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Greenway Passage - Evansville
Submitted by admin on Thu, 07/01/2010 - 11:12am
A bike ride along the Greenway Passage, a multiple-use trail for biking, jogging or simply walking to discover this unique city.
Evansville, Vanderburgh County - Indiana
2010 / 07
Evansville Indiana is home to the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage Trail. It's a newer trail. When it is completed it's going to be a forty-two mile paved circuit through Evansville and all across the county where Evansville is located, in Vanderburgh County, Indiana. It's a path where you can go for a walk, you can jog, you can bicycle. There's even a place where you can launch a canoe. It has a very long riverfront corridor. It's going to be close to parks. It’s going to connect to wetland areas. It's also part of a trail called the American Discovery Trail which goes from the East Coast to the West Coast, so conceivably, some day you could even walk to the Pacific Ocean along this very trail.
Evansville now is the third-largest city in Indiana and it's an important business Center for the Tri-State region of Illinois , Kentucky , and of course Indiana . It's just a short distance up the river from where the Ohio runs into the Mississippi.
As the county seat, Evansville has a courthouse that dates back to about eighteen ninety. The architecture is just really interesting on any side that you view it. It has sculpted fruits of Indiana , grains, and produce grown here. There are columns all around it. There's actually a tunnel underneath that leads from the courthouse over to the old jail, which was built about the same time.
In parts of downtown Evansville ’s Architecture, you can see a really amazing contrast between buildings that were built in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds and of course you have more modern sections, some of them right across the street from the others. The city has also done an excellent job redoing their downtown with the brick walks, and also preserving the character of the buildings that were there. It's just a really unique combination of river architecture that you probably can't see very many other places in the country.
The trail continues from downtown further west along the river again is just up the Ohio River from where the Wabash actually runs into it. The trail is very accessible to anybody who wants to use it. A lot of people don't realize that one of the things transported down this river is coal. Southern Indiana has good deposits of coal, and the river was and is an important corridor for that purpose.
The first casino that ever came to Indiana was located right here in Evansville , called the Casino Aztar and of course it gets a lot of business too . There have been a number of archaeological finds in this area. Angel Mounds State Park which the trail will connect up with eventually, is just east of Evansville.
The trail leads on, west, and it comes to a railroad Crossing, and even though it sounds like a Scary thing, they've designed it well so that you don’t have to worry about the trains. These nifty gates force you to look one way and another for trains. And then of course the trail splits.
One continues west along the river to Pigeon Creek and the other one heads off to the north. There’s the Shirley James Plaza along this trail. Shirley James unfortunately passed away in two- thousand seven. She was very important in getting the trail built and along with a number of other enthusiasts has put her stamp on it and a lot of hard work to see it through. Plaques there are depicting the history of transportation in and around Evansville . We have canals, railroads, the river. There is so much history that you can see in this area.
The trail keeps going to the north and there are a number of places where you have access to it. There's no problem with trying to figure out how to get on to the trail. We're going toward West Franklin Street . This trail has a number of interesting bridges that you don't see in other places . It looks like when you go underneath them that you have to duck, but you don't . Underneath this bridge we come to the end of the paved portion but they're working on this trail constantly so it won't be too long before the whole trail is completed and you can go from the riverfront north to Pigeon Creek. It’s gonna be a really interesting project when they get it completed.
Back to where the trail splits you go west again toward Ohio St, and there's another fantastic bridge at the end of this section . We’re headed now toward where the Pigeon Creek itself feeds into the Ohio River . That’s where the name of the trail came from . This is also where the canal boats used to come into the river in the mid- eighteen hundreds. This bridge is kind of unique-- you can see the railroad bridge right next to it. It's not used any more but you have railroad on one side, the river transportation on the other side. It just gives you a unique feel for the history of this whole area. The court house we passed earlier isn’t far from Pigeon Creek. That land was a basin at one time where the canal boats would go in there and then they would turn around and head back to where they came from. It was filled in when the Courthouse was built.
Now we are going to where another part of the trail is completed . This is more on the north side of Evansville , to Uhlhorm Street . You can find it because there is an animal shelter there and then the access is beyond the shelter. The nice thing about this trail is there a number of access points from the park and there is adequate parking when you come so you don't have any trouble trying to get on the trail or find a place to park . It's a really easy trail to get around on. They've designed it well . We're coming up on an area, another part under Construction. The trail then goes under a road called Kratzville Road . It’s still getting some of the street access in place. This is going along Pigeon Creek. There's also a canoe launch--this is where it's located is along Pigeon Creek. So that you can go out from Pigeon Creek into the Ohio if you want to make a nice ride of it. We go under Kratzville Road and when we come back we're going to be heading back east again going under the bridge.
Evansville is a river town and it’s easy to find great ways to celebrate. There are a number of events to go to after you get off the trail. Art shows, wine and jazz festival. There's a world class BBQ Festival just across the river, there's a huge street fair every year , hydroplane races, Blue Grass music, just about anything for a anybody’s taste . Golf, fishing, there's a big fireworks display on the fourth of July on the riverfront. Trail access points here are easy to find and there are signs that let you know where the trail goes what's located where. Back toward Heilbenbach Avenue heading east now.
Another major access site to the trail here is called Garvin Park . It's a large park, there is a nice pound. If you feel like you’re lost, there is signage to tell you where you have been or where you want to go so you don't get mixed up. Peddle east again toward Heidelbach Avenue . This is the end of the line for the trail until some more miles are built on it. This is an area that also has ample parking.
So, as you can see, the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passege not only goes through modern Evansville , but it covers a lot of history and pre- history that you can learn. The Angel mounds site here was occupied from eleven- hundred A. D. to about fourteen- fifty. They, those folks disappeared within a few decades. So far, archaeologists haven't figured out why yet. This trail is an achievement for modern day Evansville and is well worth coming to see and travel along .