Pufferbelly Trail – Franke Park

Last week we decided to venture to Franke Park Trails in Fort Wayne, IN. Franke Park is a special place to me because my grandfather took my two younger cousins and I there quite often when we were little. I would visit Indiana for a week every summer and bounce from relative to relative. When I stayed with my grandpa he would take us to the Franke Park zoo and then to McDonalds. Those were special times and a great memory from my visits. Fast forward many, many years and now I live outside of Fort Wayne and am exploring different parks and trails in the area. Imagine my surprise to find that there are trails at Franke Park. So we loaded Sunny into the car and headed there to explore.

This is another adventure that did not go according to plan, but we still had a good hike and explored a new area. The GPS directed us to Sherman Blvd. off Coliseum Blvd., but as we approached the zoo entrance there was a sign for trail parking. Instead of listening to the GPS, we followed the sign to the parking lot on Franke Park Drive. Then we walked along Franke Park Drive toward and across Wells St. where we found the Franke Park Connector trail. This trail leads to the Pufferbelly Trail, which we tried to explore a few weeks ago, but ended up on the Salmon Farm Trail. Although we seem to get more turned around here, we are finding and exploring new areas. It’s fun to explore even if things don’t go according to plan.

Franke Park trail parking sign

Although the Pufferbelly Trail is quite nice, the walk from the parking lot to the connector trail and along the connector trail is not too scenic. It’s more of a city walk, but once you turn off the connector trail onto the Pufferbelly Trail you feel more like you are in the woods. We took a right at the end of the connector trail onto the Pufferbelly Trail. Then we walked to W. Jacobs Ave and back for a total of nearly 4M. The trail is asphalt and quite wide making it great for bikes and those with mobility issues. We encountered wild flowers, Spy Run Creek, and a park near an apartment complex. We were even able to get down to Spy Run Creek, which Sunny loved.

Sunny and the wildflowers on the Pufferbelly Trail
Sunny on the Pufferbelly Trail
Spy Run Creek at the Pufferbelly Trail

Our Rating

All in all the Pufferbelly Trail is a nice place to take a walk or run. Although it’s in a city environment you do not feel like you are in the city. It’s is well maintained and peaceful. Despite several other walkers, cyclists, runners, and dogs we did not feel like it was too busy. We rate this location 3 out of 4 paws up mainly because it’s more of a city walk and there are no restrooms. We generally prefer hiking in the woods instead of asphalt, but this is a great option when you have mobility issues or want to ride a bike.

How do I get there?

Turn onto Sherman Blvd. from Coliseum Blvd. Then take a left onto Franke Park Drive near the zoo entrance. The parking lot is on the right. After parking walk on Franke Park Drive away from the zoo, toward Wells Street. Cross Wells Street to the Franke Park Connector trail. The trail ends at the Pufferbelly Trail. We turned right onto the Pufferbelly Trail to start our walk.

For more information about Fort Wayne Trails check out the Fort Wayne Trails website.

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