Our Roots

In 1985 Mayor Robert Stewart appointed a committee of interested citizens to investigate the need for a trail system in Columbus.

The first survey was distributed throughout the community and results indicated an overwhelming desire to develop a trail system.  The community wanted a trail system that would connect residential areas with parks, schools, shopping areas and work as well as be used for the architectural tour.

Since 1995, no local funds have been used to construct major trail projects.

From 2000-2003 The Columbus Park Foundation, launched its first Capital Campaign for the Haw Creek expansion.  This campaign brought much success, exceeding its goal of $250,000.00 with total donations equaling $697,600.00 (including land donations).

The Park Foundation and the Columbus Parks and Recreation Dept. have worked closely with the City of Columbus Engineers’ and Planning Dept. office to combine the desire for more People Trails with existing expansion projects for roads and sidewalks to maximize private funds donated for this purpose.

In 2008 a Columbus Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning Committee was formed.  Through public surveys, the Columbus Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan was created and the final was adopted on May 12, 2010 by the Columbus City Council.

In 2011 The Columbus Park Foundation leveraged funds to match an INDOT/Federal Grant for expansion of the trails.  It was determined the funds would be best used to connect the existing People Trail, near Blackwell Park, to Owens Bend Park.  Owens Bend People Trail represents the first connection of City and County facilities and was made possible through partnership with the City of Columbus Park Board, the Bartholomew County Park Board, the City of Columbus Engineering Dept. and the Columbus Park Foundation.  In addition to construction of over 2 miles of trails, bike lanes and sharrows were installed along River Road to extend connectivity to the People Trail System.



Mayor Robert Stewart appointed a committee to investigate the need for a trail system in Columbus. (Committee:  Parks Dept. staff, City Engineer, Planning Staff and member of Police Dept.)

A survey was developed and distributed throughout the community.

A community wide contest was held to develop a name and logo for the trail system.

The name developed was the People Trail.

Based on community response, City Council approved $50,000.00 in the Parks Dept. budget for trail development. Over 8 miles of trail was constructed.


Noblitt – Donner – Lincoln Trail completed (includes portions of 17th and 19th Streets) 1.5 miles


Mill Race – Noblitt Trail completed


Sidewalks in Mill Race Park connecting to People Trail completed (part of Front Door Project);

Clifty Creek Trail (loop around Clifty Park) completed


Westenedge – IUPUC – Airport Trail completed


State Road 46 Trail from Mill Race to Tipton Lakes completed (part of Front Door Project)


Remainder of State Road 46 Trail (from I-65 behind properties to West Hill Shopping Center) completed


Haw Creek Trail completed (State Street to Airport)


Owens Bend Trail completed