Summer is here and with it, more daylight along with extra free time.  The easy way to handle summer would be to let the kids sleep in, watch Netflix and live on their phones, but with just a little effort they can spend plenty of time outside too.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m a huge fan of the rails to trails initiatives popping up all over, but if you live in the Indianapolis, IN area, you should also check out the variety of excellent park trails.

In Hamilton County alone (North of Indianapolis), there are over 500 miles of walking trails – plenty to keep you busy this summer!  My goal is to eventually check them all out, but when I’m not in the mood to try something new, I enjoy one of my three favorites:

Potter’s Bridge.   This trail runs along the White River, so the views are beautiful year-round.  At the trailhead there is a lovely old covered bridge – great for pictures and exploration.  When the river isn’t too high, it’s also fun to take a few of the little paths down to the water to skip rocks and get your feet wet.  The trail itself is paved and flat so an excellent choice for strollers or even biking.  There are markers every 1/4 mile to help you keep track of how far you walk.  19401 Allisonville Road, Noblesville, IN

 

MacGregor Park.  On dry days this park is a favorite.  At first glance it appears that it’s just a large (and fun) playground, but if you drive a bit further back you’ll find a few interesting trails through the wooded area.  The trails aren’t paved but they are nicely cleared and marked.  As you are walking, look for the tree decorated with Christmas ornaments! There are a few small hills, a large field, a creek and lots of trees.  Exactly what you need for a fun hike. 21107 E. St. Rd. 38, Westfield, IN

 

 

Forest Park. My final go-to is a more traditional park.  Forest Park is full of playgrounds, shelters, basketball courts, etc.  Although not a typical “hiking” park, there is an excellent paved trail that runs from the baseball fields at one end of the park to the pedestrian bridge with access to downtown Noblesville (ice cream at Alexanders anyone?).  Along the way are two playgrounds, a putt-putt course and even an old-fashioned carousel.  So, if you have reluctant walkers these attractions can help motivate them! 701 Cicero Rd. Noblesville, IN

 

 

Next time you visit Indianapolis, be sure to drive a few minutes north to Hamilton County and check out one of these trails to enjoy some fresh air!  Do you know of any good trails near your city?  Please share in the comments – I’d love to check them out when I’m in your neck of the woods!

 

 

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