Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the nation’s largest trails organization, announced Aug. 2 that central Indiana’s Cardinal Greenway Trail was inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
Stretching nearly 62 miles between Marion and Richmond—featuring shaded woods, running rivers, urban centers, small towns and bucolic farmland—the Cardinal Greenway is the longest rail-trail in Indiana, the conservancy said. The trail is a core segment of an even longer system, the Cardinal Greenways, which has sights to link up with trails in Illinois and Ohio.
“The Cardinal Greenway captures the spirit of America’s greatest rail-trails—built upon strong community leadership and volunteerism, connecting the region’s picturesque rural landscapes, suburban communities and urban centers,” said Keith Laughlin, RTC president. “25 years since the community came together around a regional economic development vision, the trail has proven to be a powerful asset that delivers.”
Beginning near the Ohio border and heading northwest, the Cardinal Greenway—named after the former passenger train route—connects Marion, Muncie, Losantville, Richmond, and a host of smaller towns in central Indiana. The trail joins 31 previous hall of fame winners recognized for outstanding scenic value, use, amenities, historical significance and community value.
“The Cardinal Greenway is noted as one of the main assets in each of the communities it spans and has become the economic boost our early founders believed it would be,” said Angie Pool, CEO of Cardinal Greenways. “This recognition is particularly meaningful as the Cardinal Greenway celebrates its 25th anniversary—it’s an acknowledgement of decades of hard work to bring this treasured prize to the neighbors and neighborhoods along the route.”
The Cardinal Greenway was among five trails voted on by the public, securing more than 50 percent of the vote, for the status of RTC’s 32nd inductee in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. The other nominees were the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois, Snohomish County Centennial Trail in Washington, Raccoon River Valley Trail in Iowa and Wood River Trail in Idaho.