Trails in Indiana

Trails Trials and Tribulations - Pumkinvine Nature Trail


John Yoder and Larry Neff, president and vice president of the Friends of Pumpkinvine Trail, talk about the 20 plus years of challenges and successes in acquiring and constructing this 16 mile trail. Today, their new goal is to insure long term sustainability of the Punpkinvine Nature Trail.

Time Length: 
24 minutes
Goshen (Elkhart)



Determination, time, partners, a vision, and then a plan are needed for any worthwhile project. It is no different when building a trail or a system of trails. Most times it is not easy either. John Yoder and Larry Neff of the Friends of Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Goshen, Indiana can attest to the challenges but also the rewards for a well done project. In their video interview with the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council they describe the lengthy process and challenges involved in the realization of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail. He characterizes the finished trail as a “small miracle” because of the many, often legal challenges encountered and the number of ‘partners’ who stepped up to facilitate trail completion. Their rewards include having Goshen designated a Bicycle Friendly City by the League of American Bicyclists, joining only four other cities in Indiana---Bloomington, Carmel, Indianapolis/Marion County, South Bend---because of their “remarkable commitment to promoting bicycling.

Beginning more than twenty years ago with a vision of a city-wide trail and greenway system connecting people, schools, parks, nature and the commercial districts; they hired Kevin Osburn of Rundell Ernstberger Associates, Inc. to design a comprehensive plan for the walkable, bicycle friendly system. Called the Maple City Greenway, it has spawned several trails that connect the downtown district, including the Central City, Mill Race Canal, Wilden Avenue, Winona Interurban, Plymouth Avenue, Shanklin Park/Mullet Park and Shoup-Parsons Woods Nature Trails. In addition, the beautiful and almost completed Pumpkinvine Nature Trail links Goshen to Middlebury and Shipshewana. The recently completed Mapleheart Trail extends northwest to the town of Elkhart, Indiana, providing regional connectivity in northern Indiana. Together with its people, arts and culture Goshen has become a destination city in northern Indiana for visitors and new residents.

Article by Tina Jones