Trail: Cardinal Greenway Trail in Indiana
Start: Springwood Park Trailhead in Richmond Indiana.
Route: Ride northwest to Muncie and back.
Distance 84 miles round trip.
Weather: Foggy start to mostly Sunny. Temp: 50-70 degrees.
Low Elev 940, Hi Elev 1160. Feet Ascended: 1500
Trail Material: Asphalt.
Rating: Thumbs Up.
I drove an hour from Ohio over to ride an Indiana trail so I could add another State to the list of States that I have ridden on a bike trail in. The 62 mile long Cardinal Trail was touted as the longest bicycle trail in Indiana connecting about 10 cities.
Springwood Park was the first Trailhead on this bicycling vacation that I felt apprehensive about leaving the car at. With signs posted all over reading, "Public Indecency Laws Strictly Enforced," trash cans turned over, and a dumpster overflowing with trash, the park obviously has some neglect issues. Richmond Indiana also had some roads with gutters lined with litter so trashy Richmond got none of my vacationer business. I will not support trashy towns like Richmond by spending money in them if not necessary.
The next bothersome thing was the trail gate crossings. The gates were closed forcing the bicycle to curve around the paved trail on a concrete circle that if not paying attention could drop a tire off the concrete into loose gravel at a bad angle possibly causing the rider to abruptly fall. Not cool. Luckily not all the road crossings on this trail had those gates.
A thick fog blanketed the landscape for three full hours before breaking up. The sides of the trail were mostly thick with trees with occasional openings to see foggy farmland. The side of the trail was boring ballast rocks and brown weeds killed with chemicals.
I had planned on riding all the way to Gaston to make this ride over 100 miles but when I arrived at Muncie there was chemical spraying in progress along the trail. Not knowing how many more miles of nauseating chemical spray to breathe in there was I just turned around. All the gang graffiti along the trail in Muncie helped with the decision to turn around. There is a difference between real art work and immature mural sized kindergarten gang lettering. Where real art work had been previously done, assholes sprayed painted graffiti over them.
Despite my disappointment with this ride due to fog, a boring mostly flat straight trail, chemical spray and stupid graffiti, I still give the trail a thumbs up rating because the trail is made for speed and distance. There is no place around Mobile where you can ride 50 miles on a car free smooth asphalt trail before turning around for another 50 mile ride back. The asphalt trail itself was in good shape but I would not choose to ride this trail again.
Highlights of this trip: The one highlight of this ride was something that might be considered silly which was the unique mile markers on the trail. The mile markers were engravings in large rocks placed every half mile. No one will be stealing any of those heavy rock mile markers.