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Amble across ‘the most beautiful river on earth’
By Tom Adkinson
April 1, 2022

ohio river
Cyclists on the Big Four Bridge; Image by Tom Adkinson

JEFFERSONVILLE, Indiana – “The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted.”

That description comes from one Thomas Jefferson in 1781, who certainly never saw the mighty Ohio at flood stage. You can evaluate the river’s beauty, majesty and setting for yourself by walking across the Big Four Bridge, which began as a railroad bridge and survived decades of closure to be reborn as a pedestrian link between Jeffersonville, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky.

big four bridge
Louisville skyline and I-65 bridge from the Big Four Bridge. Image by Tom Adkinson

The bridge opened in 1895 for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (hence, the Big Four), was rebuilt on its original piers in 1929 and abandoned in 1969. The span, which links the Louisville Riverwalk to the Ohio River Greenway in Jeffersonville, reopened for pedestrians and cyclists in 2013. The whole walk – riverbank to riverbank – is one mile.

Trip Planning Resources:, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available on

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