The Cardinal Greenway is a rail trail that encompasses 60 miles (97 km) of abandoned CSX railroad corridor in east central Indiana. The trail runs from Richmond to Marion and is the longest rails-to-trails project in Indiana as of 2004[update]. The Cardinal Greenway was designated a National Recreation Trail in June 2003 and is an important part of the American Discovery Trail.
- 1 Name
- 2 Sponsor
- 3 History
- 4 Route
- 4.1 Richmond Section
- 4.2 Planned Richmond-Muncie Construction
- 4.3 (Mt. Pleasant-) Muncie (-Gaston) Section
- 4.4 Gaston-Jonesboro Gap
- 4.5 (Jonesboro-) Marion Section
- 4.6 Beyond Marion
- 5 Connections With Other Trails
- 6 Map
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Cardinal Greenway takes its name from the last passenger train to regularly travel the route (Chicago-Cincinnati-Washington): the Cardinal. The train service in turn derived its name from the state bird of all five states which it traversed.
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. Its mission statement is as follows:
Cardinal Greenway, Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life by developing and operating corridors and trails to connect people and communities.
In 1993, over 200 people responded to a small newspaper item saying there would be a meeting to investigate the possibility of purchasing an abandoned rail line for a rails-to-trails conversion project. (Rail removal had begun on said line in Fall of 1992. Work started in Marion and was completed from there through Richmond by June 1993.) Cardinal Greenway, Inc., a not-for-profit, was formed, and it purchased 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 tracings 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.
On Tuesday, May 20, 2008 Governor Mitch Daniels announced grants which include work on the Richmond-to-Losantville section (improving six bridges, among other work) and the Sweetser Switch Trail Connector (connecting the two trails along an abandoned railroad corridor).
The trail is paved with asphalt.
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 Construction
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)”.
Planned Richmond-Losantville Construction
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.
- Losantville: South Main Street, just north of W 1000 S/US-35
- Blountsville: North Wilber Wright Road, just off of US-35
(Mt. Pleasant-) Muncie (-Gaston) Section
The trail continues out of Muncie to Gaston. It is about 10 miles (16 km) from the depot to the trailhead in Gaston.
- Mt. Pleasant: intersection of S 534 E and E 700 S, southeast of the Prairie Creek Reservoir
- Medford: E 500 S, just east of US-35 – includes restroom, picnic table, and equestrian trailhead (no water available, though)
- Muncie: The Wysor Street Depot (700 East Wysor Street) – includes restrooms
- Gaston: End of Broad Street (off of West Elm Street)
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.”
Gaston-Jonesboro County Road Route
The route connects around the gap by following 17.2 miles (27.7 km) of county roads. From the Gaston trailhead, it continues
- west on 850 N (West Elm Street in Gaston),
- north on 750 W,
- west on 950 N,
- north on 850 W,
- west on 1200 N (crossing over I-69),
- north on 900 W, which becomes 600 E in Grant county,
- west on 1125 S,
- north on 500 E,
- west on 1100 S,
- north on 350 E (crossing IN-26 at 900 S),
- northwest (bear left) onto Wheeling Pike, which becomes Muncie Pike at 275 E,
- right onto East 10th Street in Jonesboro
where the greenway resumes (at the first left after Boyd Street).
(Jonesboro-) Marion Section
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.
- Jonesboro: South Lincoln Boulevard Google map
- Marion (Hogin Park): South Valley Avenue and West 14th Street
- Marion (Miller Avenue): South Miller Avenue Google map
Connections With Other Trails
The Cardinal Greenway connects to the White River Greenway just north of the Wysor Street Depot near downtown Muncie. Current expansion is underway to construct a larger White River Greenway trail along Wheeling Road north of downtown Muncie.
In Richmond, the trail connects to the Whitewater Gorge Trail and Gennett Walk of Fame in the Whitewater Gorge Park.
The map included here show Delaware County and surrounding areas. For more complete maps of the entire length of the trail visit the Indiana Trails site.
- American Trails Cardinal Greenway article
- National Recreation Trail Database entry
- American Discovery Trail: Ohio State Line to Marion, Indiana
- Cardinal Greenway, Inc. homepage
- Cardinal Greenway, Inc. Trail History
- Indiana Rail Trails as of July 18, 2002
- NPS Director Announces 23 National Recreation Trail Designations in 12 States
- U.S. DOI NPS NCRC Conservation Successes July 2007 (bottom of page 1, top of page 2)
- $19 Million Investment for New Indiana Trails (Office of the Governor press release)
- 2008 State Trail Grants (see top of page 4 and top of page 7)
- IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Muncie
- the Spring 2008 Newsletter of Cardinal Greenways, Inc.
- Greenways & Trails – Lehman & Lehman – Portfolio
- a March 8, 2008 post on Nathan Bilger's indianarailroads.org
- Cardinal Greenway Inc.: Equestrian Trail
- Cardinal Greenway Trail
- IndianaTrails.org: Cardinal Greenway – Marion
- West Elm Street, Gaston to East 10th Street, Jonesboro – Google Maps
- Maps & Facts
- Parks in Gas City and Jonesboro – Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce
- Sweetser Switch Trail