Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage is a trail that city leaders in Evansville hope will eventually encircle the city. It has been built in phases, with the first phase passing by popular destinations in Evansville and along the Ohio River and the second phase along Pigeon Creek north to the canoe launch. It is hoped that the trail will go as far east as Angel Mounds.
North Endpoint - Specific: Heidelbach Canoe Launch
South Endpoint - Specific: Sunrise Park
Notable Trailheads: Heidelbach Canoe Launch, Uhlhorn Trailhead (at the Animal Control Shelter), Lamasco Park, Gateway Plaza, Pagoda (Visitor's Bureau), Evansville Museum, Sunset Park, Sunrise Park
Near to US highways: US Highway 41, US Highway 60, Interstate 69
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.