Bicycling is becoming one of Hoosiers’ favorite leisure and athletic activities. Motorists are learning to share the road as Indianapolis and many other cities have become more bike friendly, adding bicycle lanes and traffic signs just for those of us on two wheels. Despite the long list of other things to do in Indy this summer, you have to get out there and explore some of our biking trails. Here are some of our favorites.
The Best Bike Trails in Indianapolis & Central Indiana
This eight mile trail runs through the stunning and entertaining districts of downtown Indianapolis including Fountain Square, Mass Ave. and the Canal area. These areas have a variety of local shops, neighborhoods, small businesses and restaurants that are accessible from the bike trail. Along the cultural trail, there are numerous art displays including the Glick Peace Walk and the iconic neon sign, Ann Dancing by Julian Opie. This trail holds multiple stations that offer bike rentals. Check out Indiana Pacers Bikeshare for the option to rent one of 250 bike at over 25 stations in Indianapolis. Memberships and 24-hour passes are available.
This nationally-known trail runs from downtown 10th Street to 191st Street in the Westfield area. The trail used to be a railway and was paved over in hopes to encourage outdoor recreation. It connects to many other smaller trails along its 19.7 mile adventure. On the Monon, you will ride by the Indiana State Fairgrounds and through the town of Broad Ripple. Broad Ripple is one of Indianapolis’ most artistic villages and is home to great eateries and entertainment. While riding, you will experience wooded areas, distinguished red bridges, and exciting cityscape.
Fall Creek Trail
The three mile section of Fall Creek Trail starts at George E. Kessler Park, near the well-known Ivy Tech Community College. The trail is filled with local nature and a couple canoe/kayak launching areas. The smaller part of the trail offers a route on which you will not need to stop and is along a quiet waterway in the middle of the city. If you wanted to extend your biking quest, there are six more miles of trail ending to the west of Fort Harrison at Skiles Test Nature Park. This trail connects to the Monon Trail as well.
Once you start to make your way out of Indianapolis, there are a number of hidden gems burrowed throughout Central Indiana. The Pennsylvania Trail, or Pennsy Trail offers riders 3 segments of trail. The first mile or so goes over Shadeland Avenue to the artsy Irvington area. The second section is three miles of nature and countryside trail in the town of Cumberland. The third section is on the west side of Indiana in Greenfield, giving riders a scenic four and a half miles of peaceful bike trail. The Pennsy Trail is known to be part of an initiative to create a trail that connects the eastern most point of Indiana to the western most point. Visionaries hope to name the trail the National Road Heritage Trail. Look for this trail to expand in the future.
White Lick Creek/Vandalia Trail
These west suburban trails are part of the National Road Heritage Trail connection. They wind in and out of the parks and neighborhoods of cozy Plainfield and Avon, Indiana. A plethora of native wildlife and landmarks can be viewed and explored while on the White Lick Trail and its extensions. Starting at Hummel Park, six miles of trails and bridges tucked in woodland along the creek allow riders to enjoy the wonderful scenery Indiana has to offer.
There are more bike trails popping up all over our state everyday. These are just a few you can start to explore. Whether a novice or experienced trail rider, Indianapolis and Central Indiana offer a trail for everyone and every skill level. Now, it’s time to get riding — don’t forget a helmet!