For those whose wanderlust seeks the space of a long-lasting horizon, the Cardinal Greenway may be your solution. Though portions of it are incomplete, it is still the longest rail-trail in Indiana, currently at 27½ miles. It was designated a National Recreational Trail in 2003 and is part of the northern tier of the coast-to-coast American Discovery Trail.
From Richmond in east central Indiana, it heads northwest into Losantville, Muncie, Gas City, and Marion, passing through or near a number of historic, educational, or just plain pleasant places to visit. You can walk, bike, or even ride horseback on the separate equestrian trail.
By the way, if your bike’s in the shop or you don’t keep one handy, there are free loaner bikes available from the Wysor Depot, 700 E Wysor Street (765-287-0399), in Muncie.
The southern third of this route roughly parallels U. S. Highway 35, taking you close to Summit Lake State Park and the trout waters of Wilbur Wright State Fish and Wildlife area.
Other places of interest near this end of the Cardinal Greenway include the Levi Coffin State Historic Site of the Underground Railroad at Fountain City; Earlham College with its Joseph Moore Natural History Museum, housing a dinosaur exhibit, birds of prey, local invertebrate fossils, and more; and of course there’s the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame near New Castle. The Wilbur Wright Birthplace and Museum can be visited in Hagerstown, west of Richmond.
To “top” it off, Richmond is just south of Indiana’s highest elevation, Hoosier Hill at 1257 feet, but don’t look for towering mountains; the ice age didn’t carve it that way! Finally, plans are for the Cardinal Greenway to cross with the National Road Heritage Trail, which will stretch (when completed) from Richmond to Terre Haute 150 miles away on the western side of the state.