Why is there a path cut across southern Indiana?
October 30, 2006 8:11 AM   Subscribe

What is this clear-cut path across southern Indiana?

I often drive around with the intention of getting lost and look at maps later to figure out where I was driving. I saw this "path" cut through the forset in the area on Google Maps. I live in Bloomington, IN and followed it (on Google) all the way over to outside Terre Haute to the west.

It's not a railroad, at least not any more, and I don't see any power lines on it from the satellite images, but they could just be too small to see I suppose.

I apologize for the scant information.
posted by ztdavis to Science & Nature (16 answers total)
Power lines?
posted by geoff. at 8:13 AM on October 30, 2006

Oops, power lines.
posted by geoff. at 8:14 AM on October 30, 2006

Buried gas pipelines, most likely.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2006

Ah-ha...a clever find. I had mostly ruled out power lines because I never saw any kind of power relay station anywhere.

I guess I need to (or should have) drive(n) out to part of it tonight or tomorrow.
posted by ztdavis at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2006

They are also visible when you zoom right in to your outside Terre Haute link.

But wah, I was looking for a more mysterious answer!
posted by daninnj at 8:21 AM on October 30, 2006

I just noticed the location. My parents used to have a cabin on one of those two lakes just north of the clear-cut in the second link. Cordry Lake. The other one is Sweetwater Lake.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:23 AM on October 30, 2006

fire break?
posted by contessa at 8:26 AM on October 30, 2006

That's gotta be a railroad scar. Lemme ask my brother-in-law, who lives in Terre Haute.
posted by mathowie at 9:09 AM on October 30, 2006

Another one for power lines. In this google map I think you can make out one of the towers. Even so, I think geoff.'s link is even more conclusive.
posted by forforf at 9:21 AM on October 30, 2006

For reference, this is what a gas pipeline looks like. It's the clear-cut bit from left to right.
posted by smackfu at 9:42 AM on October 30, 2006

I'm pretty sure it's a gas pipeline - the Trans-Canada pipeline has a cut line of the exact same size that goes right across Northern Ontario, probably going all the way out and up to Alberta. Unfortunately Google Maps doesn't have the resolution to display it as clearly.
posted by Flashman at 9:53 AM on October 30, 2006

I'd say it is a power line based on lack of bends in it. Power lines tend to travel in straighter lines whereas buried pipelines have to avoid expensive-to-dig-up rock outcrops, highways, cities, etc and are more bend-y.
posted by maxpower at 10:08 AM on October 30, 2006

This is a bit of the TransCanada Pipeline, a cutline I know very well - it crosses the road that goes up to the Outward Bound school on Black Sturgeon Lake, top left. It's the diagonal line across the centre - parallel to it but closer to Lake Superior are the Trans Canada highway (17) and the railway.
posted by Flashman at 10:33 AM on October 30, 2006

Actually, now that I think of it, that's the scar we wear for giving the country Dan Quayle.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2006 [3 favorites]

Clearly a power line. You can see the shadows of the towers.
posted by event at 2:12 PM on October 30, 2006

The powerline people were right.

My friend Trevor and I drove up to it and found a point where it crests a hill. The view was gorgeous, with a valley of sorts below us, the trees a bright yellow lit by the setting sun. So I took out my camera to get a shot to settle my stupid question, and my camera's batteries were dead.

But it was pretty, I promise, even if it was just power lines.
posted by ztdavis at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2006

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