Did you know the famous Lewis and Clark Trail runs through Owensboro?
In fact, the trail Meriweather Lewis and William Clark blazed two centuries ago was made along the Ohio River. The duo’s journey had to start in the Ohio River to begin the two-year trip to the Pacific Ocean and back.
On June 19, 1803, Lewis wrote that he planned to meet some “good hunters, stout, healthy, unmarried men accustomed to the woods, and capable of bearing bodily fatigue in a pretty considerable degree: should any young men answering this description be found in your neighborhood I would thank you to give information of them on my arrival at the falls of the Ohio.”
That message was actually written to Clark, who’d lived in Kentucky for nearly 20 years. Clark, of course, said yes, and word of the expedition traveled, bringing volunteers from all across Kentucky to help.
According to experts, Kentucky has about 660 miles of the eastern portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail – its entire border with the Ohio River.
“This gives Kentucky the longest section of the trail in the east and one of the longest overall, taken together with the 400-mile return route,” says James Holmberg, chair of the Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.
It’s believed that Owensboro was a stopping point for Lewis and Clark after they left Louisville. Whether or not they did is up for debate but, without a doubt, the pair definitely traveled through the bend in the Ohio River that lines Daviess County – and now, our downtown riverfront.