Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail


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Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail Facts

States: Kentucky
Counties: Muhlenberg
Length: 6 miles
Trail end points: 3rd Street (Central City) and Green Dr. at Maple St. (Greenville)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015913
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail Description

The Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail in rural southwestern Kentucky connects the community of Central City, Muhlenberg County's largest city, to Powderly and Greenville to the south. As Kentucky's most extensive rails-to-trails conversion, this 6-mile asphalt trail is relatively flat except at the north end where the trail leaves the old rail bed for an uphill climb to the former location of the Central City High School.

Between Central City and the Western Kentucky Parkway, the trail meanders through wetland marsh populated with beavers and a large variety of fish. A viewing platform overlooking the wetlands was recently constructed and includes a birding guide produced by a local Boy Scouts troop. The southern section of the trail passes through the tiny, rugged town of Powderly before ending at the Greenville trailhead.

The trail's railroad history dates back to the late 19th century when the Illinois Central Railroad Company operated on this corridor, hauling coal from nearby mines in addition to running passenger rail service. In the 1980s, the Paducah & Louisville Railway purchased the rail line. But as coal mines dwindled, so did the need for rail service, leading to the Paducah & Louisville Railway's eventual abandonment of this right-of-way.

As a reminder of its past as a railroad line, the Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail has preserved many remnants of its history, including old signal towers, mile markers, trestles and whistle signs. The most prominent feature, though, is an antique caboose donated by Paducah & Louisville Railway. It is now used as a railroad museum, located just south of the Central City trailhead.

Parking and Trail Access

The best place to park is at the trail's southern end in Greenville. The trail lies parallel to US 62 between Powderly and Greenville. The southern trailhead parking is on US 62 just north of Greenville's town center.

Muhlenberg County Rail-Trail Reviews

I rode the trail 12/06/18 and it’s a great ride even at 40 degree temperatures.

My wife and I rode the trail up and back from Greenville to Central City on September 9, 2017. Trail head parking in both Greenville and Central City is paved, convenient, and safe. Trail is paved and about 8-10 feet wide. Most of the trail is flat or gradual slopes, except a short steep hill near Central City. Vegetation along the sides of the trail was mowed and well kept. Old bridges near the wetlands do not have guard rails but trail is wide across the bridges. Lots of benches along the way. There are a few road crossings near Greenville but not hazardous. The trail is off the interstate and parkway corridors. It is not long but is a hidden gem.

I'm in the military and have actually taken the Army Physical Fitness Test on this trail. We run 2 miles for record so they have a white posted line past Powderly to start from and will run to where the trail starts in Greenville across from Clarks Appliance Center. Soldiers like to take the running part of the PT Test there because instead of the normal 8 laps in a circle rubbing elbows with 60 other Soldiers it's a 1 way start to end run and halfway, 1 mile mark, you can see the finish line and mentally makes you more confident and run harder and Soldiers really improve their time. Also I have ridden the the trail several times on bicycle along with my children and have never had any trouble. We always ride up and back and stop at the swamp area to go up on the deck and view the wildlife. It is maintained well and has a lot of neat interesting features along the way. It is truly great having this in our local community and we are very fortunate.


A wonderful place to walk with your family.. We walk there almost every night the dogs really enjoy it also...

We took our dogs to walk the trail from southern trailhead in Greenville to just past Powderly, maybe 2 miles. The parking area is right next to US62 just as you come into Greenville from the northeast. When you see the green caboose and covered bridge the parking is the next right. This section is lighted with many benches available to rest. It looked like the trail had recently been widened (previous comment said it was narrow) to about 10 feet and repaved. Very level, easy walking. There are no facilities on the trail, but many fast food places across the highway in this section. It does go through an area of older, run down homes, but it was very open and we felt safe walking there. If you take your dogs on this trail please be sure to have them leashed securely as there is lots of open farmland and a busy highway they could get lost in. Hope to be able to go the whole 6 miles on our bikes sometime and see the rest of the trail!

Made it 7.5 miles on September 27,2013 what a great trail. We'll be back another day to do the full trail. Thanks for the Great day. ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

I really enjoyed the trail, over 6 miles of asphalt trail to ride my bike on. Theres not many places close to home with a trail this long. The trail isn't very wide but everyone that I came in contact with shared the trail, unlike another trail I go to sometimes. I will definitely go here again, Loved it! (Trail does go to very secluded area)

My kids and I have gone on the Central City, Kentucky trail several times. Yesterday, 4/12/09, we went and really enjoyed the wildlife. We saw real life beavers hard at work. It amazing to see the effects they have on the area. The swifts and orioles (I think) were fun to watch also. Its nice to have a smooth, flat, SAFE place to bike. Keep up the good work!

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