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It’s been said that open spaces serve as unifiers of the architecture around them. In the case of Anderson’s Shadyside Trail and Riverwalk the magnet of water also draws together the community and surrounding landscape, providing any number of opportunities and pursuits.
The Shadyside Trail portion weaves through Shadyside Park’s 60-plus acres, which include two lakes open to boating and fishing, playgrounds, sculpture, a covered bridge. Further south, Shadyside Trail links in to the Riverwalk along the White River where one can see barely-walking toddlers to seniors with walkers on a refreshing waterside break.
Another notable stop on this 6½-mile linear path is the Killbuck Wetland area. This is a 12-acre habitat with a boardwalk through the wetlands, but it used to be a junkyard for cars. The Indiana Audubon chapter recommends the Killbuck Wetlands as a good area for birding and wildlife viewing. Several species of owls, hawks, belted kingfishers, many migrating songbirds as well as deer and beaver, among others, may be found here.
Further along the Riverwalk is Athletic Park with its large open spaces and a swimming pool. Note that on the east side of the trail, there are bumpy patches, though it’s paved, and like many trails, some portions can be muddy when it rains. It is also a bit narrow from the Edgewater Park area.
The trails are multi-use, hosting everyone from walkers, bikers, photographers, “playgrounders”, volleyball enthusiasts, fisher persons and boaters; there are even weekly races for runners. If you get a bit drowsy trying to take all this in, benches along the way will give you a respite.
While you’re exploring these Anderson pathways, don’t forget about Mounds State Park, just east of town. Besides the pre-Columbian archaeology site, camping, picnicking, swimming, fishing, and more trails are available.