Great places to ride in and near the Tri-State

Tunnel Hill, for which Illinois' Tunnel Hill State Trail
is named. The trail runs from Karnak to Harrisburg, Ill.,
along a former Norfolk Southern rail line. A recently-
built extension to Eldorado adds about 10 miles to the
45-mile original trail. (National Recreation Trails photo)
If you're looking for great places to ride that don't involve being out in traffic, dedicated trails are perfect for you - and both Evansville and Owensboro now have trails that are open.  Owensboro's is a good deal longer (15 miles versus 6.75 miles), but both are attractive and enjoyable.

Owensboro's Adkisson Greenbelt Park stretches around the west, south and east sides of Owensboro beginning at the Joe Ford Nature Park near U.S. 60 West and ending at the Miller's Mill Road trailhead, a short distance south of Kentucky Hwy. 54.

You'll find walkers, skaters and cyclists out using the route, particularly in the easternmost stretches where more of the newer neighborhoods have easy access. By and large, it's relatively flat, with the exception of a short stretch along and just north of West Parrish Avenue (Kentucky Hwy. 81) at its junction with U.S. 60, but if you've got gears, you'll climb what's there without much effort.

I won't delve too deeply into more details, but here are some resources for you:

Over in Evansville, the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage now runs from Sunrise Park near Waterworks Road and the Veterans Memorial Parkway, along the river, and up Pigeon Creek to the Heidelbach Canoe Launch. It's 6.75 miles in length, and very enjoyable.

Here's some more info on it:
West of the Wabash River, if you're up for a longer ride, Illinois has one of the longest I'm familiar with in this part of the country - the 45-mile-long Tunnel Hill State Trail, which runs from Karnak to Harrisburg. Norfolk Southern gave the railbed along this route to the State of Illinois in 1991, and the first portion opened seven years after. It's been complete since 2001.

More recently, the trail was extended northeast to Eldorado - my understanding is this adds about 10 miles to the original 45.

I've not personally experienced this trail yet, but I'd like to soon, because it looks like a lot of fun - and it does roll through some beautiful country.

Here's the info:


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