Trail group moving ahead brick ‘buy’ brick
To raise public awareness ‘ and funds ‘ the Indian Creek Trail Committee is selling commemorative bricks this week at the Harrison County Fair in Corydon.
Committee members will be at a Merchants Building booth each night to provide information about the $1 million trail project, show maps and photographs, and take orders for eight-by-eight-by-two-inch bricks that can be inscribed and set permanently in concrete on the trail. Each brick costs $100. There will also be a drawing for a free inscribed brick.
Twenty bricks have already been placed in concrete at the beginning of the ‘Doolittle’ section of the trail that starts at the West Bridge (S.R. 62) and runs more than half a mile alongside Big Indian Creek opposite the old Keller Manufacturing Co. site in Corydon.
Brick sales will help the all-volunteer committee buy concrete to continue the Doolittle section. It comes to an abrupt halt a hundred yards or so from the North Bridge (Capitol Avenue/S.R. 337), and far short of its intended destination ‘ the YMCA of Harrison County.
The committee hopes the trail will eventually continue under the North Bridge beside the former LNA&C railroad line, although attempts to reach the new owner, the Lucas Oil Corp., to discuss right-of-way, have been unsuccessful.
The Indian Creek Trail project is now 10 years old. It was started after former Purdue University Extension Agent Jerry Dryden invited some Purdue University architectural design students to study the confluence of Big and Little Indian creeks in Corydon to see if a trail system could be established.
The latest and most ambitious section under consideration, the 2.2-mile ‘O’Bannon section,’ is scheduled to run from two points ‘ the West Bridge trailhead on Big Indian and Rice Island Playground on Little Indian ‘ west through a largely unspoiled area to Hayswood Nature Reserve west of Corydon. The project, funded by a federal transportation grant and local county government match, is now being reviewed by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation. Because federal funds are involved, each step of the project must be reviewed by various government departments, including the Dept. of Natural Resources, which signed off on the project with some reservations.
First a rare, endangered plant species is found on the other side of Indian Creek. The DNR was concerned about two ‘pinch-point’ concrete sections that will be poured directly onto the creek bed beneath sheer rock walls. The DNR fears this is a precedent setting plan and might inhibit wildlife migration in the area, although planners would install grates in the concrete.
The trail project, legally owned by the Harrison County Parks Dept., is being designed by Eric Ernstberger, a former Corydon boy who heads Rundell Ernstberger of Indianapolis and Muncie.
If enough money can be raised or donated, the ICTC hopes to take advantage of inmates who have volunteered to do concrete work as community service time and use heavy construction equipment from the town to move some heavy boulders around to protect the trail and provide places for memorial plaques to be posted.
The committee is also working on getting some signs similar to the red, white and blue ones the Harrison County Convention & Visitors Bureau put up at the main entrances to town. There is also a need for a logo that emphasizes the trail’s connections with the town’s many historic and naturally scenic attractions.