There will be a public meeting on July 18 from 4-5p at Salem City Hall to discuss acquisition of Right of Way along the Monon railway.
According to Richard Vonnegut of the Indiana Trails Fund, the meetings are aimed at explaining the process of how the corridor can be used for bike, hike, and
future rail use, and to explain about ‘trail towns’
“We will also discuss how to to shift three national routes, each for hiking and bicycling, onto this corridor, to get hikers and bicyclists off of busy streets and roads, to make the hikers and cyclists safer than on-road,”said Vonnegut.
This will be accomplished, according to Vonnegut by holding a series of meetings to field public comments, to ascertain and build support for a trail.
The “Monon South” trail will be using a 62-mile corridor as a bike, hike transportation route. The eventual trail would be open to the public and would commence at the north end from Yockey Road, in Lawrence County, proceed through Orange, Washington, Clark, and Floyd Counties to Mt Tabor Road, in New Albany.
This section of railroad trail would span over 62 miles.
Vonnegut said he was uncertain when route will be built.
For those familiar with rail trails, the Monon in Indianapolis and its outskirts is a bit legendary. It was voted in March, 2009 into the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Rail-Trail Hall of Fame. In addition, it’s been cited in numerous publications as an example of the beneficial effects trails can have on people’s health as well as the health of the micro-economies of areas through which the trail passes.
For those not familiar with the Indy Monon, exploring its nearly 17 miles of length will give you a mini-vacation for tasting the arts, foods, life and culture, and history across this Midwestern city. The Indy Monon also intersects with a couple of other trails, the Central Canal Towpath along the White River, and the Fall Creek Trail.
The trail itself follows a former Monon Railroad northward out of Indianapolis toward Chicago. Monon is the town in northwest Indiana where the railroad’s two main lines crossed. Its American Indian name is usually translated as “swift running.” The Monon now extends north beyond the Indy city limits as the Carmel Greenway and Westfield Monon. Extensions further north to Sheridan are already in the planning stages.