Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.  

Hidden from the main roads of campus is a stretch of sidewalk commonly referred to as the Cow Path. 

The path runs past the Robert Bell Building, Ball Communication Building, David Letterman Communication and Media Building and the Art and Journalism Building. It allows students to get from The Quad to the north end of campus quicker than on McKinley Avenue. 

No matter the weather, students travel down this path — which spans from Riverside Avenue to Petty Road — each semester to reach different buildings on campus.

According to Ball State’s website, “hundreds of students walk the path each day,” and throughout its history, the path has seen an influx of students when roads such as McKinley are under construction. 

The path was not always paved, however. It began as a dirt path, and some even recall it being filled with gravel before becoming the paved route known by current students. 

In 2002, the student Government Association passed a legislation to increase the quality of lighting and the number of call boxes in the Cow Path area to increase student safety.

In one Daily News article from Aug. 29, 1988, the Cow Path was reported to be “a good shortcut for people who live in LaFollette. But, like the Duck Pond, it is misnamed, because there are no cows here.” 

However, the term “cow path” refers to a path that is created when multiple people continuously take an unmarked route rather than following the traditional paths.  

Read more centennial content here.  

Contact Brooke Kemp with comments at bmkemp@bsu.edu or on Twitter @brookemkemp.