Pigeon Creek Greenway - Evansville
PIGEON CREEK GREENWAY PASSAGE
Evansville, in southwest Indiana , is the state’s third largest city and an important business center for the tri-state Ohio River region of Illinois , Kentucky , and Indiana . Evansville also lies in proximity to Angel Mounds State Historic Site, Land Between the Lakes recreation area, the New Harmony, Indiana arts community, and is a short distance upstream from confluences of the Ohio and Wabash, and Ohio and Mississippi Rivers . In the mid-1800s, the largest riverport between Cincinnati and New Orleans was just east of Evansville , in Newburgh . Suffice to say, Evansville is in the heart of a region with much history and prehistory.
Pigeon Creek was the southern terminus of the Wabash and Erie Canal; the creek empties into the Ohio , thus tying together a shipping route between the Great Lakes and New Orleans . Just northeast of Evansville , one can glimpse two generations of U. S. transportation, where Interstate 64 crosses the canal via an overpass.
The multiple-use Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, when completed, will make a 42-mile paved circuit of Evansville and will be suitable for walking, jogging, and bicycling, passing through a canoe launch area, riverfront corridor and parks, close to wetlands, and the Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve. A future extension will travel to the Angel Mounds area east of Pigeon Creek—Angel Mounds was a town occupied by several thousand persons between circa 1100 A. D. to 1450, after which the inhabitants were there no longer, presenting an intriguing mystery to archaeologists of today. It is named for a former landowner of the 1800s, Mathias Angel.
At the present time, the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage is complete for 4 miles, in the Middle Levee Corridor (1.7 miles) and from Sunrise Park along the Ohio to Franklin Street for 2.3 miles. The Shirley James Gateway Plaza memorial display, near the river and Marchand Bridge Overlook (west of U. S. 41) is also completed. Shirley James was dedicated to this trail and worked hard to see it finished. Sadly, she passed away in 2007.
Three additional trail miles are slated for opening by December, 2010 if all goes well, east of the Heidelbach Canoe Launch on Pigeon Creek. Another section is in the works from Franklin Street to Maryland Street , connecting with the Riverfront Corridor; expected completion, June 2011. The latter segment received funding via the American Reinvestment and Recovery (ARRA) Act.
The Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage was designated a National Recreational Trail on June 5, 2004.
EVANSVILLE OFF-TRAIL HAPPENINGS
River communities always seem to find enthusiastic ways of celebrating, and the Evansville region is no exception. After your trail exercise, there are any number of festivals or events held here from which to choose. Spring includes the Native American Fine Arts Bazaar at Angel Mounds in March; April and May see the Southern Indiana Class Marathon and Half-Marathon; May has the Newburgh Wine, Arts, and Jazz Festival, as well as the International Barbecue Festival in Owensboro, Kentucky across the river.
“Dragons on the Ohio ” is a dragonboat regatta held at Eagle Crest Lake in Evansville in June. The July 4th Freedom Festival includes fireworks on the Evansville riverfront.
H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes take over in August for Thunder on the Ohio . Fiddler Fest Bluegrass Festival comes to Angel Mounds in September. In October, Evansville ’s largest festival—over 100K attendance—takes place as the week long street fair with free admission, known as the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival. Note that Evansville is on Central Time.
Evansville and Vanderburgh County also boast a new children’s interactive museum, some 65 parks of about 2300 acres, and the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Ice hockey, semi-pro football, and minor league baseball are also available. In addition, the city was an important filming location for A League of Their Own, at Bosse Field.