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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Happy Trails

On a damp spring day, a group of local children laced up their sneakers for a stroll near the future Cedar Hall Community School. Their guide down the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage? An affable, bandana-wearing Labrador retriever named Evie.

The Keep Evansville Beautiful mascot’s day job is retrieving litter, but she made a cameo appearance at the first Walk and Roll Week, sponsored by the Evansville-Area Trails Coalition. From May 17-23, the group encouraged Tri-State residents to walk to school, bike to work, explore the area’s trails, and participate in organized activities. The slate of events included birding walks at Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve and Eagle Slough, historic walking tours of the East Side’s Lincolnshire neighborhood and Oak Hill Cemetery, and a bicycle safety program for kids.

Walk and Roll Week may be over, but there still are plenty of weeks left in the year to hit the trails. For would-be walkers (or runners, cyclists, or skaters) who don’t know where to start or want to explore new routes, the Vanderburgh County Health Department developed Evansville in Motion. The compilation of measured route maps, basic fitness information, safety tips, and inspiring quotes recently was expanded with 23 new or updated maps. A few of our favorite routes:

Evansville Riverfront. Ohio River scenery, plenty of company, and music drifting from Casino Aztar — there are plenty of reasons to love this stretch of the Greenway. From Shawnee Drive/Waterworks Road, it’s a 1.2-mile jaunt to Aztar’s riverboat.

Main Street Walkway. From the front of the Civic Center Complex (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) to Riverside Drive and back equals one mile. The biggest challenge is resisting the siren song of the burgers at Peephole Bar & Grill.

Wesselman Park. One loop around the main road (without entering the nature preserve) totals 0.8 miles. Running or walking in the evening may bring more than cooler temperatures: Groups of deer have been known to amble through the trees at dusk.

Newburgh Rivertown Trail. From the B. Gene Aurand Trailhead at Highway 662 and Yorkshire Drive, this brand-new trail meanders along the Ohio River to the Old Lock and Dam. With the trailhead as the start and finish line, the route extends for two miles.

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