Rushville Republican

October 7, 2012

Hiking trail opens in Rushville

Melissa A. Conrad
Rushville Republican

RUSHVILLE — It took just a few steps along the walking trail Monday evening to feel like we had walked far from the city into a tranquil wooded setting.

A wood-chipped trail followed the meandering waterway along the amphitheater park’s newest attraction, making a short walk feel like we had gotten far away from the city pace.

It was a welcome relief after a busy day to walk along this beautiful path.

The hiking trail welcomed new and old F.I.T. Walkabout walkers as we joined together in an easy hike to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Rushville Riverside Park’s one mile hiking trail.

It’s actually more than a trail, it’s a hiking experience - with a clever Halloween pumpkin tree trunk treat that the park’s department made to welcome the season.

The city of Rushville has completed a bridge in Riverside Park that completes the one-mile trail that loops around the amphitheater. The trail runs through the woods and along the river and gives the feeling of being in a state park.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held during a F.I.T. Walkabout at 5 p.m. Monday and the new trail is now open to the public.

Rushville Common Council member Brian Sheehan walked along with the group and shared some of the long and often surprising history of the area that has seen crowds in the thousands in the distant past for horse racing, car racing and now for one of the park’s many concerts at the amphitheater.

Mayor Mike Pavey and city department heads awaited the group at the newly completed bridge that connects the trail.

Walker Madonna Hedrick brought technology to the walk and mapped the trail using a GPS application on her cell phone as the Walkabout happened. RunKeeper, the app on her phone, turns your phone into a personal trainer and can track walking, running, hiking, biking, cycling and more.

The ribbon cutting at Riverside was just one of the exciting walks planned in the new schedule of Walkabouts and, this walker will admit, was a lot of relaxing fun. Sheehan’s history lessons during the walk made it really interesting.

Mayor Pavey said during the ceremony that he hopes to continue connecting walking trails around the community and sharing these trail experiences with more and more residents.

The mission of the Fitness Initiative Team of Rush County is to promote and encourage a more fit and active lifestyle for residents of Rush County of all ages.

The Fitness Initiative Team started this project in May with the goal of getting Rush County moving, so all of us can live more fit and active lifestyles.

The objective of this program is to provide walking and fitness opportunities. Walking is considered to be the most sustainable health program anyone can start, according to the American Heart Association.

F.I.T. Walkabouts organizer Gracie Marlatt said, “Hopefully, you may meet potential walking partners and discover new walking locales. Participation and enthusiasm for this program continues to build. If you have considered participating now is the time to do so.”

There are several new walks on the schedule.

The Downtown History Walk will be Thursday, Oct. 11. Meet at 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church, 226 N. Morgan Street.

Visiting Rushville’s unique neighborhoods is always popular. Exploring a new area is Steppin’ Out at Sugar Hill Tuesday, Oct. 9. Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of 11th and Sexton streets to walk over to this attractive neighborhood.

Walking allows time to see things we otherwise miss, so grab your sneakers or boots and take your own hike on the hiking trail.

Sometimes, disappearing on a walk for a bit is the fastest way to find yourself again.

As a part of the F.I.T. Walkabout program, Anytime Fitness has invited all participants to visit them at 222 S. Main Street each Friday at 5 p.m. This is a change in time from the past two months. They do ask non-members to sign the guest register.

In case of weather conflicts, all of the outdoor walks will be canceled.

Questions about this program can be directed to Gracie Marlatt, extension educator with Purdue Extension in Rush County at 932-5974.

For a complete listing of scheduled Walkabouts, visit one of the following sites:, (health related events) and You can also check out Partners for a Healthy Rush County on Facebook.

The Fitness Initiative Team of Rush County is one of the action teams for the Partners for a Healthy Rush County, Rush County’s health coalition.

The F.I.T. planning committee meets the first Tuesday of each month.

Come join in the fitness and fun. You don’t need to be a member, just a willing walker. Maybe you, too, can come along and listen to the history, sights and sounds of Rush County on one of the many unique Walkabouts.

Contact: Melissa A. Conrad @ 765.932.2222 x107