With a small ceremony on a chilly winter day, the Harrison County Parks and Recreation Department opened the new bridge and trail connection at noon on Friday, January 25th. Community partners and trail users came together to recognize the efforts of many individuals and institutions over the last 25 years that have brought this vision to life. With this new one-mile connection, Indian Creek Trail now has a continuous three-mile backbone reaching from Hayswood Nature Preserve to the YMCA, with additional trail options including Logan's Trail in Corydon and connected walking trails within Hayswood Nature Preserve. See the trail map linked on this site for details. The parks department is planning a larger celebration of the trail connection on April 20th.
On Tuesday, November 20th, two skilled crane operators and a support crew placed the refurbished Valley View Road truss bridge across Indian Creek, connecting the existing Hayswood section of Indian Creek Trail with the newly-constructed section that follows the creek behind the post office and ties into the Doolittle section by passing beneath the west bridge on IN-62. See the trail map for a visual aid. The Parks Department expects to have the trail complete and open before the end of 2018. Stay tuned for that announcement! Higher Eye Photography got some really nice aerial shots and a put together a time-lapse video of the process.
2018 is an exciting year. The trail underpass under Highway 62 is complete and the connection extends to the new bridge site. The new bridge is assembled on site and has been painted to match the existing bridge. The bridge setting date has not been determined but should be in a few weeks. The access ramps will be competed and then the long awaited and much anticipated grand opening!!!!
Here's the latest on the connection of the two main sections of Indian Creek Trail. (For a refresher on the route, check out the trail map.) The county had planned to have trail construction substantially complete last fall, with the bridge being placed this spring. In short, there have been delays--but only garden-variety delays, and nothing that threatens completion of the project. County officials plan to construct the trail this summer and expect to open it before the end of 2017. We'll keep you updated during the process. When it's complete, we'll have a continuous trail from Hayswood to the YMCA--more than 3.5 miles!
There's no bad season on the Indian Creek Trail. Spring means wildflowers and inviting weather. Summer is long evenings and warm water. Fall brings crunching leaves and brisk air. And winter is a great chance to find solitude, spot wildlife, and make first tracks in the snow.
From an outreach perspective, though, we think of spring and summer as our annual season for spreading word about the trail. This spring, we launched a new website (www.indiancreektrail.org), invited trail lovers to support the trail, and performed our first annual trail counts--and we'd like to document some of the success of those efforts. 41 people joined or renewed their membership this spring and summer, more than doubling our member list. Membership continues to grow every month. Our Facebook page has continued to grow, and it's now approaching 1000 likes. Toward the end of May, we counted trail users in a couple locations at various times. On a sunny Sunday afternoon near the red bridge in Hayswood, we counted over 100 of you enjoying the trail in a single hour! We're looking forward to comparing trail counts in future years as the trail system grows.
It's been a great spring and summer, and fall is on the way. See you on the trail!
In late March, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources notified Harrison County officials that all tree removal needed for the new trail connection must be complete by April to avoid disrupting sensitive animal habitat during the summer months. Leaders from the parks and highways departments worked promptly with property owners to get permission to complete the tree work in time to keep the project on track. It was an unexpected early start to the construction phase, and the county isn't planning further site work until summer. Officials expect the new trail section to be complete in fall of 2016, though the new bridge will not be in place until spring of 2017. At that time, Indian Creek Trail will be continuous from the YMCA to Hayswood Nature Reserve. The trail new trail connection is jointly funded by Harrison County and the Harrison County Community Foundation.