Friends of the Pumpkinvine Receive Trail Construction Grant from the Community Foundation of Elkhart County
The Community Foundation of Elkhart County recently awarded a $250,000 grant for trail construction in the "gap" between County Roads 20 and 35. Friends own 0.43 mile of the former Pumpkin Vine Railroad corridor in this section (solid green line on the map); however, they need 600 feet of additional land (dashed green line on the map) to reach County Road 35 where the existing trail (orange line)from Middlebury ends. Friends are negotiating with neighbors to purchase the needed land.
Friends have been working for several years to build trail between County Roads 33 and 20 (yellow line). They recently bought land for that purpose and construction is expected in 2018.
2017 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride Photos
Photos from the ride can be viewed at https://2017pvbikeride.shutterfly.com/
Parking lots at CR 35 and CR 43 will close in November
Parking lots on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail at County Road 35 and County Road 43 were closed sometime in November. Nick Steele, Safety Coordinator for Elkhart County Parks said "I use my best judgement when it comes to closing them for the season." Because the gravel used as base at County Road is round and not crushed limestone, it cannot be plowed efficiently and, therefore, would be plowed into piles with the snow.
The lot at County Road 35, however, "has little or no gravel base and becomes extremely muddy and hazardous," Steele said. "So from the maintenance standpoint, it's much easier to close the lots down once the weather turns nasty". The County Road 35 parking lot will remain unfinished until there is definite word on how the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail will cross County Road 35. The County Road 37 parking lot is paved and is maintained during winter months.
Other factors that impact the decision to close the parking lots are that Elkhart County Parks no longer have seasonal, part time-time staff to maintain all of the parks not the equipment to keep everything open and well maintained.
Steele noted that the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is the last trail in the Elkhart County Parks system to be plowed in winter. "If the snow becomes too intense or we feel its unsafe to maintain, it will be closed".
Pumpkinvine Bike Ride, June 16, 2018
Pumpkinvine Trail map
Download a Pumpkinvine Trail map in pdf format.
Kroger & AmazonSmile Rewards
Kroger shoppers can support Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail through the Kroger Community Rewards Program. Friends are also registered to receive rewards from AmazonSmile. Step by step instructions are available here.
A Pumpkinvine Nature Trail brochure is available for download.
Enroll your business to become a Pumpkinvine Nature Trail sponsor. For more information download Corporate Sponsor Opportunities: 2018 Levels of giving and Associated Benefits for 2018, in pdf format.