I’m always surprised at how many people travel from a distance to ride the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. They come from Detroit, Indianapolis and Chicago and all points between.
Then the other day I was looking up something about the B&O Trail west of Indianapolis on www.traillink.com, the website where the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy has a listing of all U.S. trails. I noticed that Indiana has 110 trails listed on the site, but most of them are fairly short, like five miles or less. A quick look through the list showed that the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail at 17 miles is actually one of the longer trails. Here’s a list of all trails 10 miles or larger.
Cardinal Greenway – 62 miles
Nickle Plate Trail – 36.9 miles
Rivergreenway, Fort Wayne – 30.1iles
Monon – 24 miles
Panhandle Pathway – 21 miles
Erie-Lackawanna – 17.7 miles
Pumpkinvine Nature Trail – 17 miles
Columbus People Trail – 15.7 miles
Vandalia Trail – 16 miles
Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway – 10.3 miles
Prairie Duneland Trail – 10.3 miles
Delphi Historic Trails – 10 mile
So it’s possible people come to ride the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail for its length, as well as its natural features.
For the past 16 years, I’ve taken photographs of the Pumpkinvine Bike Ride, rather than riding in it. (I did ride the first two years.) We use these photographs in our August Friends of the Pumpkinvine newsletter, in the bike-ride brochure for the next year, on our website, blog and membership brochure. We also frequently get requests for trail photos from the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce or other publications, and I’m able to send a nice selection from the bike ride, since it is by far the time when there are more riders on the Pumpkinvine than at any other time of the year.
Besides myself, there were five others taking pictures: Branden Beachy, Danny Graber, Jim Loomis, Bruce Nethercutt and Ryan Smith. We divided the territory up so that some of us were on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, while others drove the sections of the routes on the county roads.
I like to take photos on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail but change which section I cover from year-to-year. This year I was on the trail between Goshen and Middlebury. I started out taking photos south of State Road 4, a section that I’d never photographed during the bike ride. There’s nice curve in that section that allows me to see a number of riders at the same time and see separation between them than is the case on a straight part of the trail. I like to capture groups of riders, if possible, as well as various ages.
As I was standing beside the trail, I began to notice that there were a lot of mosquitoes attacking my bare arms and face. I swatted them away as best I could, but found that it was making it difficult to concentrate on the riders. After I’d taken what seemed like a good sample of riders in that section, I went back to my van and made a quick trip the CVS in Goshen for insect repellant.
That did the trick. The bugs let me along, and I was able to continue taking photos.
The potential health benefits of staying active are well documented but is walking strenuous enough to do much good? . . . Actually, yes — walking and running are both good ways you can get a cardio workout . . . Researchers studied the health of 48,000 runners and walkers and found that mile for mile, brisk walking lowers the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure as much as running does, reported webmd.com. . . . But you would have to spend more time walking to enjoy the same benefits as running because runners cover the same distance in less time. . . . Walkers can boost their calorie-burning efforts by mixing in a few short sprints. – From the Everence Toolkit newsletter