It’s October! The weather is beautiful! The leaves are falling! Ride your bike!!
Last week I plugged the benefits of the KRV trail in Kalamazoo, which is amazing but is a bit of a hike away. An even prettier trail is much closer: Pumpkinvine. The Pumpkinvine trail runs from Goshen through Middlebury to Shipshewana and surrounding areas. It is an extraordinarily well-maintained biking/hiking/walking trail—primarily asphalt with a few spots of packed dirt and occasional short detours on country roads and small town streets. It mostly winds through quiet farms and wooded areas. You’ll see horses and cows and plenty of horse-drawn buggies from local Amish and Mennonite families. There are places to stop off for water or ice cream enroute, including the aptly named Pumpkinvine Cafe.
How to get on the trail? There is easy parking for the trailhead at Abshire Park in Goshen, about a 40 minute drive from South Bend. A ten mile ride out will take you to Middlebury, covering a beautiful section of the trail and giving you some great exercise—especially because you’ll need to go ten miles back to your car. But there is plenty to see even just a few miles down the trail. At a few points the trail is covered by country roads, so wear bright clothing and keep an eye out for cars and horse-drawn buggies.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a fall afternoon than taking a quiet ride, run or walk down the Pumpkinvine.