Indiana : Safety by City
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- Fort Wayne
- Michigan City
- Santa Claus
- South Bend
- Terre Haute
- Winona Lake
Make like a maple tree and “leaf” for Goshen, Indiana, whenever you’d like.
“The Maple City”, as it is known, has a plethora of maple tree-lined streets and outdoor spaces to channel your inner adventurer, artist, environmentalist, and entrepreneur.
This northern Indiana city is the smaller of the cities in the Elkhart-Gosen region.
Due to its proximity to Michigan, this area is also referred to as Michiana.
The Elkhart River twists and turns on a north/south path through the city and is home to nearly 35,000 people in a diverse community.
Latino/Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asians make up 37% of the residents here.
That leads to a diverse food and arts scene with an inclusive environment for visitors.
This part of Indiana has strong Amish communities that live on the outskirts or rural parts of the cities here.
You’ll see horses and buggies as much as you’ll see a semi-truck on the way to Chicago or Indianapolis.
No matter what season you visit Goshen, there are things to do.
Winter brings ice sculpture contests and winter fairs.
The weekly farmer’s market doesn’t stop just because it’s cold outside.
Nearly two dozen bands played their first stage in Goshen.
The city is highly dedicated to being a green community, producing its own local food, and managing the weather hazards that exist in a city with such a powerful river flowing through it.
Whether you want hand-churned ice cream or one of the best tacos on this side of the Mexican border, Goshen has a little something for everyone’s food palette, too.
Warnings & Dangers in Goshen
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There's a medium risk in Goshen because of increasing crime rates. By mid-2022, the city experienced 19 gun violence crimes. Four deaths have even been attributed to gun violence, which is a major increase from the one homicide reported in 2020. It's not too dangerous to visit here, and there are definitely more dangerous cities, but there's just a tough crime trend brewing in this community.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
The Interurban Trolley is the bus system throughout Elkhart County. You can get a day pass for $3 or a 14-day pass for $18. There's a mobile app where you can search routes and pay for fares. Taxis and rideshares are available too but might be a little slower than in big cities. Having a car would be ideal here.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
The crime data reported to the FBI is a little all over the place and some categories are empty while others have no reporting until as far back as 2018. So, we're playing off the cuff here and going with what we know is happening in 2022. There have been reports of purse snatching at a local park and thefts from stores. Shoplifting is one of the biggest theft crimes. There's a low risk it will happen to you, but you should always keep your wallet and purse secured in a place where it's not easy for a thief to grab and run.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
This area can get winter snowstorms and ice storms, and flooding along the river from ice jams. Summer thunderstorms can bring tornadoes and more flooding to the city. 2018 brought one of the worst floods Goshen has ever seen and the city took immediate proactive steps to keep the community from experiencing a disaster like that again. Because of all the potential here, it's a medium risk and you have to stay weather aware while visiting.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
With growing gun violence and recent reports of a shooting outside a convenience store and an auto dealership owner stabbed to death while giving a test drive, we have to give this a medium risk. There's a ruthlessness in the crimes making headlines in Goshen recently.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk of a terror attack. The biggest threats are coming from criminals within the community and county. This is a small city and terrorists generally prefer to target large population areas.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The most recent scam reported by police is one where people pretending to be police officers or firefighters ask to take pictures of children as part of a safety initiative. This is certainly not anything associated with a legitimate agency. There are some other common phone spoofing scams. As long as you are vigilant and use common sense when approached by anyone wanting money, help, or to take pictures, you should have a low risk.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
In June 2022, a woman was walking down one of the main roads in Goshen, on her way to work, when she was sexually assaulted. This kind of crime shows how important it is to not be walking alone, especially if you aren't familiar with this area. There's a medium risk here for women with the growing crime trends and the randomness of some recent crimes reported.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The water quality report from 2022 shows no violations for the city of Goshen. The only time you should be extra concerned about tap water is when flooding happens, as this can lead to sewage leaks or issues at water quality treatment plants.
Safest Places to Visit in Goshen
Goshen’s downtown is a vibrant area, with restaurants, shops, bars, art displays, and fitness businesses.
Some of the pedestrian alleys have been improved to showcase murals instead of being the traditional dangerous alleys you’re told to avoid.
This is also where farmer’s markets and First Friday community events are held throughout the year.
Goshen has 15 historic districts to visit with stately homes holding onto rich architecture from the town’s early years.
The museum is located downtown.
You should ask for a map of the historic districts so you know where it’s safe to drive around and which areas to avoid.
The Reith Interpretive Center is located in Shanklin Park, which is surrounded by the river on both sides.
There are trails here to explore and an outdoor pool in the summer.
You can learn about the environmental actions the city is taking and bird watching is another amenity on the trails here.
If you start in Mullet Park, you can walk over the river to get to Shanklin Park.
Shoup-Parsons Woods Park is right by Goshen Dam with stunning views of the water flowing, a boardwalk over wetlands, and interpretive trails that are easy to navigate.
The Quilt Gardens Trail is a unique experience in Elkhart County.
You can visit dozens of gardens and murals, all designed to look like a handmade quilt.
Stop and take photos of each one and learn about the story each quilt garden tells.
Places to Avoid in Goshen
The downtown area and the northwest side of the city have the highest crime rates.
It’s typical for a downtown area to have more crime since there are more people there.
It’s safe to visit there, but you need to stay aware of your surroundings and if visiting after dark, make sure you go with a buddy or a group.
Before you visit other cities near Goshen, you should read our reviews of them.
This part of Indiana can be very hit or miss with safety levels between cities, even just a few miles apart.
Never park your car here without rolling up the windows and locking the car doors.
I’ve already read several stories about things being stolen from unlocked cars here over the past few weeks.
It doesn’t take any time at all to lock a car, and certainly, never leave the keys in the car.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Goshen
- The city’s website has a “Contact” form where you can ask questions before your visit or leave feedback after your visit. Hearing directly from visitors helps the city see the areas for improvement.
- The direct line to the police station is (574)533-8661. There aren’t separate hotlines for crimes like drug and gang activity, so call the main number and ask to speak to an officer if you have non-urgent information about a crime. For emergencies, always call 911.
- If it snows while you are there, the city might issue what’s called a “snow emergency.” This sounds a lot more dramatic than it is. What it generally means is there is a change in street parking rules and trash pickup times so the snow plows can get through. The city will report all snow emergency information on its social media sites.
- Goshen is a city that believes in recycling and being as close to zero waste as possible. Even if you don’t spend days worrying about your carbon footprint, respect the efforts here and recycle what you can. There are several videos about “Zero Waste” on the city’s website, so you can get a better idea of what that means.
- The website 511in.org is a must-have for anyone driving on Indiana’s roadways. You can get updated traffic, construction, accidents, and delay information. There are also live cameras to see what the road ahead of you looks like.
- Anglers from out of state need a non-resident Indiana fishing license, even when they are just doing catch and release. You can learn more about the variety of options at the Indiana Department of Fish & Wildlife website.
- You might see Amish buggies on the road and they have a legal right to be there. Don’t get impatient or tailgate, as that could upset the horses and they could suddenly back up. Give plenty of space to pass on the roadway and never pass when there’s a hill ahead.
- When visiting the parks, please report any vandalism you see happening and don’t approach the vandals. Recently, a $160,000 bronze statue was cut in half and destroyed by vandals. While it might not seem like a big deal, this is actually a felony.
- Goshen is a railroad town, so you might get stopped at the railroad tracks. Never try to go around a crossing gate, even if it’s just seemingly malfunctioning. An approaching train is always closer and going faster than you might think.
- Watch out for stray farm animals. Since this is a rural community, it’s not uncommon for some cows to make a run for it. When it comes to a car versus a cow, the cow is going to do incredible damage to the vehicle, so always keep your eyes on the road. It’s illegal to drive while distracted in Indiana, anyway.
So... How Safe Is Goshen Really?
2022 is off to a rocky start with a shooting in a private home where five people were injured and two of those people died.
It was a crime that rocked this small town.
Police Chief Jose Miller addressed the incident and the recent rash of gun violence in the community.
“This year, so far since December 31, we have had 19 acts of gun violence, 5 injuries, 4 deaths, 3 adults arrested, 4 juveniles arrested, 5 residents shot at, 3 incidents of vehicles being shot at,” Chief Miller announced during a news conference in May of 2022.
“Goshen is still a safe place.
I would let my kids live here. My kids do live here,” Miller said.
“A lot of these events are targeted.
It’s not random acts against somebody walking down the street.
The problem is it’s targeted with innocent people in the wake.”
It’s important to stay aware of your surroundings in Goshen and use the best safety techniques possible.
Never fight back against a robber, lock windows and doors at night, and stay in busy, well-lit areas.
If you see any fight brewing or crime happening, don’t get involved and just call 911.
How Does Goshen Compare?
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- Visas - You'll need about four months to go through all the steps to get your visa. Once you have it, you will need it at the airport when you arrive, so don't put it in checked baggage. Once in the United States, you don't need to show your Visa to get between cities or different states.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the only currency accepted here. There are some restaurants, food trucks, or ice cream shops that are cash only, so bring a little bit of it with you. Exchange your currency at the airport instead of waiting to get to Goshen.
- Weather - You will need warm winter clothing from head to toe and snow boots in the winter. Summer is going to be hot, but it's the humidity you'll notice most. Bring sturdy hiking boots for all the outdoor attractions here.
- Airports - South Bend International Airport is the closest airport and it's about a 45-minute drive. If you are flying out of the Chicago area, plan for two or more hours to get to the airports there, and remember that you change time zones, so you'll lose an hour.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is a great idea for a location that gets a lot of wild weather. An ice storm can shut down the interstates and cities, and you want to make sure your trip to Goshen, Indiana, is as protected as you can make it.
Goshen Weather Averages (Temperatures)
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