The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is almost complete - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is almost complete


It's a project that's taken over 20 years, but two spots along the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail are under construction now, the last two funded legs of the project.

It's a project that locals are getting excited about.

"We ride it regularly, once maybe twice a week through the summer," says biker Bruce Rink. He says he and his wife expect to spend a lot of time on the Pumpkinvine Trail. "We enjoy it, it's beautiful and it's just the right length. It's a little over 16 miles from Goshen to Shipshewana and it gives you good exercise."

The president of Friends of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail, John Yoder says this trail has been a vision of many folks since 1989. "We thought this would be a great opportunity to promote an alternative mode of transportation, mainly bicycling."

He says the project has many phases and right now the focus is on two Middlebury spots. "These are two big gaps that needed to be closed."

One of the spots will navigate bikers past Dairy Queen in downtown Middlebury and the other area under construction is a path going under State Road 13. "It's like a big jigsaw puzzle, there have been pieces put together, pieces developed in various sections along the route at various times," says Yoder.

Yoder says both projects will be done by fall. "After 23 years, it's very exciting to see these coming together. It's a fulfillment of a dream we had many years ago."

And it's a dream that locals say they're taking advantage of.

"I use it about every other day. I walk and bike, it keeps you in shape," says Randy Hooley.

"Very, very nice to have a trail like this in our backyard," says Rink.

While areas are under construction, there are detours for bikers who still want to ride the entire trail.

If you don't like to ride along, the 2013 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride will take place June 15. To register for the event click here.

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