Advantages of a limestone trail surface

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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:

  1. Runners and walkers like the limestone because it is more forgiving than asphalt. The constant pounding of a runner’s knee
  2. It looks more natural than asphalt.
  3. The wheels of a bicycle make noise on limestone so that walkers are likely to hear an approaching cyclist from behind.
  4. It does not buckle from tree roots.
  5. It repairs easily.
There are, of course, disadvantages to limestone.
  1. It does not allow for rollerblades thereby eliminating one user group.
  2. It is more difficult for people in wheelchairs.
  3. It can get quite rutted in the spring from moisture.
  4. It can wash out in spots from heavy rain, causing bumps.
  5. The limestone can coat a bike making it necessary to clean the bike more often.
  6. It takes more energy to ride than asphalt, and that is a problem for children and less experienced riders.