Indiana, Clark County, Floyd County
river mile 601
The Ohio River Greenway is one of several exemplary projects that form the basis for a complete, river-long bicycle and walker multiuse path that offers access to the whole 981 miles of the Ohio River. This portion of it, called the Ohio River Greenway, runs from the Jeffersonville Riverstage, at about river mile 602, to the downstream end of the riverside park in New Albany, at about river mile 609. The plan has been updated as Greenway 2040.
The Ohio River Greenway connects with the Louisville Loop, a potential 100 mile trail system in Louisville, at the Big Four Bridge in Jeffersonville. The 23 miles of the portion along the Ohio River in Louisville, the Ohio Valley Region, are complete. There are hopes that the Ohio River Greenway can become a complete loop by also being connected with Louisville via the K&I Bridge in New Albany. The Norfolk Southern railroad is reluctant to help convert the former automobile roadway adjoining the tracks to bike and pedestrian use, even though that kind of conversion has been done in many other locations, including by the same railroad company.
This project is exemplary in part because it involves so many different actors who all are working together to create a public project that is valuable for everyone. These include the elected officials of the three municipalities through which it runs: Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany, representatives of the two counties, Floyd and Clark, the regional economic development commission, and the regional convention and visitors bureau. The US Army Corps of Engineers conducted feasibility studies for the project. It has been funded through Federal Department of Transportation funds, State Department of Transportation funds, and local municipalities. There is an active Friends of the Ohio River Greenway that supports several annual events including the bicycle ride Tour de Pork.
The project was conceived in the 1990’s. It is taking many years to complete, but that is as expected with a project of such complexity. The Ohio River Greenway appears on the Greenway Foundation’s map of trails in the state of Indiana. The greenway’s website includes many beautiful photographs and its blog contains current events with links to local TV and newspaper coverage.