Pigeon Creek Greenway - Evansville

County: 
Vanderburg
City: 
Evansville

Descriptions: 

PIGEON CREEK GREENWAY PASSAGE

 
Evansville, in southwest Indiana , is the state’s third largest city and an important business center for the tri-state Ohio River region of Illinois , Kentucky , and Indiana . Evansville also lies in proximity to Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Land Between the Lakes recreation area, the New Harmony, Indiana arts community, and is a short distance upstream from confluences of the Ohio and Wabash, and Ohio and Mississippi Rivers . In the mid-1800s, the largest riverport between Cincinnati and New Orleans was just east of Evansville , in Newburgh . Suffice to say, Evansville is in the heart of a region with much history and prehistory.
 
Pigeon Creek was the southern terminus of the Wabash and Erie Canal; the creek empties into the Ohio , thus tying together a shipping route between the Great Lakes and New Orleans . Just northeast of Evansville , one can glimpse two generations of U. S. transportation, where Interstate 64 crosses the canal via an overpass.
 
The multiple-use Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, when completed, will make a 42-mile paved circuit of Evansville and will be suitable for walking, jogging, and bicycling, passing through a canoe launch area, riverfront corridor and parks, close to wetlands, and the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. A future extension will travel to the Angel Mounds area east of Pigeon Creek—Angel Mounds was a town occupied by several thousand persons between circa 1100 A. D. to 1450, after which the inhabitants were there no longer, presenting an intriguing mystery to archaeologists of today. It is named for a former landowner of the 1800s, Mathias Angel.
 
At the present time, the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage is complete for 4 miles, in the Middle Levee Corridor (1.7 miles) and from Sunrise Park along the Ohio to Franklin Street for 2.3 miles. The Shirley James Gateway Plaza memorial display, near the river and Marchand Bridge Overlook (west of U. S. 41) is also completed. Shirley James was dedicated to this trail and worked hard to see it finished. Sadly, she passed away in 2007.
 
Three additional trail miles are slated for opening by December, 2010 if all goes well, east of the Heidelbach Canoe Launch on Pigeon Creek. Another section is in the works from Franklin Street to Maryland Street , connecting with the Riverfront Corridor; expected completion, June 2011. The latter segment received funding via the American Reinvestment and Recovery (ARRA) Act.
 
The Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage was designated a National Recreational Trail on June 5, 2004.
 
 
EVANSVILLE OFF-TRAIL HAPPENINGS
 
River communities always seem to find enthusiastic ways of celebrating, and the Evansville region is no exception. After your trail exercise, there are any number of festivals or events held here from which to choose. Spring includes the Native American Fine Arts Bazaar at Angel Mounds in March; April and May see the Southern Indiana Class Marathon and Half-Marathon; May has the Newburgh Wine, Arts, and Jazz Festival, as well as the International Barbecue Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky across the river.
 
“Dragons on the Ohio ” is a dragonboat regatta held at Eagle Crest Lake in Evansville in June. The July 4th Freedom Festival includes fireworks on the Evansville riverfront.
 
H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes take over in August for Thunder on the Ohio . Fiddler Fest Bluegrass Festival comes to Angel Mounds in September. In October, Evansville ’s largest festival—over 100K attendance—takes place as the week long street fair with free admission, known as the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. Note that Evansville is on Central Time.
 
Evansville and Vanderburgh County also boast a new children’s interactive museum, some 65 parks of about 2300 acres, and the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Ice hockey, semi-pro football, and minor league baseball are also available. In addition, the city was an important filming location for A League of Their Own, at Bosse Field.
 
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Watch:

 

INFO
Type of Trail: 
River
Mileage: 
4
Surface: 
asphalt
Uses allowed: 
Hiking, biking, in-line skating, wheelchairs, horses.
Wheelchairs allowed: 
yes
Attractive Features: 
Riverfront, Evansville Museum, Pagoda, Welcome Center, esplanade parks.
North Endpoint (#1) - Specific : 
N Heidelbach Ave
South Endpoint (#2) – Specific: 
N 1st Ave.
West Endpoint (#2) – Specific: 
Lasco Park on West Franklin Ave.
East endpoint – General: 
Sunset Park on SE Riverside Dr.
Connection to bus, rail: 
METS-various bus routes.
Notable Trailhead: 
3 trailheads with parking and trash.
Near to US highways: 
US 41 to Veteran's Memorial Exit to Riverside Drive trail on South side.
Agency, Group Owned: 
Evansville Parks Dept
Manager: 
Glenn Boberg
Address: 
Civic Center Complex Room 305, 1North Martin Luther King – Evansville, IN 47708
Mailing Address: 
same as the manager address
Telephone: 
812-435-6141, 8:30-5:00, m-f
E-mail: 
kfunke@usi.edu
Website: 

Evansville - A Day in the Life

HRTC staff recently took a weekend tour of the Southwestern toe of the state.
 
We launched an inspection and discovery tour of the bike routes, lanes, trailways developed and under development in the Evansville area,  and  following trail holdings of our sister agency, the Indiana Trails Fund, Inc. 
 
Upon our arrival we met with the gracious folks of the Evansville Metropolitan Planning Organization, formerly known as the Evansville Urban Transportation Study (U.T.E.S.).
 
David Stensaas, Transportation Planner, the ‘bike-ped go-to guy’ according to Brad Mills, Executive Director of the MPO, provided  Jane Conrad, Guido Maregatti and Mario Vian a knowledgeable and intense description of the trails in and around the Evansville area, as well as trail proposals and the likelihood of their completion. 
 
The descriptions held everyone’s attention as the greenscapes described in detail clearly demonstrated the commitment of the MPO and the community to make the area landscape more user friendly to all users. 
 
Mr. Stensaas outlined developments with the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage and with the area bikeways system. 
 
Craig Luebke filled in with information about the Posey County Trails and about the State Park Trail that runs along from Maple Hill Road along  Indiana 69 at CR 325 (State Road 269) for about two-thirds of a mile, paved and running parallel to the highway.
 
River towns such as Evansville have generally more pedestrian and bike friendly byways, but the Evansville MPO has, it seems, more heroically made multi modal (user friendly to walking, driving, bus and car/truck and handicapped accessible), transportation a focus of their long term planning instead of a reluctantly incorporated philosophy.
 
HRTC feels confident that this competence and foresight will make a legacy that will pay dividends for a long time to come in the area.
 
 
 
 
submitted by Mario Vian

Evansville Park Trails

County: 
Vanderburg
City: 
Evansville

INFO
Type of Trail: 
Park
Mileage: 
1.2
Surface: 
various
Lat. of Major TrailHead: 
Latitude:N 37° 58' 3.2866"
Long. Of Major TrailHead: 
Longitude:W 87° 37' 8.7586"
Manager: 
Evansville Park and Recreation Department
Telephone: 
(812) 435-6141

USI - Burdette Park Trail / University of Southern Indiana

County: 
Vanderburg
City: 
Evansville

INFO
Type of Trail: 
Greenway
Total Length of all segments: 
3 miles
Surface: 
asphalt
Uses allowed: 
Hiking, Walking, Biking,skating
Wheelchairs allowed: 
yes

Wesselman Woods Park Trails – Evansville

County: 
Vanderburg
City: 
Evansville

                    

            

Descriptions: 

 

Wesselman Woods Park in Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana, situated in southwestern tip of Indiana, is an Indiana State Nature Preserve and National Natural Landmark.
 
Residing here are a wide variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds some of which are woodpeckers, warblers, owls, and various songbirds. Rare species, such as salamanders are being protected at this park. Many wildflowers, bushes and shrubs, and a variety of trees can also be found at Wasselman Woods. In fact, some of the trees are over 300 years old, many exceeding 100 feet. There is the highest density of trees per acre of all the woods in Indiana.
 
Wesselman Woods Park shows a segment of the old Wabash and Erie Canal, with a former towpath, an old aqueduct, and a length of the Norfolk Southern Rail line. Interestingly, a 100 foot cross-section of the canal is clearly marked, which shows the life-sized context of the water course, towpath, and the outer berm. The cross section can be found between the north side of the north loop and the railroad track.
 
Over 6 miles of dirt walking trails allow visitors an extraordinary opportunity to view Indiana as it was before European settlers arrived, some of the lands of Wesselman having mostly remained untouched through a couple of centuries. A nature center on the western edge of the park offers hands-on educational exhibits, a wildlife observation area, and descriptions of much earlier times at Wesselman Woods.
 
The park also offers playgrounds, open areas, shelters, picnic areas and grills/trash receptacles, tennis courts, volleyball, batting cages, ball fields, and bike racks. Further, the park includes a large recycling center and golf course adjacent. Plenty of parking is available throughout this park. Many special events for the entire family are scheduled throughout the year.
On your next trip to Evansville, be sure to include a hike in Wesselman Woods and a visit to its other amenities.

 

For more information and photos click here

See also historical photos of Wabash and Erie canal

and Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage map.

INFO
Type of Trail: 
forest
Total Length of all segments: 
over 6 miles
Surface: 
dirt
Address: 
Nature Center at 551 N. Boeke Rd., Evansville, IN 47711.