The official opening and ribbon cutting for the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail between Middlebury and Shipshewana will be held Tuesday, September 20 at 1: 30 p.m. at the intersection of the trail and County Road 900 W. just north of County Road 250 N. Parking is available at Lifegate Church at the corner of 250 N and 900 W.
Bob Carrico, Larry Neff, Myron Yoder, Jim Smith, John Yoder, Norm Kauffmann, Chet Peachey, Mike Bontrager
Officials from the Town of Shipshewana, Middlebury, Elkhart County Parks, Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc., and the Indiana Department of Transportation, will participate in the ribbon cutting. Anyone interested in the trail is invited to attend.
The construction of this six-mile section of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, which nearly doubles the current developed portions of the trail, was a coordinated effort of Elkhart County Parks and the Town of Shipshewana. The engineering-consulting firm was DLZ Indiana, LLC, and the contractor was Walsh & Kelly, Inc. Funding came from Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds, with the local match coming from the Town of Shipshewana, Elkhart County Parks, and the value of the land donated by the Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc.
The Middlebury-Shipshewana portion of the trail has a small gap from York Street and State Road 13 to east of the Dairy Queen in Middlebury that will hopefully be finished in 2012 or 2013. Other sections scheduled for completion in 2012 include the 1.2-miles from Wayne St. to US 20 and a 1.2-mile section between County Road 37 and County Road 35.
When all phases are completed, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail will connect Goshen, Middlebury and Shipshewana with a linear park 17 miles long. In Goshen, it will also connect to the 10-mile long MapleHeart Trail to Elkhart.