I wish I enjoyed exercising. But, the last time I went to the gym, I saw my life flash before my eyes while trying to lift weights. And, I’m not exactly the most coordinated athlete. But, I do like walking outdoors (what better way to get fit than while exploring nature?), which is why I’m intrigued by an initiative involving trails and greenways in Terre Haute.
Many projects currently taking place downtown were inspired by the National Road Heritage Trail, which will ultimately stretch 150 miles from the Indiana/Illinois border to the edge of Ohio. Locally, it encompasses the east end of Vigo County to the Wabash River and extends through downtown Terre Haute.
“The genesis of that trail system is right here in Terre Haute,” declares Pat Martin, chief planner for the City of Terre Haute Department of Engineering. “The vision for the trail was to establish an east-west backbone for the trail and greenway system and revitalize neighborhoods and redevelop adjacent land parcels.”
Since 2002, 23 miles of trails and greenways have been developed in the city. The system will be lengthened this year and eventually span approximately 55 miles.
Economic development projects spurred by the trail include:
- Heritage Trail Apartments – a $40 million luxury apartment complex with 296 units located on the city’s east side within walking distance of Indiana State University and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
- Multi-million dollar extension of Locust Street
- Neighborhood and park connectivity and redevelopment
- Increase in the value of adjacent brownfield properties
“Perhaps the biggest change of all is in the change in lifestyle for the community,” Martin observes. “This has brought about a greater interest in active lifestyles, not only with the National Heritage Trail, but with the entire trail and greenway system."
Learn about additional downtown revitalization projects, as well as other important initiatives taking place in Terre Haute, in the current issue of BizVoice®.