By James Feichtner
The Zionsville Parks Board announced at its April meeting that it would support a possible name change of the Zionsville Rail Trail to the Big 4 Rail Trail or the Big 4 Trail. The move comes after the Friends of Boone County recently voted to rename the Farm Heritage Trail – which is planned to eventually connect with Zionsville’s trail – the Big 4 Trail.
The new name pays homage to the Big 4 Railroad. It was built in 1852 and stretched from Lafayette to Indianapolis. Zionsville’s Rail Trail and the Farm Heritage Trail are built along the former railroad. The Big 4 also pays tribute to the four largest communities on the trail: Lebanon, Zionsville, Whitestown and Thorntown.
The Rail Trail runs north and south through Zionsville and is in the process of being expanded farther into Boone County. Work on the trail is underway in Lebanon and Whitestown.
“I feel the real value of the Rail Trail is its connectivity,” Parks Board Member Tim Casady said. “The longer it is, the more places it takes you, the more valuable it is so the big four, to the extent that connotes or maybe even denotes the fact you are going places; that’s great. You can always use Rail Trail as a subsidiary name but to the extent that this helps our neighbors get behind it and get excited about I see very little downside for us.”
Board members felt the willingness to change will help further encourage neighboring communities to connect the trail systems, noting that “anything we can do to push the county and others in the area to join in our efforts is helpful.”
The next parks board meeting will take place May 11.