Indianapolis may have a relatively flat landscape, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t full of incredible hiking spots. The Circle City proves that you don’t have to have tall mountains or vast canyons to enjoy trekking through the great outdoors. For the best trails and natural gems, check out this ultimate hiker’s guide to Indianapolis.
From state parks to municipal parks, Indianapolis is teeming with rural retreats that offer amazing hiking opportunities. Fort Harrison State Park is a 17,000-acre park featuring six different hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult. There are even pet- and bike-friendly trails located within this park. Pick up a park map from the visitor’s center or online website.
White River State Park is the only other state park in Indianapolis, and while it’s a city park, it’s still well worth exploring. Stroll past incredible sculptures and art exhibits, all while taking in the gorgeous city skyline.
Indianapolis proves that urban settings can offer incredible outdoor experiences, even without miles of uninterrupted nature. Instead, Indy embraces the natural beauty within its city and connects important districts and neighborhoods with official trails that are perfect for hiking or biking.
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail connects each of Indy’s cultural districts, while also offering a one-of-a-kind tour of the Circle City. Start out in the Fountain Square district and make your way through to the Wholesale District, Market East District, Mass Ave, Indiana Avenue, and White River State Park and Canal for a total trek of eight miles (12.8 kilometers).
The Monon Trail is a 10.4-mile (16.7-kilometer) Indianapolis Greenway that starts on 10th Street and runs all the way up to 96th Street (where the trail continues in Carmel, Indiana). This converted rail-trail is one of the busiest greenways in the country and offers a great mix of urban and rural scenery along the way. The Monon Trail also connects to several other greenways and trails systems throughout local parks in Indy.
Parks and designated trails aren’t the only spaces in Indy where hikers can enjoy a brisk walk or run. Indianapolis is home to many public gardens and green spaces that offer scenic trails and walking adventures.
The gardens at Newfields (formerly the Indiana Museum of Art) offer some of the most stunning locations for hiking in Indianapolis. Explore the whimsical and eclectic gardens at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park for a burst of beauty and incredible stretch across 100 acres of nature and public art.
The Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens also offers an incredible hiking experience through the park’s charming trails or across the enchanting gardens. Hikers can also connect to the Cultural Trail through Garfield Park.
Indy may not be home to high elevations and impressive hills and mountains, but the Circle City has found ways to making hiking exciting and accessible for all skill levels.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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