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The Indiana DNR, Next Level Trails (NLT) and the Town of Shipshewana opened the recently completed Pumpkinvine Trail extension in Shipshewana on May 6. 

The 0.97-mile asphalt multi-use trail was constructed by the town with help from a $953,482 Next Level Trails grant.

“Trails are a vital investment in our communities across the Hoosier State,” said Dan Bortner, DNR director. “The DNR is proud to partner with towns like Shipshewana to complete this major trail extension. Shipshewana should be proud too, as this is the first Round 2 project to open.”

The completed project extends the trail east into Shipshewana from its previous terminus outside of County Road 850 W. It follows North Street and ends in North Park, eliminating the prior on-road connection into town and improving access to residential neighborhoods and the downtown business district. 

The Pumpkinvine Trail now forms a regional trail network by connecting the towns of Shipshewana, Middlebury, and Goshen. At Goshen, the Pumpkinvine intersects with the Maple City Greenway and Maple Heart Trail, which travel north to Elkhart. The network totals 25 miles of trail between the four communities. 

“Trails are essential in a community for families to get out and enjoy themselves,” said Bob Shanahan, Shipshewana town manager. “This extension will help our town grow and improve the quality of place for current and future residents.

“This would not have been possible without the Next Level Trails grant, so we are thankful to the DNR who helped make this project come to life.”

As part of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections initiative, NLT is the largest infusion of trails funding in state history. The $150 million program is administered by the DNR and facilitates critical trail connections within and between Hoosier communities.
The Town of Shipshewana was awarded funding for the Pumpkinvine Trail extension as part of the second round of NLT, which Gov. Holcomb announced in March 2021. 

Including the Pumpkinvine Trail Extension, nine NLT projects are complete, totaling 23.6 miles of trail. 

More information about the NLT can be found at on.IN.gov/NextLevelTrails.

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