In the next few weeks, the leaves along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail will start to turn yellow and red, a rich display of fall colors, and we (the Friends of the Pumpkinvine) would like post some of your best photos of the fall colors on our website, on Facebook and on our blog. This is not a contest, just an opportunity for you to share some of color of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in the fall. You may post them here yourself or if you’d like to have them posted on our website and blog, send them to email@example.com.
People frequently ask me when the limestone section of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between State Road 4 and County Road 28 will be paved. That decision is in the hands of the Goshen Park and Recreation Department, not the Friends of the Pumpkinvine. From conversations I’ve had with Sheri Howland, the park director, I know that she’s open to the idea, but at the moment, there isn’t money in the park department’s budget to redo the surface in asphalt, which could cost from $150,000 to $200,000. Since all departments of city government are under severe financial strain, it is unlikely that they will pave that section in the near future.
One of the questions people ask me about the Pumpkinvine is, when will the limestone section of the trail between CR 28 and SR 4 be paved?
The answer is that this section of the Pumpkinvine is owned by the City of Goshen, and what I’ve heard from Sheri Howland, director of Goshen Parks is that they will pave it when money becomes available. The priority projects for Friends of the Pumpkinvine right now is to close the gap in the Pumpkinvine between CR 33 and CR 20 and the gap between 850W and downtown Shipshewana. As a result, we are not lobbying for or offering to help pay for the paving of State Road 4 to County Road 28 until we close those gaps in the trail.
That being said, it is useful to consider the advantages and disadvantages of that 1.75 mile limestone section, since it is likely to be with us for some years to come.
Advantages of limestone:
- Runners and walkers like the limestone because it is more forgiving than asphalt. The constant pounding of a runner’s knee
- It looks more natural than asphalt.
- The wheels of a bicycle make noise on limestone so that walkers are likely to hear an approaching cyclist from behind.
- It does not buckle from tree roots.
- It repairs easily.
- It does not allow for rollerblades thereby eliminating one user group.
- It is more difficult for people in wheelchairs.
- It can get quite rutted in the spring from moisture.
- It can wash out in spots from heavy rain, causing bumps.
- The limestone can coat a bike making it necessary to clean the bike more often.
- It takes more energy to ride than asphalt, and that is a problem for children and less experienced riders.