The Cardinal Greenway (TGC) is a multi-use recreational system combining a rail trail and an on-street route that together cross 62 miles (100 km) and five counties — in east central Indiana. Formerly a CSX rail right of way, the system runs from Richmond to Marion and as of 2018[update] is Indiana's longest rail trail project.
Dedicated to pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian users, the greenway crosses nine bridges and passes the historic Wysor Street Depot — the latter which hosts "Cardinal Greenway, Inc., the trail organization as well as a trail-learning and (free) bike rental center. Portions follow the White, Whitewater and Mississinewa Rivers. Marked in half-mile increments, the TGC has more than 20 trail heads, most with restrooms, parking areas, and interpretive markers. The system hosts annual events including the National Trails Day (June/Running), Cardinal Greenways Bike Fest (July/biking), Walk Indiana (September/walking), and BikeTOURberfest (October/bicycle).
The Cardinal Greenway is part of the Northern Route of the American Discovery Trail. and connects to the White River Greenway near downtown Muncie. A current expansion is underway to construct the White River Greenway trail in downtown Muncie. In Richmond, the trail connects to the Whitewater Gorge Trail and Gennett Walk of Fame in the Whitewater Gorge Park.
Taking its name from the last passenger train in regular service on the (Chicago-Cincinnati-Washington) route, the Cardinal, The greenway was designated a National Recreation Trail in June 2003 and in 2018 was named to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's "Rail Trail Hall of Fame."
In 1993, volunteers organized an investigative meeting to study purchasing an abandoned rail line for a rails-to-trails conversion project. Removal of the steel rails began in late 1992. Work started in Marion and was completed from there through Richmond by June 1993. Cardinal Greenway, Inc., a not-for-profit, was formed, purchasing 60 miles (97 km) of the former railroad corridor from CSX Corporation in that same year (1993). In 1996 a Master Plan was completed and final drawings were submitted to INDOT.
Groundbreaking took place in September 1997, marking the start of Phase 1, a 10-mile (16 km) Muncie section from the Wysor Street Depot to County Road 534 East. The 8-mile (13 km) Jonesboro-Marion section and the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Richmond section were constructed sometime before 2003. The 10-mile (16 km) Muncie-Gaston section was constructed around 2003.
In 2008 the state governor announced grants which include work on the Richmond-to-Losantville section including the improvement of six bridges and the Sweetser Switch Trail Connector, linking the two trails along a defunct railroad corridor.
This portion of the trail is asphalt paved.
The trail begins with a 2.5 miles (4.0 km) section on the north side of Richmond. This is near the Whitewater River.
Planned Richmond-Muncie ConstructionEdit
The Richmond section and the Muncie section planned to be joined in the future. The total of the lengths of the Richmond section, the new section, and the Muncie section will be “around 52 miles (84 km)”.
This is the curviest segment of the former railroad corridor.
Losantville-Mt. Pleasant Construction This 7-mile (11 km) section (2 miles (3.2 km) in Randolph County, 3½ miles in Henry County, and 1½ miles in Delaware County) will go through Blountsville and will probably parallel U.S. Route 35 most of the way.
(Mt. Pleasant-) Muncie (-Gaston) SectionEdit
The trail continues out of Muncie to Gaston. It is about 10 miles (16 km) from the depot to the trailhead in Gaston.
An 11.3-mile (18.2 km) section of the former rail corridor, going from Gaston to Jonesboro and running through Fowlerton, is owned by private land owners. Cardinal Greenways, Inc. states that a route “will be chosen using public roads to connect the two sections of Cardinal Greenway.” IndianaTrails.org states that “[t]he county road route can be followed using Dan Henry-style pavement markers.”
(Jonesboro-) Marion SectionEdit
The trail resumes in Jonesboro at East 10th Street. From there it travels along the Mississinewa River until it crosses US-35/IN-22. By East 4th Street in Jonesboro, there is a pedestrian bridge over the Mississinewa to the Eugene “Beaner” Linn Park, a 90-acre (360,000 m2) park in Gas City.
- American Trails Cardinal Greenway article
- Jake Fox (June 13, 2018). "Muncie Star Press". PRNewswire.
- American Discovery Trail: Ohio State Line to Marion, Indiana Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- National Recreation Trail Database entry
- "Cardinal Greenway Trail Voted 2018 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame Inductee". PRNewswire. August 2, 2018.
- History Cardinal Greenway 
- Indiana Rail Trails as of July 18, 2002
- NPS Director Announces 23 National Recreation Trail Designations in 12 States
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- U.S. DOI NPS NCRC Conservation Successes July 2007 (bottom of page 1, top of page 2)
- $19 Million Investment for New Indiana Trails Archived June 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (Office of the Governor press release)
- 2008 State Trail Grants Archived June 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (see top of page 4 and top of page 7)
- Sponsorship Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Cardinal Greenway, Inc. homepage
- IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Muncie Archived February 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- the Spring 2008 Newsletter[permanent dead link] of Cardinal Greenways, Inc.
- Greenways & Trails – Lehman & Lehman – Portfolio Archived March 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- a March 8, 2008 post on Nathan Bilger's indianarailroads.org
- Cardinal Greenway, Inc. Trail History[permanent dead link]
- IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Marion Archived February 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Maps & Facts Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Parks in Gas City and Jonesboro Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine – Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce
- http://www.marionindiana.us/maps/Park%20Map%202006.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Sweetser Switch Trail Archived March 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine