With its wide-open spaces and diverse scenery, Indianapolis is a runner’s dream. Whether you stick to downtown’s urban trails or venture out to more rural pathways, Indianapolis provides many different places for you to hit the ground running. Indyfluence has listed our top 5 picks for your next workout destination. Although there are plenty of great gyms around the city, you don’t have to stay cooped up inside. Get outdoors, stay active, and experience all the beautiful views Indy has to offer.
#1. The Canal Walk
Who doesn’t love running along the water? The Canal Walk is a 3-mile loop right through the heart of downtown along the tranquil Central Canal. The path is well-paved and scenic, running from the White River State Park to 11th Street with several points of entry along the way. From the canal, you can see some of the best views of downtown Indy, and its tunnels are filled with beautiful murals and art pieces, making it one of the most popular places to run in the city. Despite being busy, the walkway remains pretty quiet and uninterrupted by traffic, and its waterfront location makes it a great spot for a quick lunch break jog.
#2. White River Trail
If you want a change from The Canal Walk, you can connect to the White River Trail and add a couple more gorgeous miles to your daily run. The trail runs about 8 miles in its entirety, ranging from 38th Street down south along White River to Raymond Street. This paved, winding path will take you around some of Indy’s best attractions, like the Indianapolis Zoo and the White River State Park itself. The asphalt trail is pretty flat and well-kept with only the occasional mud or debris from the nearby river.
#3. The Cultural Trail
The Cultural Trail is a revolutionary addition to Indianapolis that connects the all six of the city’s cultural districts: Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave, Market East, The Canal and White River Park, and the Wholesale District. With both biking and running lanes, this 8-mile path is one of the best ways to explore the different neighborhoods, restaurants, and attractions around the city. The paved trail is peppered with pieces of public art, sweeping views of the city, and a surprising amount of greenery for such an urban run. A trail like this is unique to Indianapolis, and it’s a great way to get in your workout while feeling connected to the city.
#4. The Monon Trail
The Monon Rail Trail connects with the Cultural Trail on the east end of Mass Ave and stretches over 25 miles northward, all the way up to Sheridan. It passes through Westfield, Carmel, and Broad Ripple as well as the Indiana State Fairgrounds with multiple access points along the path. The trail is all smooth asphalt, which makes it ideal for both cyclists and families. Lined with beautiful trees and some local artwork, the Monon is great for runners who want to venture outside downtown and peek into the unique neighborhoods in the Indy area. We recommend checking out the Broad Ripple part of the trail and hitting up one of the local restaurants for a well-earned post-run meal.
#5. Eagle Creek
If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, Eagle Creek Park offers nearly 4,000 acres of terrain and trails for you to trek through. This park on the northwest side of Indianapolis has hiking and running paths made for all skill levels, ranging from 1.25-mile fitness trails to a nearly 7-mile loop through the park. The natural park landscape offers a variety of smooth, steep, and sometimes rough terrain for both relaxing and challenging hikes. Cool off after your run at one of the local beaches—yes, beaches—with some swimming, kayaking, or fishing. The park has a small entry fee, but it’s well worth it for some of the most beautiful natural sights in Indianapolis.
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