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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 is Indiana's longest rail trail project.[1]

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.[2] 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).[2]

See: Cardinal Greenway Map

The Cardinal Greenway is part of the Northern Route of the American Discovery Trail.[3] 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,[1] The greenway was designated a National Recreation Trail in June 2003[4] and in 2018 was named to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's "Rail Trail Hall of Fame."[5]

Cardinal Greenway – Wysor Street Depot in Muncie

Contents

BackgroundEdit

In 1993, volunteers organized an investigative meeting to study purchasing an abandoned rail line for a rails-to-trails conversion project.[4] 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).[1][6] 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.[7] The 10-mile (16 km)[citation needed] Muncie-Gaston section was constructed around 2003.[citation needed]

In 2003, the Cardinal Greenway was designated a National Recreation Trail.[4][8]

The 7-mile (11 km) Losantville-Mt. Pleasant section was opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in Losantville on April 19, 2007. Governor Mitch Daniels helped cut the ribbon.[9][10]

In 2008 the state governor announced[11] grants which include[12] 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.

The trail is managed by Cardinal Greenway, Inc., formerly known as Delaware Greenways, Inc. The company is organized under federal tax regulations as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.[13]

RouteEdit

The trail starts in Richmond, travels through Wayne, Randolph, Henry, Delaware, and Grant counties, and ends in Marion.

This portion of the trail is asphalt paved.[14]

Richmond SectionEdit

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)”.[15][citation needed]

The constructed link will go through Losantville.[citation needed]

Planned Richmond-Losantville Construction This planned route, 20.6 miles (33.2 km) from Industries Road to Losantville,[16] will go under I-70 and through the town of Economy.[17]

This is the curviest segment of the former railroad corridor.[18]

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.[10]

(Mt. Pleasant-) Muncie (-Gaston) SectionEdit

This is the longest completed section, offering 20 miles (32 km) of paved trail with trailheads, rest areas, and interpretive signage.[19] All rest areas and trail heads are handicapped accessible.

This section picks up the trail at the intersection of S 534 E and E 700 S, southeast of the Prairie Creek Reservoir. This area has 10 miles (16 km) of adjacent horse trail.[15]

The Cardinal Greenway then travels into the heart of Muncie, bisecting with Wysor Street Depot in the middle. Just to the north of the depot the Cardinal Greenway intersects the White River Greenway.

The trail continues out of Muncie to Gaston. It is about 10 miles (16 km) from the depot to the trailhead in Gaston.

Gaston-Jonesboro GapEdit

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.”[19] IndianaTrails.org states that “[t]he county road route can be followed using Dan Henry-style pavement markers.”[20]

(Jonesboro-) Marion SectionEdit

This section of the route is 8 miles (13 km) in length.[20][21]

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)[22] park in Gas City.

After crossing US-35/IN-22, the trail goes on into Marion, going by Hogin Park,[23][24] through the short tunnel under South D Street, under “the bypass” (IN-9), and ending at South Miller Avenue.

Beyond MarionEdit

Plans were announced on October 16, 2007 to expand the Cardinal Greenway 3 miles (4.8 km) west to the Sweetser Switch Trail[25][26] in Sweetser, and perhaps eventually to Converse in Miami County.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c American Trails Cardinal Greenway article
  2. ^ a b Jake Fox (June 13, 2018). "Muncie Star Press". PRNewswire.
  3. ^ American Discovery Trail: Ohio State Line to Marion, Indiana Archived September 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c National Recreation Trail Database entry
  5. ^ "Cardinal Greenway Trail Voted 2018 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame Inductee". PRNewswire. August 2, 2018.
  6. ^ History Cardinal Greenway [1]
  7. ^ Indiana Rail Trails as of July 18, 2002
  8. ^ NPS Director Announces 23 National Recreation Trail Designations in 12 States
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved 2008-07-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b U.S. DOI NPS NCRC Conservation Successes July 2007 (bottom of page 1, top of page 2)
  11. ^ $19 Million Investment for New Indiana Trails Archived June 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (Office of the Governor press release)
  12. ^ 2008 State Trail Grants Archived June 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine (see top of page 4 and top of page 7)
  13. ^ Sponsorship Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Cardinal Greenway, Inc. homepage
  15. ^ a b IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Muncie Archived February 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ the Spring 2008 Newsletter[permanent dead link] of Cardinal Greenways, Inc.
  17. ^ Greenways & Trails – Lehman & Lehman – Portfolio Archived March 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a March 8, 2008 post on Nathan Bilger's indianarailroads.org
  19. ^ a b Cardinal Greenway, Inc. Trail History[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ a b IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Marion Archived February 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Maps & Facts Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Parks in Gas City and Jonesboro Archived July 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine – Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce
  23. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070206150211/http://www.jamesdeancountry.com/Trails.php#maincontent
  24. ^ http://www.marionindiana.us/maps/Park%20Map%202006.pdf[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Sweetser Switch Trail Archived March 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 40°33′28″N 85°41′35″W / 40.557659°N 85.69305°W / 40.557659; -85.69305

External linksEdit