Pigeon Creek (Indiana)


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    Pigeon Creek is a tributary of the Ohio River in southwestern Indiana. It runs approximately 47.5 miles (76.4 km) from its eastern source in rural Gibson County near Princeton and its western source near Owensville. The forks merge southeast of Fort Branch, and from there it heads southeast into Warrick County near Lynnville, from where it heads south. The larger creek then turns west crossing into Vanderburgh County under Interstate 164. The creek has a few more tributaries join as it first heads west through Evansville’s East and North Sides then south through Downtown Evansville, where it empties into the Ohio River.

    The Pigeon Creek watershed is 235,000 acres, with Pigeon Creek transporting almost all of the rainwater that falls on 323 square miles (840 km2) of the land around it. 48% of the watershed is used for farming, 5% is urban, and 7.5% remain wetlands. The remaining 21% is covered by forests (50,000 acres of woodlands).

    In the past the banks of Pigeon Creek have been home to several businesses and manufacturers, including a textile mill, which was abandoned in the early 20th century. In the 1800s it was part of the Wabash & Erie Canal that provided flatboats access to the Ohio River near the mouth. Farm practices in the past channelized many of the tiny streams that feed the creek (the headwaters), and construction of the Wabash & Erie Canal in the 1800s significantly altered the natural channel of the creek as it flows south past Millersburg toward Stephenson Station. However, the canal ceased to follow the Pigeon Creek where its current path drastically changes from a southern path to a western one in Warrick County. This left the majority of the remaining stretch undeveloped, and in comparison to other streams in urban cities.

    The creek, as a wildlife oasis in the middle of a bustling city, provides habitats for various fish, waterfowl, and mammals. The Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage is a walking/jogging/biking trail along the Pigeon Creek and the Ohio Riverfront.

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