The difference a trail makes: the area south of the bridge over the Little Elkhart River

friendsHistory, Middlebury, Pumpkinvine News

 Every time I ride the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail over the trestle bridge spanning the Little Elkhart River in Middlebury, I’m reminded of how bad the area south of the bridge looked before it was turned into the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. I remember it as something like a dump, and I’m amazed to see how much better it looks today with …

FAQs about the new Pumpkinvine section between CR 33 and CR 20

friendsPumpkinvine News

Q: Is this section finished? A: No, it is rideable, but not finished. Additions will include privacy fencing near the overpass and at CR 33, a donor- recognition area, a second entrance-exit to County Road 20 and signage. Q: Why is there a curb along part of the trail just north of the overpass? A: The curb is designed to …

Walkers benefit from the new trail section, too

friendsPumpkinvine News

A note from Friends of the Pumpkinvine board member Vivian Schmucker, our most faithful walker and advocate, about her first walk on the new section of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between CR 33 and CR 20 reminded me that this new section will be a welcome addition to the trail for walkers as much as it is for bikers. Even before …

The Indiana legislature passed two laws, effective July 1, 2019, that impact cyclists in Indiana.

friendsPumpkinvine News

The first is a three-foot passing law that says when a motorist is overtaking a bicycle proceeding in the same direction, the motorist must “allow at least three (3) feet of clearance between their vehicle and the bicycle and not return the vehicle to the vehicle’s original lane of travel until the vehicle is safely clear of the bicycle.”A vehicle …

A smooth ride — thanks to Bob Carrico

friendsPumpkinvine News

In two day, June 15, 2019, a thousand riders will participate in the 20th Pumpkinvine Bike Ride. They will enjoy seeing the new colts in the fields, the beauty of the Indiana countryside and at some point in their ride, experience the shade and off-road safety of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. As they ride the Pumpkinvine, what they may overlook, …

Closing a Pumpkinvine Nature Trail gap

friendsPumpkinvine News

It won’t be long before we will see the closing of a one-mile gap in the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between County Road 33 and County Road 20. This project has been in process for over five years and involved negotiating with five landowners because the Friends of the Pumpkinvine owned only five percent of the Pumpkinvine corridor in this section.  …

Transitions can be opportunities

friendsFrom the President

In May 2018, I attended the Mid-America Trails and Greenway Conference in Columbus, Ohio and went to a workshop titled “Building and Maintaining Sustainable Organizations” led by the first onsultant the Friends of the Pumpkinvine ever had, Rory Robinson, from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the questions discussed in the …

Church group tackles invasive species

friendsNaturalist's Corner

Most of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail has wooded edges that is habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The trees, shrubs, vines and herbaceous ground cover provide fruit and seeds, green browse, winter cover, nesting sites, and protection from predators. One of the many services that Isabela Torres, our 2018 summer intern, provided was to design a long-term plan to increase …

Learning from three trail incidents

friendsPumpkinvine News

In early August, a young male was observed riding back and forth on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between the State Road 13 and County Road 43 on a moped. Besides the illegality of riding a motorized vehicle on the trail, the person was also harassing other trail users. Those trail users called the police, and they arrested the person for …

Mike Cloud & Penn Central

friendsPumpkinvine News

When I was reporting to the Pumpkinvine Advisory Committee recently about a rails-to-trails conference I attended, I was reminded of the first national rails-to-trails conference I attended in Baltimore in 1991. It was a fateful conference because it put our new Friends group in touch with the right person at Penn Central, the owner of the Pumpkinvine corridor. The conference …