The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in northern Indiana is about an hour's drive south of Kalamazoo. Last summer we rode a section near Goshen. A few days ago, we rode from Middlebury to Shipshewana, in the heart of Indiana's Amish community.
In Middlebury, there was plenty of parking available at the Town Hall and some spots available at the neighboring Dairy Queen. The trail segment started from the Dairy Queen parking lot on a gravel path marked only by the restaurant's "Drive Thru" sign. Except for a short gravel section at the beginning, the trail was smoothly paved with asphalt.
The ride to Shipshewana was relatively short, about six miles, through pretty countryside. Windmills and draft horses signaled an Amish farm. Most of the non-Amish farms seemed to have satellite dishes. All of the farms were small scale, so the scenery changed frequently as we rode past: some cows, some corn, horses, woods, and pastures. One farm even had camels.
The trail ended just before Shipshewana, so we rode the few blocks into town on County Road 250 which had a separate lane for buggies and bikes.
Shipshewana itself is a big tourist destination, so there were plenty of options for a mid-ride snack. Shipshewana does have a parking lot designated for the Pumpkinvine Trail with small signs directing riders through town to the trail.
The Maple City Walk, on the Pumpkinvine Trail out of Goshen, will be Saturday, September 29, 2012
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.