Map of Owensboro to Horse Branch line Owensboro to Horse Branch

Daviess and Ohio Counties

40.4 miles

This line was abandoned by Illinois Central RR in the early 1980s. It connects Owensboro to smaller towns including Whitesville, Fordsville, and Horse Branch and several other villages. The right of way is almost completely intact and in many places the bridges are still standing.

In Owensboro the right of way passes through neighborhoods and subdivisions. For a short while the line is part of the Owensboro Parks Greenbelt trail on the east edge of the city. The abandoned line is adjacent to a park in Whitesville that has a caboose and a picnic shelter.

In Fordsville the right of way passes the Louisville & Nashville depot that has been restored as a museum. Fordsville was a railroad junction town and the L&N line is also abandoned. Though much of this L&N line has been reused as a road, it has low levels of auto traffic (many miles of it are gravel) and is suitable as a bicycle route. These lines connect downtown Fordsville to the school and athletic fields as well as industrial and residential areas.

The abandoned Illinois Central right of way ends in Horse Branch at the junction with an active rail line. Adjacent to the line is a park with ball fields, a picnic shelter, a caboose, and a short, paved trail. Between towns the line crosses many creeks and through a variety of agricultural and wooded landscapes.