Pennsy Trail

Trail Map

Description Suggest an Edit

The straight, paved Pennsy Trail—not to be confused with the Pennsy Greenway located farther north in the Chicago suburbs—occupies a portion of the old right-of-way of the Pennsylvania Railroad (“Pennsy” for short) and parallels the historic Old National Road. The Indiana portion of the corridor extended from Richmond, Indiana, through Indianapolis to the eastern border of Illinois. Along these tracks, the body of President Abraham Lincoln was carried back to Illinois on April 30, 1865.

The trail is currently open in three disjointed segments. On the eastern side of Indianapolis, a 1.2-mile stretch links the Irvington neighborhood with a local elementary school and a large Indiana Department of Transportation complex. A restored railroad trestle takes trail users over busy Shadeland Avenue.

To the east of Indianapolis, a second paved section of the Pennsy Trail stretches across the town of Cumberland. The 3-mile segment passes industrial properties and crosses several restored railroad bridges through a wooded corridor before emerging into open farmland. The trail parallels US 40 for its entire length (although the highway is always out of view) and thus offers a much safer biking and walking alternative.

The third and longest section of the Pennsy Trail resumes 4.5 miles to the east of Cumberland in the city of Greenfield. Passing through farmland and the Greenfield Country Club golf course, the trail also traverses neighborhoods and is within a short walking distance of downtown. The nearly 6-mile stretch of trail crosses Brandywine Creek, alleged to be the creek where the "Old Swimmin' Hole" was found in James Whitcomb Riley's poem of the same name.

Plans call for all three open segments to be linked into a single Pennsy Trail in the future. The trail is also set to become one of the vital components of the National Road Heritage Trail, a proposed border-to-border trail stretching more than 150 miles between Terre Haute and Richmond, Indiana, on an abandoned Pennsylvania Railroad corridor.

Parking and Trail Access

In Indianapolis, parking is available at Irvington Plaza, midway along the trail (6243 Washington Street; park near the Dairy Queen just south of the Marsh grocery store).

In Cumberland, park at either of the two large shopping centers on both sides of S. German Church Road off E. Washington Street/US 40. Direct connections to the trail can be found in the parking lots.

In Greenfield, parking is available at each end of the trail: at CR 150 W and at CR 400 E, which also offers a portable toilet. Closer to downtown, you can park at Center Street and at Morristown Pike.

Reviews

Pennsy's Glory Fabulously Preserved!

   September, 2012 by rich ballash

So many rail trails seem to want to eliminate every vestige of their railroad heritage...Even with their trail names. Well here, in my opinion, is the capping beauty of Indiana rail-trails which other preservation groups should study and model their trails ...read more

Great trail if you're in the area

   July, 2012 by johnmpete

I agree with previous reviews, not a lot to see, but you will be hard pressed to find a trail that is in better shape or more accessible. I rode it in on 07/21/2012 when we had an 85 degree day after three weeks of 100 degree heat, so I was fortunate ...read more

A Nice Trail If You Are In The area

   September, 2010 by tcindy

The Pennsy Trail in Greenfield, IN is a mostly linear trail as would be expected with a rail-trail. The in-town portion of the trail passes by light manufacturing and warhousing areas as well as a few neighborhoods. There are not too many cross streets ...read more