Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Black-Eyed Susan along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Friday, May 25, 2012

Liveability article

This article in the New York Times gives a great rationale for making cities more walkable and bikeable.

Now Coveted: A Walkable, Convenient Place

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Writing for Friends newsletter

I'm looking for writers and photographers who would like to contribute stories to the Friends newsletter. Send me an email at, if you are interested. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Thresher's Dinner Ride, June 15

Enjoy a leisurely bike ride to an Old Order Amish home for a sample of real Amish cooking. This family-style meal includes: roast beef, chicken, homemade bread, apple butter, real mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade noodles, vegetables, salad with homemade dressing, surprise, desert pie, and coffee.

Other important information about this ride:
·         You must also be registered for the Saturday Pumpkinvine Bike Ride. Register at . Either download the registration form or register online.
·         You must registered by May 31, 2012 (no late registrations accepted).
·         You can choose to start your ride from Abshire Park or the Shipshewana Flea Market. The ride from Abshire Park will start at 4:45 pm and the ride from Shipshewana Flea Market will start at 5:15 pm.
·         Distances are 24 miles, round trip, from Abshire Park and 16 miles, round trip, from Shipshewana.
·         Return will be before dark.
·         You will ride in several small groups.
·         Price per person: $24 (includes tax and tip). Children six and under are $12.
·         You should be able to ride for an hour at 10 mph to attempt this ride.
·         The last half mile before Miller's Country Kitchen is on a hard-packed, gravel road.
·         If you wear cleated shoes you must remove them for dinner to prevent damage to the linoleum floors.
·         In case of rain we will drive to dinner. Parking is limited so we will car pool.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dame's Rocket along the Pumpkinvine

This last week saw the start of the annual Dame's Rocket display along the Pumpkinvine. In past years it has be mainly between CR 28 and SR 4. This year there is also a lot of it south of SR 4 along Rock Run Creek.
Here are stills. Dame's Rocket. Of course, Dame's Rocket is an invasive species, but since it's here, we may as well enjoy its color.

Here's a 30-second video of Dame's Rocket

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Historical tour of the Pumpkinvine

Bristol – Take a historical biking tour of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail at 10 AM on May 12, 2012. Join Elkhart County Historical Museum director Matthew Schuld for a leisurely ride along the former railroad route, and learn about how it contributed to the history of Goshen and Elkhart County. The tour will begin at Oakridge Park in Goshen on the Corner of First Street and Oakridge Avenue. Riders will be guided east on the Maple Heart Trail and then onto the Pumpkinvine Trail. Along the approximately 4.5 mile round trip route, tour goers will hear about the significance of historic sites and buildings that line the trail. The trip should last about one-hour.

What today is known as the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail was created in 1888 when the Canada and St. Louis Railroad Company connected Middlebury and Goshen. The track was originally intended to be part of a larger route connecting Bay City, Michigan, to Danville, Illinois. Like many small railroads during this period, the company quickly failed due to legal and financial problems. Soon after, the rapidly expanding Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Company purchased the track and made the Pumpkinvine Line viable. A great number of businesses and passengers took advantage of the railroad line which earned the nickname “Pumpkinvine” as a result of its many winding turns. The Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, Inc. purchased the right-a-way in 1993 and worked to ensure that it would become a publicly accessible trail.

The tour will focus primarily on sites in Goshen with a future tour expected to leave from another point along the trail in Middlebury. “We will address the many ways that the railroad affected the growth and development of Elkhart County,” said museum director Matthew Schuld. “At one time this railroad served some of Goshen’s largest manufacturers. The places we’ll pass also tell a larger story about the changing nature of our economy, cities, and transportation demands,” Schuld added.

The tour is free, and riders of all skill levels are welcome. Please contact the Elkhart County Historical Museum at 574-848-4322 or for more information.

About the Elkhart County Historical Museum
The Elkhart County Historical Museum fosters appreciation and preservation of local history and culture through exhibits, educational programs, and an accessible library and archives.
The museum’s regular hours are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday.  There is no charge for admission, but donations are accepted.  For more information, please call the museum at (574) 848-4322.  The museum is located at 304 W. Vistula (SR 120) in Bristol.

Friends of the Pumpkinvine cycling jersey

We are happy to announce the first Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail cycling jersey featuring themes from the trail. You can order a jersey from our website: Pumpkinvine jersey They will be available for sale or pick up in the registration area of the June 16 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride in Goshen or Shipshewana or by mail for an additional $6 shipping fee. Cost of the jersey is $62.