Pumpkinvine Trail

Pumpkinvine Trail

The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is a beautiful trail that runs through Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, and Shipshewana, in northern Indiana.  You can bike it, walk it, or just do parts of the trail, like we did!Kid riding on Pumpkinvine TrailFamily at the Start of Pumpkinvine Trail

The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is named after the railroad that once went through the area. Part of the current trail is in the same vicinity of the original track. The rail route was called the Pumpkinvine because of the many twists and turns between Goshen and Middlebury.


We started the trail in Goshen, after renting a tandem bicycle at a bike shop about 2 miles from the trail head at Abshire Park.  We only rode about 5 of the current 17 miles and then turned around, because it was going to get dark.  They have plans to connect more of the trail to make it a total of 25 miles eventually.    

Much of the trail goes through gorgeous countryside. You can see Amish and English Farms, animals, forested areas, and small towns.  The trail is marked well and has maps and occasional bathrooms/port-a-potties.  We saw many other people along the trail. There were mostly people riding bicycles.  No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail. The majority of the people were exercising or just out for a nice ride, like us.  Some Amish children rode along on their way home from school, and several Amish families were using the trail as well.  We rode the trail in August.  Everything was green and incredibly gorgeous!

All of the towns that the Pumpkin Vine Nature Trail goes through are great places to stop.  They are all very bicycle friendly too!  Many Amish people ride bikes, so there are usually bike racks and access paths, if you decide to detour in a town and get a bite to eat, or check out a tourist place. The trail can be picked up anywhere along the way, so it would be easy to do just a portion at a time.

The portion of the Pumpkinvine trail that we were on was very easy.  There were no major hills or busy streets.  Our 7 year old had no trouble at all.  Our 5 year old had a little bit of a hard time keeping up with us at times. Mainly because his bike is so little, and didn’t have adjustable gears.  His kept saying his little legs were tired!  But, he kept going!  Between the oncoming darkness and the little one’s legs getting tired, that’s why we quit when we did.  We all agreed that we want to go back in the fall to see the beautiful trees!