GOSHEN — Sunny skies and warm temperatures made for perfect conditions for walkers to take to the trails Saturday morning for the 11th annual Maple City Walk.
More than 70 people registered for the walk, hosted by Downtown Goshen Inc., where they had a choice of walking a marathon, half marathon or 10K.
The route started on the Monroe Trail on the Maple City Greenway and featured the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail as the core of the course.
Julia Gautsche, chair of the planning committee, said the Maple City Walk is one of only two long-distance walks in Indiana, the other being the Cardinal Greenway’s National Trails Day walk in Muncie.
The purpose of the event, Gautsche said, is to highlight the Maple City Greenway (the pedestrian trail that connects the homes, parks schools, the library and downtown area), the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail and to encourage walking for health.
“A lot of people ride the Pumpkinvine, but when they walk it, they see entirely different things and I think it’s because our trail system is so nice,” Gautsche said. “Goshen is a very walkable community and it connects the Maple Heart, the Pumpkinvine and the Winona Interurban Trail and I think a lot of walkers just want to get out in the trails and enjoy the scenery.”
Gautsche said the annual walk is family friendly and the turnout is usually dependent upon weather.
This year 36 walkers completed the 10K, 28 completed the half-marathon and seven completed the marathon walk.
“Luckily the weather is great today,” Gautsche said. “We have everyone from toddlers in strollers to someone that is 87 years old.”
The walk is non-competitive but is timed.
Each participant who completed the walk received a unique Maple City Walk medal and were entered into a drawing for a free pair of walking shoes from Woldruff’s Footwear and Apparel.
Sponsors for the event were Everence, Community Foundation of Elkhart County, WNIT, Cripe Septic Cleaning Service, Elkhart County Parks and Recreation Department, Friends of the Pumpkinvine, Goshen Parks and Recreation Department, Hawkins Water Tech, Kercher’s Sunrise Market, Maple City Market, Woldruff’s Footwear and Apparel.