PUMPKINVINE DELIVERS COLORFUL CRUISING
Just as songbirds birds begin to head south, bicyclists head to Amish Country for colorful cruising. Clear, brisk days paired with brilliant foliage make autumn the season to cycle. The meandering Pumpkinvine Nature Trail (once a passenger railroad line) with nearly 26 miles of gentle inclines and separation from car traffic is ideal for every age and skill level. Pass under canopies of vividly colored trees. Pedal by working Amish farmsteads and schoolhouses. See golden draft horses grazing in the fields. Take a lunch break in one of the friendly hometowns along the route. And be sure to stop at a nearby farm stand, orchard or pumpkin patch to bring home the taste and treats of autumn too.
A SHORT RIDE LONG ON FALL PLEASURES
Take a fall break along the 6 mile stretch of the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail connecting the Northern Indiana Amish Country towns of Middlebury and Shipshewana (approximately 12 miles round-trip). The paved path is as easy-going as the surrounding countryside and popular with the many local Amish families who travel the route. Pause and watch Amish farmers skillfully maneuver teams of massive draft horses and cows lounging on hillsides enjoying the warmth of the autumn sunshine. And don’t be surprised to see camels languidly grazing in a trailside field – a local farmer raises them for milk. A short detour off the route leads to the Amish owned Dutch Country Market or Heritage Ridge Creamery to pick-up autumn favorites and award-winning cheese. Both shops are located on Country Road 16 just south of the trail. Just remember Amish businesses are closed on Sundays. Back in Middlebury, ice-cream at the Dairy Queen is a fun indulgence at the end of the ride.