Even in winter weather, river-walks can be a beautiful place for some R&R. The Evansville Riverwalk, along the banks of the Ohio River, qualifies for just such activities, nearly any time of the year. If you visit during the cooler seasons you might be surprised to find strollers, joggers, cyclists and doggie-walkers enjoying the therapeutic scenery of the river, the woodlands of Kentucky on the far shore, and the beauty of both modern and Victorian architecture in the homes and buildings of the area.
The riverwalk covers several city blocks and is situated mostly along the top of the bank, however, the river below is easily accessed throughout the trail and in some areas of the walk there are descending paved paths that will take you right to the water’s edge.
The top-side of the bank provides a fantastic view of the Ohio as well as the barges and other boats churning up large waves as they push themselves through the water. These boats are an attention getter and fun to watch, especially when maneuvering their freight around the large bend in that area of the river. It’s a fun way to get a detailed view of their operations from a safe vantage point. On the day I visited to gather information and get photos for this article, I had two young cousins along with me. This aspect of the riverwalk was as interesting for them as it was for me and equally educational.
Any time you can mix lessons and fun together, you’ve scored a hit and if you’ve got younger ones to bring along, I enthusiastically recommend this area for a field-trip. Whether you’ve got the kiddos along with you or not, I encourage you to visit the Visitor’s Center along the walk-way, which is located at 401 S.E. Riverside Drive in Evansville.
Not only do they have information that will help you map out a well-informed adventure, the center doubles as a sort of mini-museum housing some incredibly impressive photography, historical artifacts and replicas of boats that travelled through the same water-passage from the days when river traffic on the Ohio first began developing on a large scale.
During our visit we met Julia Pillow, the manager of the Visitor’s Center. Julia was very pleasant and impressively knowledgeable on the history of the area and the center’s historical displays. At the top of the center is a glassed in area that provides a fantastic view of both the river, the dated architecture across the road and a nearby sculpture memorial dedicated to U.S. military veterans.
Evansville is the third-largest city in the state of Indiana, and this section of it is one of my favorite places in the entire city. It’s also a popular middle-point between St. Louis, MO and Louisville, KY, and therefore hosts numerous meetings between the two cities throughout the entire year. Many of the city’s high end hotels are near this area, so if you happen to be in town for a convention the riverwalk might easily be within strolling distance from the facility hosting your meeting or your hotel.
When the weather is good, vendors are often in the area selling food and drinks to visitors and there are numerous restaurants a short distance from the area.
On the inland side of the river-walk are parks with play-forts and other equipment to keep your little ones busy and active in both body and imagination. And for those who have a bit of trouble getting around, rest assured that the paved trail is smooth and easy to navigate for guests in wheel-chairs or who use walking-assistance devices.
If you’re a photo-bug, take your camera along. You’ll find loads of awesome photo opportunities on both the water-side and the inland-side of the walk.
I hope I’ve succeeded in enticing you to visit this exceptional spot in southern Indiana. It’s a great place for exercise or rest, depending on which one you’re craving, so plan to enjoy your visit!