Stroll Along With History on the Cadiz Railroad Trail - Hiking
Grab the stroller, the dog, and little sense of history and hit the path through Cadiz, Kentucky. Whether just passing through town or living steps away, everyone is sure to find something to do on the Cadiz Railroad Trail.
Follow the rails of history down the Cadiz Railroad Trail. Once utilized for transporting tobacco from Cadiz to Gracey, the Cadiz rail line has been re-purposed into a lovely 2.5-mile route through the town of Cadiz. Step off the path to check out the local sights and culture, or browse through one of the many charming antique shops gracing the downtown corridor. The paved surface makes it ideal for bicycling, running and dog walking.
What Makes It Great
The Cadiz Railroad was completed just after the turn of the twentieth century and chugged across the tobacco fields and grazing lands to nearby Gracey. It was mainly used to haul tobacco between the two towns and was a spur off the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Gracey is only about eight miles from Cadiz, however in 1901, in order to be considered a railroad, tracks had to be at least 10 miles long. Therefore the founder of the railroad, William C. White, built in two extra miles of curves as a way to extend the tracks to 10.3 miles so that Cadiz could claim it it had it’s own railroad.
Today, the Cadiz Railroad Trail is one of 1,600 in a nationwide network of trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy that have been carved from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Dedicated in 1989, this was the first “rail trail” in Kentucky.
To get a sense of community, join in with parents pushing strollers, joggers of all speeds, and dog walkers any given morning. Most of this easy-going trail passes through residential neighborhoods and an urban downtown corridor. The east section is surrounded by a small stretch of farmland, and the western part passes through a secluded tunnel of trees and follows a deep ravine.
Previously an unused railroad corridor, this rail-trail is now a great place to experience community and get some exercise in Cadiz.
Who is Going to Love It
Used for hiking, jogging, dog walking, strolling with the kids, bicycling, rollerblading, and skateboarding—any outdoor enthusiast who appreciates a smooth surface will enjoy this path. For the more serious athletes, a good five-mile hike or run can be obtained by doing the trail in both directions.
Folks passing by Cadiz on a long road trip down interstate 24 will appreciate a short side trip for the chance to stretch their legs and see a little bit of the history of Cadiz. A brisk walk could be paired up with lunch downtown before getting back on the road.
Directions, Parking & Regulations
The Cadiz Railroad Trail runs for 2.5 miles between an old railroad depot on state Highway 139 and Fortner Drive at the east end of Cadiz. It can be picked up at most points in between.
Flat, even paved path.
Time to Complete: 1-2.5 hours if you do an out and back of the whole trail
Distance: 2.5 Miles - one way
The trail can be accessed at almost any point in town, so sections can be done at will.
Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - great in all seasons
Dog Friendly: On Leash Only
GPS Coordinates: 36.866529, -87.835443
For more Kentucky hiking trails, visit here.