Mill Race Canal Trail

Millrace Canal Trail

Despite a cool, drizzly day Sunny and I ventured to Goshen, IN to check out the Mill Race Canal Trail. What we found was a lovely popular trail along the canal and some additional trails in the woods.

History of the Canal

The Mill Race Canal was completed in 1868 and was a source of hydraulic power for Goshen’s businesses. Then in the late 1890’s Hawk’s Electric Company built a central generating station to provide electricity to Goshen, Middlebury, Millersburg, Benton, New Paris, Wakarusa, Bremen, Syracuse, and Milford. It continued to be the main source of electrical energy until the 1920’s. In 1968 ownership of the canal was transferred to the city of Goshen and today is mainly used for recreation.

Our Adventure

Sunny and I walked from the parking lot across the dam to the start of the trail. We found a hard parked gravel trail running along the canal. On the right-hand side we could see the backyards of the homes that border the canal. On the left was dense vegetation with periodic views of the Elkhart River, trails in the woods, and even some farmland. We continued on the trail for about a mile and then took one of the trails to the left into the woods.

On the Mill Race Canal Trail
marker on Mill Race Canal Trail
Sunny looking at Elkhart River

The trail in the woods had many offshoot trails, but we continued on the main trail so we didn’t get lost. At one point we were able to get down to the Elkhart River bank which made Sunny happy. We continued on the trail and eventually came to a gravel path with signs indicating loop 1 and loop 2. Since I didn’t know if these led back to the Mill Race Canal Trail, we turned around and backtracked to the canal trail. We continued back to the start of the trail and the parking lot.

trails in the woods
trails in the woods
Elkhart River

Our total hike was just over 3M, but you can hike much further than this since the canal trail is 4M out and back and there are additional trails in the woods.

Our Rating

Sunny and I enjoyed our visit to Mill Race Canal Trail and rate it 3 out of 4 paws up. The main reason we did not rate it higher is the trail is not all that challenging. Despite that it’s a nice trail along the canal with some additional trails in the woods. It’s great for hiking and biking and would even be appropriate for strollers. There is also a nice parking area and a restroom and a picnic area at the Shoup-Parsons Woods park.

Sunny and the picnic benches at Shoup-Parsons Woods park.

How Do I Get There?

The trail can be accessed at the north end near the Goshen Brewery or at the south end at the Goshen Dam Pond and Shoup-Parsons Woods Park. We parked at the Shoup-Parsons Woods park which is at the intersection of Westwood Road and Gra-Roy Drive/Fair Oaks Drive. From there we walked past the restroom and across the dam to access the trail on the right near the sign.

Shoup-Parsons Woods parking lot
Mill Race Canal trail sign

For more information about the Mill Race Canal Trail, check out the Visit Elkhart County website.

Mill Race Trail

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