When complete, the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail will cover 16 miles (with small segments on-road) between Goshen and Shipshewana. An additional 9 miles of trail will link Goshen with Elkhart via the MapleHeart Trail
. The railroad line between Goshen and Middlebury was a popular passenger route at the turn of the 20th century, and its numerous curves and turns led to its nickname after the rambling pumpkin vine. The trail links urban areas, small towns and agricultural communities throughout one of Indiana's largest Amish communities.
The 5-mile trail starts in downtown Goshen, a small Midwestern town, close to the existing active rail line. In the first 0.25 mile you will encounter interpretive signs explaining the railroading history of the area you are traveling through. A restored railroad viaduct carries you across a small creek and into a quaint neighborhood. A second bridge, equally well preserved, is a short distance ahead.
After the trail crosses State Route 4 at a crosswalk it immediately rolls into a wooded area on its way to Abshire Park, which makes for a nice rest area. A playground and restroom facilities, as well as an outdoor skating rink, sledding hill and warming hut, provide ample activities in every season.
When the trail crosses Route 4 again, the surface changes to hard-packed crushed limestone for 1.75 miles to CR 28. The remaining miles are beautiful, enveloped in a thick forest of maple and oak trees. Colorful wildflowers bloom along the trail in spring.
There is a short (1.7 miles) segment on road northeast of the northern terminus (at CR 33) after which you can pick up the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail Middlebury
To the Goshen trailhead from Highway 15 south, take a left on Oakridge Avenue and go one block; turn right onto 5th Street. The trailhead is just under 0.5 mile ahead on the left just before the active railroad tracks. From U.S. Route 33 heading north, turn right onto 5th St. and follow the above directions.
To reach the Abshire Park trailhead from the Goshen trailhead, head south on 5th St. and turn left on East Lincoln Avenue. The trailhead is on the right.
For more information see the local map
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail begins at the south end on State Road 4 on Goshen's east side. The first 1.75 miles are crushed limestone and the next 3.3 miles is asphalt. The trail is tree lined and shady in the limestone section and a mixture of trees ...