Bikes n’ Brews
Is there anything more relaxing than a countryside bike ride on a nice day with a beer or two along the way? Here in Elkhart County we know how to pair our bikes n’ brews. Check out our three trail and brewery pairing recommendations.
All three of these routes (and more!) are covered in the new, user-friendly Biking and Walking in Elkhart County 2017 Trail Guide. In this guide, you’ll see more trails and breweries, including a trail that connects all three breweries mentioned below. Happy Biking!
Millrace Canal Trail + Goshen Brewing
Goshen has over 30 miles of pedestrian/bike paths and trails, seven parks, a vibrant downtown, and lovingly-preserved historic district.
See page 28 in the Biking and Walking in Elkhart County 2017 Trail Guide. Download turn-by-turn directions at HTadventures.com.
Enjoy the natural beauty and historic neighborhoods of Goshen on this 5.3-mile loop. You’ll travel the length of the Millrace Canal Trail passing woods, parks, and charming bridges. This pretty, popular crushed limestone trail runs alongside the Millrace Canal for 2 miles and ends at the Dam Pond. At the Dam Pond, you can lock your bikes by motherlode roof racks and walk the Shoup Parsons trail – a self-guided nature trail.
Then you’ll bike through the Goshen College campus, and return to downtown through a picturesque maple-lined neighborhood. End your tour with a cold beer on Goshen Brewing Company’s patio. Walk over to The Chief ice cream stand for dessert.
Stops: Dam Pond, Goshen Brewing Company, and The Chief.
Handily located .3 miles from the entrance to the Millrace Canal Trail. Offers bike rentals (helmets included) and repairs. Call ahead, make a reservation and ask about group rates.
Goshen Brewing Company
Go in, order food at the window, beer at the bar, and then go pick a table on their patio, hands down the most relaxing spot in Goshen.
The Beer: Owner/Head Brewer Jesse Sensenig brews all the beer on-site. Choose from 11 beers on-tap, like the Millrace Hefe, a light, cloudy crisp German Hefeweizen with notes of banana, wheat and a touch of clove spice, the Circuit Breaker, a full-bodied DIPA with citrus and honey, and the Muddy Derailleur, an imperial oatmeal stout, with a nice, warming finish.
The Food: Chef Jesse Shoemaker’s passion for southern-style comfort food and savory asian flavors make for a crowd-pleasing menu. GBCo (as it’s known to locals) works with local farmers to use as much organic meat and produce as possible. Those farmers (and their kids – it’s family friendly!) eat here weekly. Try the Pulled Pork Sandwich (smoked pork shoulder, spicy Caroline barbecue sauce and fennel slaw) with a side of fries and comeback sauce.
GBCo’s Sunday brunch fried chicken and waffles are sublime. Available Sundays 11am-2pm for as long as they last.
Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 3pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-8pm
315 W. Washington St, Goshen
Indoor and Outdoor seating. D.I.Y. bike repair station.
Food-allergy friendly, not many vegan options.
Grab a post-ride ice cream cone at The Chief, Goshen’s hometown ice cream stand, a staple of sunny afternoons and post-game celebrations. They offer many hand-dipped flavors and sundaes, with picnic table seating in the back. Located right next to Lincoln Ave. Cycling & Fitness.
Downtown Goshen: From Goshen Brewing Co., it’s just a 5-minute walk to Goshen’s historic downtown, home to their 1870 County Courthouse, classic and trendy shops, coffee houses, concert venues, and restaurants.
Olympia Candy Kitchen, a diner with polished wooden booths and its original 1912 soda fountain, is as old-timey and charming as it gets.
And JoJo’s Pretzels, on the corner of Main and Washington, is a great place to take a break with a homemade soft pretzel and root beer float.
If you’re there between May 30-October 20th – be sure to see the Seward Johnson life-sized bronze sculptures and Quilt Garden.
The Goshen Historical Society is also on Main St.; check out their Lincoln Highway presentation.
River Greenway and RiverWalk Trail + Iechyd Da Brewing
Elkhart is a great place to spend a day biking along riverways and in their many parks and gardens. Paths in Elkhart can connect you to performing arts at the Lerner Theatre, history at the restored Ruthmere homes and gardens, relaxation at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens, and educational programs at the Elkhart Environmental Center.
See pages 26 and 34 in the Biking and Walking in Elkhart County 2017 Trail Guide. Download turn-by-turn directions at HTadventures.com.
This 6.7-mile loop starts at the Elkhart Environmental Center and follows the River Greenway Trail through urban forest to Studebaker park. Then it takes you to historic downtown Elkhart where you get on the art-filled RiverWalk Trail. From there you can go to Island Park and then bike to Wellfield Botanic Gardens where you can explore on foot their lush 36 acres and 20 individually-designed gardens. Unlock your bikes and head back to downtown for cold beer and hot pizza on Iechyd Da’s patio.
Stops: Elkhart Environmental Center, Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Iechyd Da Brewing Company
Elkhart Bicycle Shop
Just a block off the RiverWalk, Elkhart Bicycle Shop takes walk-in repairs and carries all the bike maps you’ll need. No rentals.
Over 20 individually designed and themed gardens. Free maps available at the Visitor’s Cottage. No biking inside the garden. Adults $5, Kids 3-12 $3, kids under 3 are free.
Iechyd da (yah-key-da) is a Welsh toast that means “Good Health!” This brew pub on Main St. in downtown Elkhart is run by local couple Chip and Summer Lewis – the name is a tribute to Chip’s Welsh heritage and the dragon logo is from his family crest. Order food and beer at the bar and kick back with friends. With a feel-good playlist, board games, cozy indoor seating, and an airy patio, it feels like what it is, a great neighborhood pub.
The Beer: Chip, who describes himself as “the love child of Mr. Wizard and Betty Crocker,” brews all the beer onsite. They have a wide variety of beers. The tap list is seasonal and varies from easy drinking English Milds to hoppy American IPAs. Try the Local Blonde, Devil’s Bridge Hoppy Brown, Breakfast Cookies Stout, or their housemade ginger soda and root beer.
The Food: The pizzas, hot pretzels, dips and specials are made in-house by their crew. The 12-inch pizzas have a thin crust and stellar topping combinations. It’s hard not to order the Kidwelly pizza every time – with its rosemary oil, ham, smoked gouda, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar – it’s a savory tangy-sweet charmer. If you’re looking for a snack, you can’t go wrong with their housemade soft pretzels with house beer cheese or beer mustard.
Elkhart Walking Tours: Experienced local guides lead you to the landmarks and share amazing stories of rivalry, bravery and intrigue. Try the Kings of the Hill tour in the Beardsley Avenue Historic District, or the Taste Makers & Risk Takers tour in downtown Elkhart.
Ruthmere Mansion tours and Coffee on the Piazza Free coffee and live music in the mansion’s gardens every Saturday in June, July and August from 10am to noon.
Epic Art Adventures: Go downtown this May 30 – October 20 to check out the 2017 Quilt Gardens, and the (touchable!) public art display of bronze life-sized sculptures by Seward Johnson.
Pumpkinvine Nature Trail + Wedgewood Brewing & 41° North
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail stretches from Goshen to Middlebury and on to Shipshewana, following a reclaimed railroad bed. This section of the railroad earned the local nickname “Pumpkinvine” because of its many twists and turns. The broad, impeccably groomed pathway has few hills and is perfect for all types of bikes and bikers. As you bike past farms and corn fields you’ll see wildflowers, wildlife and farm animals.
See page 32 in the Biking and Walking in Elkhart County 2017 Trail Guide. Download turn-by-turn directions at HTadventures.com.
This 3.8-mile loop starts at the Essenhaus and takes Ridge Run Trail and the Pumpkinvine through Middlebury to Krider World’s Fair Garden. Take your time to relax and explore the charms of Krider Garden before you head downtown to Wedgewood Brewing Company, Middlebury’s nanobrewery. Follow it all up with a homestyle meal at 41° North, and then take the Wayne Street Trail back to the Essenhaus.
Stops: Krider World’s Fair Garden, Wedgewood Brewing Company, 41° North
Note: Ridge Run Trail is a new extension off the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail that’s scheduled to open in June 2017.
Pumpkinvine Cyclery to Shipshewana and back
Park at Pumpkinvine Cyclery and take the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail all the way to Shipshewana. First, you’ll pass an RV factory, and then it’s all beautiful farmland and farms the rest of the way, bordered on both sides by shady trees. Once you get to the end of the Pumpkinvine, it’s a short jog to Shipshewana’s restaurants and the Shipshewana Auction and Flea market about .6 miles of on-road biking. When you’re ready to go back to Middlebury, take the Pumpkinvine back to Pumpkinvine Cyclery. From there, you can bike or drive to Wedgewood Brewery and 41° North – it’s a straight shot down Main Street for about .8 miles.
Abshire Park Goshen to downtown Middlebury and back
Park at the Pumpkinvine access point in Abshire Park on Lincoln Ave. in Goshen. Take the Pumpkinvine all the way to downtown Middlebury through shaded canopies and rolling farmland. Stop at Wedgewood Brewing Co. and 41° North. Bike back to Goshen via the Pumpkinvine.
Located right on the Pumpkinvine Nature Trail in Middlebury. Hourly and daily bike rentals of flat bar hybrids, child trailers and fat bikes. Rentals include a helmet and lock. For groups of 5 or more, please call ahead for reservations and availability.
Parking and bike rentals are available to the public. Rent bikes from the Mini Golf building across from the restaurant. Rentals include a local map with marked routes, helmets, locks and a removable basket. They have a limited number of bikes – call ahead to check on availability. Rentals available May – September, depending on weather.
The Essenhaus restaurant serves homestyle Amish classics like beef and noodles, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and over 30 kinds of homemade pies (including raspberry chocolate cream). They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offer three dining options: menu, family-style, and buffet. After your meal, browse their five unique Village Shops located in original farm outbuildings: The Quilt Shop, The Clothesline, The Corn Crib, The Cabin, and Dutch Country Gifts. Before you leave, swing by the bakery to pick up some edible souvenirs.
240 US-20, Middlebury, IN 46540
Krider “World’s Fair” Garden
Krider Garden is a living tribute to the Krider family’s world-famous nursery at the height of its creative powers. This charming two-level garden is home to Middlebury’s Quilt Gardens, Seward Johnson sculpture Far Out, the world’s first thornless rose, giant toadstool sculptures, a miniature windmill, and a historic trestle bridge. Great for kids and adults.
Wedgewood Brewing Co. is a nanobrewery and tap house in downtown Middlebury. Try the Yippee IPA MF, an Imperial/Double IPA, Big Wood Smoked IPA, an American IPA often available in dry and wet hopped, and the Red Red Rye, a ruby red beer with notes of pine hops and rye.
For food, go right next door to 41° North is a cross between a Midwest diner and a trendy brew pub. It’s comfy, fun, family-friendly and has an exposed-brick wall showcasing their recently-uncovered antique mural. There’s no better way to enjoy downtown Middlebury.
The Beer: They’ve got 14 beers on draft, a cocktail menu, and an impressive selection of bottles. With a solid beer list featuring local and national favorites, like Bells and Lagunitas, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.
The Food: It’s pure homestyle – their farm-fresh salads come topped with croutons and freshly-grated Colby cheese on a real glass salad plate. Locals come here to get their burger fix and pay the extra $1.50 for the thick crinkle-cut sweet potato fries. Entrees come with the vegetable of the day and feature locally-sourced steak, tilapia, and chicken. Their desserts, like whoopie pies and crème de menthe cake, are homemade and change daily. Try the fried pickles with homemade ranch and the Ringer burger (steak burger topped with onion rings, housemade BBQ, muenster, and bacon).
More Amish Country please! Take the Pumpkinvine through rolling Amish farmland to downtown Shipshewana – grab a bite at Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery, check out the famous Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market, shop at Yoder’s Department Store and Yoder’s Meat and Cheese. See pages 30-31 in Elkhart County Biking and Walking Guide.
Ice Cream: Stop off at the Dairy Queen right across the street from Pumpkinvine Cyclery, or drive up the road and get a flurry Yup’s Dairyland (no trail access, busy road).
Middlebury Walking Tours: Check out the downtown Middlebury guided tour Gangsters, Saloons, and Buggies on Roofs, and the Krider Gardens guided tour Giant Toadstools and the World’s Fair.
Epic Art Adventures: Don’t miss this giant public art display of life-sized, (touchable!) bronze sculptures in downtown Middlebury and all over Elkhart County from May 30 – October 20, 2017.
Downtown Middlebury: shopping, coffee, outdoor art exhibits, pie…it has it all.