trails over the years.”
The trails can be accessed on Campbell Road off of Old 31, just east of St. Joseph Valley Parkway. More information can be found on their Facebook Page or by contacting Bruce Jones directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.