Memorable day

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

Today I took a ride on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail from Goshen to Shipshewana. I left Goshen around 8:30 a.m. after eating a pancake and sausage breakfast at the MCC Relief Sale at the Elkhart County fairgrounds. I took the Monroe Street Trail to the Abshire Trail to the Pumpkinvine. It was a cool 50 degrees, a hint of fall. …

Memorial to Ike Heign dedicated Sept. 19, 2018

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

The Heign family with memorial stone: Greg, Bob, Mary Lou, Randy and Jeff. The memorial is located along the Pumpkinvine, 100 yards south of Sun Rise Lane. Members of the Heign family gathered on Sept. 19 to dedicate a section the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Middlebury to Ike Heign. Jim Smith, former executive director of the Friends who negotiated the …

The importance of maintenance

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

When I became interested in rails-to-trails in the early 1990s, the closest trail to when I lived was the Kal-Haven Trail, formally known as the Kal-Haven Sesquicentennial State Park:  https://www.traillink.com/trail/kal-haven-trail-sesquicentennial-state-park/   The trail runs 34 miles from west of Kalamazoo to South Haven Michigan with a crushed stone surface. Whenever I needed inspiration and a renewed vision of what the Pumpkinvine corridor …

Bontrager Family Foundation invests in completion of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

The Bontrager Family Foundation has awarded the Friends of the Pumpkinvine a $25,000 matching grant toward the cost of construction of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between County Road 20 and County Road 35. In other words, the Family Foundation will match other trail-development donations – dollar for dollar – up to a total of $25,000. “Via this grant, the Bontrager …

Trail construction on CR 33 to CR 20 is underway

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

The long awaited, much anticipated construction that will close the gap in the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between County Road 20 and County Road 33 has started. All the permits from the relevant environmental agencies have been obtained and the contract for construction has been signed with the Pulver Asphalt Paving Inc., Albion, Ind., the same company that built the last …

New location, new supporters

jdyoder From the President

On April 24, 2018, the Friends of the Pumpkinvine held our annual dinner in Elkhart for the first time. Our previous 16 dinners had been in the Pumpkinvine towns of Goshen, Middlebury or Shipshewana, and although we have many supporters in Elkhart, we weren’t sure if people from the three main towns identified with the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail would travel …

Pumpkinvine Nature Trail now on Street View in Google maps

jdyoder Trail Notes

In 2016, the Goshen Park department used the Goggle Trekker to map the major trails in Goshen, including all of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. The results are available for use in Google Maps. Google Trekker allows you to see any part of the trail you choose. You can move the “trail view” along the trail by manipulating an arrow.  Follow …

2018 Annual Friends of the Pumpkinivine dinner

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

On April 24, we had our 17th annual Friends of the Pumpkinvine dinner at the Crystal Ballroom of the Lerner Theater in downtown Elkhart. It was the first time we had the dinner in Elkhart. Previously, we had rotated the dinners between Goshen, Middlebury and Shipshewana. Around 280 attended the dinner — about what we’ve had in previous years. I …

The floods of February 2018 and the Pumpkinvine

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

Elkhart County experience record floods from the Elkhart River and other bodies of water in February, but the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail excaped major damage. Between County Road 35 and County Road 37 there is a low spot that was covered for a distance of over 150 feet, but in a few days, that water receded. That’s at least the second …

A printed newsletter

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

Every time a new physically printed Friends of the Pumpkinvine newsletter comes out, I ask myself if printing a hard copy of a newsletter is still a good idea? It is expensive to design, print and mail, and I see that other trail groups send out electronic newsletters. I know of only one other trail in Indiana that prints a …

Soft trail section

jdyoder Pumpkinvine News

From January to April, the crushed-limestone section of the PV from SR 4 to CR 28 is soft and as a result, becomes quite rutted from the bikes that ride the trail. Riding on it when it is this moist put a coat of dust on your bike frame, chain, derailleur, wheels, and usually your legs as well. And the …

The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail effect

jdyoder From the President

I’ve lost track of the number of community meetings I’ve attended where the speakers praised trails like the Pumpkinvine as an important element in improving the quality of life in a community, along with good schools, meaningful jobs and a strong business community. One such meeting was at the Lerner Theatre several years ago when the president of the Community …