Category Archives: Indiana
I found a new trail to hike today on the Northeast side of Indianapolis. The Town Run Trail is an excellent bike trail but it served me well for hiking on this beautiful Autumn day. Located between 96th and I465 along the White River, this trail has been optimized for off road bikers (so no headphones while hiking). The full trail is 6.6 miles but I cut it down to 4.4 miles by turning back at the Talking Tree. Remember this is a primarily a bike trail which is a one way trail out and back, which also means don’t jump the trail because you really don’t know which way it might be going. I captured my hike with my latest Beta Test version of the Natural Atlas App. My hike is named the Talking Tree Loop.
The Trailhead is just south of 96th on the westside of the White River. There is a nice parking lot at the trailhead.
The trail is a very typical Indiana river corridor meandering along the White River near housing and industrial activity. I liked doing it after the leaves have fallen partly for awareness of bikers and partly to have a sense of where I was at.
The trail is designed for bikers so there are many alert signs announcing upcoming trail conditions for the bikers. There are also a few built up trail enhancements.
I do love the trees in Autumn.
Since I am planning on moving to Grand Junction next year I appreciated this sign alerting me to how far it is to the finest bike trails in America,
I did see many squirrels and had a cool eye to eye contact with a large mule deer about 20 feet away from me. And of course the Talking Tree.
It is late April on a perfect weather day that I decided to visit Turkey Run, my favorite Indiana State Park when I was growing up. I was always impressed with the canyons cut through the limestone but I was worried that those canyons might seem smaller and less significant now that I am returning as an old man. But no, the park was all that I remembered it to be and even better hiking it on a perfect spring day. I will reference the trail map for perspective about my hiking path. I started at the Turkey Run Lodge which I have stayed at with my family back in the 90’s.
First I hiked down to Sunset Point past the Lieber Cabin, the best overlook of Sugar Creek
But the best trails are accessed via the suspension bridge over Sugar Creek.
The first trail leading from the suspension bridge is #10 that takes you up through one of the deeper canyons but ends up with a narrow trail up a creek bed. I actually decided that this portion of the trail was too dangerous for an old guy and I turned around to take on the next trail option.
I next took on trail #3 that skirted the rocks near Sugar Creek heading over to the Ice Box. This is also where I started to experience the hundreds of steps that contributed to the overall day’s exercise.
I kept to the Creek by continuing on trail #5 and may more steps.
I decided to continue on to trail #9 to go up Falls Canyon and then over to Boulder Canyon.
Boulder Canyon reminded me of boulder jumping that you need to do on Pacific coastal hikes.
I hiked back down trail #5 to then go up to the Ladders portion of the park.
At the top of the ladders I proceeded on trail #3 crossing the upper trail #10 that I backed off from earlier.
At this point in the day I was feeling the miles and the vertical that I had hiked and I was ready to work my way back to the suspension bridge.
It was a great return to Turkey Run, probably the park that first helped me appreciate the wonders of hiking in the wilderness.
I have relocated to Indianapolis for a while and to satisfy my need for nature and hiking I took on the Red Trail at Eagle Creek Park, one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. This Spring hike showed hints of foliage and flowers as well as some impassable muddy sections. The Red Trail Loop is approximately 7 miles with a 270′ vertical change that takes you around a portion of the lake and past all of the parks amenities. I parked near the 71st entrance and hiked in a counterclockwise direction easily finding the conveniently marked Red Trail Markers. The trail is very well maintained. You quickly get a good view of the lake as you proceed around and across it on a land path bridge. I was also impressed with the conveniently placed benches for rest and observation of the wildlife.
Once across the lake you get a nice winding trail through the trees until you end up at the recreational equipment rental facility which also has a nice little snack concession stand.
The trail then comes to the Earth Discovery Center. Turtle Turtle
Next you come across the Go Ape Treetop Adventure area. This appeared to be quite popular even on this rather chilly Spring day.
The trail again leads out to a lake view and then you start heading back to the beginning. Lots of nice little Gullies, which I’m sure are very lush later in the summer.
You then approach Lilly Lake but this is also the area near the ice skating pond where the trail gets really muddy.
I then came across something familiar but foreign to Indiana. From a distance I see this huge tree trunk that I knew could not be from here. And low and behold it was a Douglas Fir Tree Trunk from Oregon.
I end the loop with more views of the lake.
I will be living right next to Eagle Creek Park for a while. I have a feeling it will offer the trail exercise that I will need. The Adventure Continues