Indianapolis September 03, 2017
These 8 Hiking Spots Around Indianapolis Are Completely Out of This World
Because of the hustle and bustle that goes along with being a major city, many people think that Indianapolis isn’t a great place for hiking. However, if you know where to look, you can find some of the state’s best hiking trails right around the city. Here are eight hiking spots you should check out.
1. Morgan Monroe State Forest
Located just outside of Indianapolis near Martinsville, this 24,000-acre state forest features seven trails covering more than 28 miles. You can get your hiking fix no matter what you’re in the mood for thanks to trails with differing difficulties. There is a half-mile trail, a few 2-to-3 mile trails as well as the extremely challenging 10-mile Three Lakes Trail.
2. Town Run Trail Park
Situated on the northside of Indianapolis, this 127-acre park features a 6.6-mile loop trail. Throughout this tough hike alongside White River, you can expect to climb plenty of hills overlooking the beautiful and serene river. Naysayers will condemn this spot because of mountain bikers, but the trails are well marked and spacious enough that this shouldn’t be a concern for hiking enthusiasts.
3. Eagle Creek Park
Just 15 minutes from Downtown, Indianapolis’ Eagle Creek Park features more than 3,900 acres of forest as well as multiple trails. The Green Trail features a 3.25 mile hike that passes through the lovely Spring Pond Nature Preserve. There is also a Red Trail, which is a bit more difficult. This 6.75-mile trail takes you past the Marina and Bird Sanctuary. Grab a copy of the park map off of the website for an in-depth look at each of the park’s five trails.
4. Fort Harrison Park
Indianapolis’ only state park features a few of the state’s best hiking trails. Covering more than 1,700 acres, the park features the iconic Schoen Creek trail. This 3-mile trail offers a brisk, moderate challenge that includes some rocky terrain as it winds through a beautiful wetland restoration area.
5. Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve
Located just north of the city, Ritchey Woods is one of only two state nature preserves in Hamilton County. The nature preserve features a hiking trail that winds around a 42-acre woodland and a historic pioneer cemetery. From dawn to dusk, nature enthusiasts can enjoy this free hiking adventure.
6. Holliday Park
A local favorite of nature-lovers, this 94-acre park features a lovely nature center, a phenomenal playground for kids, and more than 3.5 miles of stunning hiking trails that wind through a beech-maple forest. With more than 400 species of trees and flowers, as well as native animals such as deer, fox, and beaver, there is much to see on this northside hiking trail.
7. Brown County State Park
Known for being Indiana’s largest state park, this 16,000 acre destination bears a striking resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains. With 12 different forest-lined trails to choose from, there is so much to explore and see. We recommend the Fire Tower Trail, a rugged 2.2 mile hike crossing deep ravines and hilltops. It’s a short but tough hike and a highlight of the park.
8. Versailles State Park
Home to three fantastic hiking trails, Versailles State Park is a bit of a drive outside the city of Indianapolis, but completely worth it. Take your time as you explore these trails, taking in the beauty of Fallen Timber Creek as well as stunning limestone sinkholes and many of Indiana’s native trees including hickory, maple, and black walnut.
How many of these hiking spots around Indianapolis have you visited? Are there any others you would recommend? Tell us more in the comments!