When walking or bicycling along Scottsburg’s more than five miles of walking trails, it is hard not take in the scenery and see the natural beauty of the area.
“We have done landscaping to enhance the beauty of it and make it special,” Scottsburg Mayor Bill Graham said.
In the last decade, the walking trails have expanded, and benches and water fountains were installed to allow those walking and bicycling to enjoy the wetland and wooded areas highlighted on the trail.
“The walking trail allows you to just enjoy nature’s wonders,” Graham said.
On the walking trail, families, bicyclists, residents living in long-term care facilities, fitness enthusiasts, and individuals can connect to Lake Iola, the Scott County YMCA, the businesses on the west side of Scottsburg and Mid-America Science Park. The trail connects three city parks and passes near multiple long-term care facilities, the Scott Memorial Hospital, and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare Center.
“It has reached all age groups,” Graham said. “It is heavily used and very popular for all generations.”
The need for a walking trail became evident to Graham years ago when those walking and bicycling needed a safe route to travel around Scottsburg. The walking trail provides that safe passage with lights, cameras, and lighted crosswalks. As all roads lead to Scottsburg, Graham hopes the walking trail will connect the city.
“The need to expand was very evident as recreation and fitness [increased in popularity],” Graham said. “We want to connect the community together, and make it a fitness and family-friendly environment.”
Since the addition of the walking trail through the city, three bicycle clubs have formed, walking groups meet to exercise together, and area residents and healthcare facilities use it to promote movement, rehabilitation, and fitness. The schools and other civic organizations use the walking trail to host 5K races and awareness and fundraising walks and events.
“We want to become an attraction to draw visitors,” Graham said. “We want people to explore our community.”
In the future, Graham hopes to use the existing pathways to connect the trail to the downtown and Courthouse square.
“We want to tie the historic downtown with the vibrant retail that’s coming,” Graham said.
He also hopes to connect the trail to the Scottsburg Reservoir and create a recreation area with picnic options and eagle viewing.
“It would be a real tie with nature,” Graham said.