5 Best Hikes Around Indianapolis

Dated: 04/29/2019

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Now that the weather is finally starting to warm up (cross your fingers!), tons of people are heading outside to enjoy the long-awaited sunshine. Indianapolis is typically known for being a flat city, without a lot of hills or popular natural viewpoints. Believe it or not, Indianapolis has a few hidden gems for hikes with great views and they are a great way to explore our city and it's surrounding areas!

Get your hiking fix at one of these five popular outdoor locations!

Eagle Creek Park

Just a 15-minute drive northwest of downtown, you'll find this Indy hidden gem. Within its 3,900 acres of forest, hikers will find trails for newbie hikers, as well as trails for the savvier. Some of the hikes will even take you past some of the additional amenities of Eagle Creek Park, such as the Rowing Center, the Earth Discovery Center, the Marina, the Bird Sanctuary, the Fitness Trail, the Ornithology Center, and Lilly Lake - where you can walk on a bridge over the water.

Fort Harrison State Park

It's easy to get lost in over 1,700 acres of land on Indianapolis' northeast side. If you enjoy a good hike and enjoy history, this unique park combines the two! The former Citizen's Military Training Camp is preserved on site, plus the park's Museum of 20th Century Warfare is open to those who want to learn more about the soldiers who frequented old Fort Harrison. Don't forget that you can also canoe, fish, and picnic onsite at the park!

Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve

As one of two nature preserves in Hamilton County, this is an excellent way to spend a day off with your family! With free admission, visitors are always welcome dawn to dusk for hiking, running, watching birds, or just spending some quiet time in nature. If you're looking for shorter hikes, Ritchey Woods offers trails ranging from 0.10 miles to 0.55 miles in length.

Crown Hill Cemetery

This isn't as morbid as you might think! As the nation's third-largest cemetery, you can walk through 555 acres of rolling hills. If you prefer a paved path without rugged terrain, this is a spot to visit. As an added reason to visit, you can bring your dog for a good, long walk. Famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, is buried at the highest point in the cemetery. Standing at his gravesite provides one of the best views of Downtown Indianapolis' skyline.

The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres

This is definitely one of the most unique places to hike around Indianapolis. Fairbanks Park is open daily and free to visitors. This particular park is one of the nation's largest art museum parks and it continuously commissions temporary artwork to accent the park. Inside the park, you can also explore the shoreline of a small lake and see thousands of spring flowers. Amongst their latest additions, you'll find several bird feeding stations, plus a nesting platform for attracting birds of prey. After exploring the park, you can always head indoors to check out the latest art installations at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields.

Get outside & enjoy the sunshine! Indianapolis has some beautiful pathways begging you to visit and explore the nature of the city!

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