News From Terre Haute, Indiana

500 Miles of Wabash

August 18, 2013

Points of interest along the Wabash: A few public access points provide unique peeks at river communities

While giving a presentation on the Wabash to a gathering of Indiana State University’s Osher Lifelong Living Institute in June, river enthusiast Brendan Kearns asked how many people in the audience had been “on the river.”

In a group that included many senior citizens, nearly every hand raised.

“That was pretty impressive,” Kearns said.

The opportunity to experience the Wabash River up close exists in the Terre Haute stretch. One of the prime chances comes through airboat rides, launched from the Port of Terre Haute dock on Fairbanks Park’s south side, and many of Kearns’ audience members had taken advantage of the Joe’s Airboats service. Since 2006, Joe Hoopingarner has shuttled passengers on his two airboats up and down the river for 30-minute rides at $15 per person. Rides are available from noon to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, or by appointment on other days. (Call 812-208-1901 or see www.joesairboats.com online.)

South of the public access points (with paved ramps) at Montezuma and Clinton’s Riverfront Park, entries to the river are less numerous for individual boaters in the stretch from Terre Haute to Vincennes.

From Fairbanks Park to Ouabache Trails Park in Vincennes, the only Indiana-side access point is the beautiful Merom Bluff Park in Sullivan County. The launch in Merom includes a stairway and riverside trail from the 200-foot bluff above to the waterfront.

The view from the bluff must be seen. Visible on the Illinois landscape is the Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Robinson — 10 miles away.

“It’s a beautiful place and it’s ours — we, the people, own it,” said longtime Merom resident John Gettinger, also president of the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission. The town of 200 residents contains several historic sights, including the Merom Conference Center (the former Union Christian College) and an original Carnegie Library, still operating and virtually intact from its origin in 1918.

On the west bank in Illinois, Hutsonville offers a full view of the broad Wabash. Jackie Eckert and her husband, Charles, run Wabash Coffee House within eyeshot of the waterway and the stateline bridge. Boaters are among the patrons at the Monday-through-Saturday breakfast-and-lunch shop. “Basically, we’re lucky just to be by the bridge,” Eckert said.

Mark Bennett can be reached at 812-231-4377 or mark.bennett@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
500 Miles of Wabash
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban Israeli-Palestinian Tensions, Attacks Escalate Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Neighbors Mourn Killing of Texas Family Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Raw: Funeral in Gaza for Family of 8
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity