The Bicentennial Commission and the City of Columbus announce the seminal project for the Columbus Area Bicentennial will be the “1821” Trail extension along First Street, from the Haw Creek Trail, which ends at Lafayette Street, to Water Street.  This trail extension will also include architectural and art elements to encompass the 2021 Bicentennial theme of “Common Ground.”

The 1821 Trail will be a key addition to the Columbus Park Foundation trail system and will connect our 26 miles of trail which extends throughout the city.

In the 2020 bicentennial planning process, city and county residents participated in surveys with suggestions on projects which would celebrate the area’s legacy and encourage people to participate in bicentennial events. Enhancement and improvements of shared community assets such as the trail system was a common theme.

In addition, in 2019, the City used four avenues to get public input on needed improvements and connections in the bicycle/pedestrian networks. And, along with the Riverfront Trail connection, this section of the downtown trail was identified by a large number of respondents as the most important connection gap in the trail network. Diane Doup and Tobi Herron, co-chairs of the Bicentennial Steering Committee see this project as a perfect fit for the bicentennial theme. Doup is “thrilled that the 1821 Trail will be a keystone to this year’s celebration and can be used by future generations.”

A design firm for the project will be chosen in March, with an estimated ground-breaking set for September. Funding for the project will be through Columbus Redevelopment, Columbus Park Foundation, and private donors. The City has also applied for an Indiana Destination Development grant through the Indiana Department of Tourism.

For more information on the Bicentennial, a historical perspective of Columbus, and events celebrating our 200 years, go to