Amo, Ind. - Have you ever noticed many Indiana trails, like the Vandalia Trail, run along old railroad routes?
"The railroad infrastructure was ideal for trail structure," said Greg Midgley. "The drainage is perfect. And usually it’s very scenic areas they go through."
From woods to creeks to wide open spaces, Midgley knows every inch of the Vandalia Trail in Hendricks County. He was the project manager for the original rustic Vandalia Trail project! He's now the President of National Road Heritage Trail Incorporated.
He says when they opened the trail as a rustic trail in 2005, they always hoped it would eventually be a nice, upgraded trail.
Twelve years later, it's happening!
The four-mile stretch from Amo to Coatesville is being repaved. Crosswalks and restrooms are being added.
"This is going to greatly increase the types of people that can use it," said Midgley. "Families, kids with training wheels on their bikes, wheelchairs and more."
The four-mile stretch from Amo to Coatesville connects to eight miles of trail that continues west to Greencastle.
Jeremy Weber, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation in Hendricks County, says they now have a grant to acquire more right-of-way to the east to connect with Plainfield.
"So we hope to be one of the first counties in the state to connect all the way across the county," said Weber.
The end game is to have a 160-mile long trail across the state.
There are currently 59 miles open in difference sections, and this stretch is the longest.
"It provides a public place to stay off the road, and to be able to bicycle and hike and horseback ride away from the dangers of motorized traffic," said Midgley.
"I moved to Plainfield specifically two years ago to live next to the Vandalia Trail there, but I lived in Hendricks County for many years before that, and just really enjoy the parks that are growing, the trail connectivity and the communities," said Midgley. "I see Amo and Coatesville in particular really blossoming from this."
The trail is open all year, but remember crews are working on it until November, so keep that in mind if you want to visit.
If you want to ride horses on the trail, the best place for horse trailer parking is in Amo.