Big Four Bridge

Indiana, Kentucky

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 30,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Big Four Bridge Facts

States: Indiana, Kentucky
Counties: Clark, Jefferson
Length: 0.5 miles
Trail end points: Louisville Riverwalk at River Rd. (Louisville, KY) and Pearl St. and W. Chestnut St. (Jeffersonville, IN)
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 7702343
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

With Unlimited:

  • Export to My Trail Guide
  • Create Guidebook
  • Download GPX
  • Download Offline Maps
  • Print Friendly Map
Upgrade Now

Big Four Bridge Description

The Big Four Bridge links Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, over the majestic Ohio River, once described by Thomas Jefferson as “the most beautiful river on Earth.” The bridge’s unusual name comes from the informal name of the railroad that originally ran trains over the line: the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway once connected these ‘big four’ cities via an extensive rail network throughout the Midwest.

The bridge opened to rail traffic in 1895, although an expanded bridge using the same piers replaced it in 1929. The Big Four Bridge was abandoned by Penn Central, who had acquired the Big Four Railroad through a series of mergers, in 1969. Miraculously, the resolute bridge survived as a ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ for more than 4 decades, even withstanding 4 fires. In 2009, Louisville and Jeffersonville committed to restoring the bridge for bicycle and pedestrian use, and it finally opened in 2013.

The bridge has seen heavy use since its opening. With its 24/7 availability, lighted handrails and scenic views of the river and downtown Louisville, the bridge has become a popular (and romantic) spot in Louisville. New businesses are opening and existing businesses are quickly adapting to take advantage of the massive increase in foot traffic on both sides of the river.

Motorized vehicles, skateboards, in-line skates and pets (excepting service animals) are prohibited on the bridge. On the Kentucky side, the bridge directly meets the Louisville Riverwalk, allowing trail users to continue along the Ohio River on an off-road route to downtown.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking for the Big Four Bridge is available off River Road in Louisville’s Waterfront Park at the base of the bridge.

Big Four Bridge Reviews

Not your typical trail, as it spans the mighty Ohio River. Beautiful view and amazing River breeze make this trail very unique. Riding the ramp up onto the bridge is a challenge, but well worth the effort. Love, love this trail!!

I am so impressed that both states and the communities put up the money to turn an eyesore into an incredible asset. Connects to excellent trails on both IN and KY sides, turning it into a unique experience. Plenty of restaurants on both sides of the river. Beautifully lit at night as well.

Biking across the Ohio river is fun in itself but the Louisville river trail ties in on the Kentucky side and the Levee trail on the Indiana side. There are plenty of things to do and places to visit. I recommend a trip to one of the 2 Brewery's on the Indian side. Highly recommend a visit here


Recently road up and over the Ohio River on the Big Four Bridge. The view of the Ohio River and Downtown Louisville are great.

The Kentucky side of the bridge has a circular approach. The Indiana side has a long, mostly straight decline, with a sharp right near street level.

Both sides of the river offer walking, running, and cycling along parks and streets. On the Indiana side you can find your way west to the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center.

Cyclists should be careful on the bridge. There are usually lots runners, walkers, kids, and strollers too. Watch our for picture takers who may unknowingly step into the path a cyclist.

I love the Big 4 Bridge. I have been on it several time and every time have been amazed that I can now travel safely between Indiana and Kentucky without having to worry about cars.

Trail Events

This trail does not have any events yet.
Be the first to add one!

Add an Event

Nearby Trails

Louisville Loop

Kentucky - 50.51 miles

In the 1890s, pre-eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Sr. envisioned large community parks connected to the neighborhoods of Louisville...

Ohio River Greenway

Indiana - 2.7 miles

The Ohio River Greenway (formerly known as the Clarksville Levee Trail) winds through Clarksville, Indiana, on top of the levees designed to hold back...

Clarksville Heritage Trail

Indiana - 1.6 miles

The Clarksville Heritage Trail links the residential heart of Clarksville, Indiana, with its growing trail system and two local parks. The trail,...


Lewis and Clark Bridge Trail

Indiana - 2.5 miles

This multipurpose trail provides a safe, non-motorized alternative to cross the Ohio River between Jeffersonville, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky....

Heritage Trail of Madison

Indiana - 2 miles

The Heritage Trail of Madison connects the downtown of Madison, Indiana, with its steep hilltop section. Begin your journey at the intersection of...

Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway

Indiana - 10.3 miles

The Milwaukee Road Transportation Trailway will one day stretch 20 miles through southwestern Indiana from Bedford to Indian Springs. The region’s...

Town Branch Trail (KY)

Kentucky - 2.2 miles

Town Branch Trail in northwest Lexington currently extends between Leestown Road and Alexandria Road, following an old railroad corridor between a...

Columbus People Trail

Indiana - 15.7 miles

The Columbus People Trail offers an easy and convenient way for residents in this small Indiana city to get around by bike or on foot. The network...

Legacy Trail (KY)

Kentucky - 12 miles

The Legacy Trail runs north-south through Lexington among green spaces, neighborhoods and parks. Two highlights of the popular pathway are the...

South Elkhorn Trail

Kentucky - 0.5 miles

The South Elkhorn Trail is a short community path in the southern reaches of Lexington, Kentucky. The rail-with-trail skirts the edge of the new...

Coolavin Rail Trail

Kentucky - 0.6 miles

The Coolavin Rail Trail runs for a half mile in northern Lexington's Smithtown neighborhood. The paved pathway begins on a quiet street adjacent to...

Hope Center Trail

Kentucky - 0.3 miles

Although short in length, the Hope Center Trail provides an important connection between two other trails in Lexington’s northern neighborhoods. The...

Download the TrailLink mobile app and take TrailLink with you!
Support TrailLink and the Trails You Love in 2020!
Get a FREE guidebook when you join Rails-to-Trails Conservancy!

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 30,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google