The Cardinal Greenway in Muncie stretches through Indiana countryside that may well have inspired the lyrics to "America the Beautiful": Spacious skies, fruited plains, and amber waves of grain provide the backdrop to the rural parts of this trail.
The rail-trail travels through the city of Muncie, but each end offers rich rural landscapes. Beginning in Gaston, population 1,010, the trail is flanked by wildflowers. Early risers will be rewarded with the sight of hundreds of spider webs thick with morning dew and glistening in the new day's sun.
As you reach the 400 North trailhead, the urban fingers of Muncie start to reach out. An influx of runners, walkers and inline skatersmany of them students at nearby Ball State Universityhit the trail. The McColloch Boulevard trailhead will introduce you to the true Cardinal Greenway experience. First is the connector at mile 10 to the White River Greenway
, which follows the trail's eponymous river. Second, you will be faced with two bridges: to the right a historic trestle bridge, to the left the bicycle and pedestrian bridge that takes you across the White River. Another 0.3 mile along is the beautifully restored Wysor Street Depot and the office of Cardinal Greenway, Inc. The historic depot is a perfect place to stop for a picture, get a souvenir or look at the model train. You also can pick up a free loaner bike at the depot; simply leave a valid picture ID and borrow a bike to cruise the trail.
Heading south from the depot, you will find yourself in the neighborhoods of Muncie. Passing under Route 35 you will re-enter to the sun-drenched Indiana countryside, where the trail meanders along the road like a fickle butterfly following the promise of pollen. Note that the rocks marking the mileage here show it decreasing; these numbers signify the mileage to Cincinnati, the original destination of the railroad.
At the southern end of this segment, another section continues through Losantville
and continues heading south to the Richmond segment
. From the north end of the trail (at Gaston), you can continue on-road by bike to Gas City/Jonesboro and pick up the Marion section
of the Cardinal Greenway.
There are numerous places to park along the route of the Cardinal Greenway. The Gaston trailhead is located in Gaston at the end of Broad Street on the left side. In Muncie, access the trailhead at the depot by taking N. Vine Street across E. Wysor Street and into the Depot parking lot.
Some of the trail is very interesting but area's are really plain. The trail is in excellent condition.
My wife and I rode 40 miles on the Cardinal Greenway starting at the Depot and turning around just southeast of Losantville. The trail has plenty of shaded areas, numerous rest areas and trail heads. This is one of the best designed trails in the country. ...
I am from Northwest Ohio. My wife and I did a century ride from Gaston to Richmond and back. It was her first century and it couldn't have been a better experience. The trail is paved and smooth from one end to the other and is just over 100 miles. We ...