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JUNE 22, 2024



Five Great Places to Run in Indy

Five Great Places to Run in Indy

Beyond Monumental & Friends
Beyond Monumental & Friends

Spring is finally here! As rewarding as winter running has been, a turn for nice weather is a good reason to explore a new running route. With the help of our staff and some friends of Beyond Monumental, we’ve listed some of our favorites. Where’s yours?

  1. Indianapolis Cultural Trail/ The Downtown Canal Walk

Some running paths that I like to frequent are the Cultural Trail and the Canal Walk Indy. Both trails are located in downtown Indy and offer incredible (and Instagrammable!) views of the City’s skyline. The Cultural Trail is eight miles of paved fun! The trail takes you through several neighborhoods with beautiful landscaping and public art for your enjoyment. Plus, since winter seems to be never-ending in Indy, it’s always clear of snow and ice! The Canal Walk Indy is located on the west side of downtown. This three-mile trail travels along the City’s tranquil waterfront; the Canal is a great option to get moving on your lunch break, whether you’re running or walking! – Liz Navarre, former Strategic Partnerships Manager, Beyond Monumental

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Map
The Downtown Canal Walk Map

  1. The Monon Trail/ Central Canal Towpath

My favorite place to run played a large part in choosing to buy a house where we did.  I love to spend time running on the canal towpath and regularly use it as a connection to the Monon Trail.  Ultimately, I carved out what I like to call “the triangle” which loosely consists of the canal towpath, the Monon, and then connecting those two stretches East/West along any number of streets in the vicinity of 46th, 49th, or even 52nd.  Maybe I’ll see you out there on “the triangle” one of these days! – Jed Cornforth, Executive Director, Beyond Monumental

The Monon Trail Map
Central Canal Towpath Map

  1. Speedway Trails

I feel so fortunate to have the Speedway Trails right outside my door.  With the P&E trail, the B&O trail, the Main Street bike path, and the Eagle Creek levee, runners can cover a 5-mile loop that has plenty of options for adding on through quiet neighborhoods.  I love that the trail showcases everything that Speedway has to offer by running past the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, down our growing Main Street, through Leonard Park, and along Eagle Creek.  The trail system is perfect for everything from easy days to tempos and fartleks.  Even though the trail is flat, the hills along the levee provide an opportunity for a little bit of hill work, too.  I’m looking forward to using these trails for years to come, especially since there are talks of major expansion! – Anna Weber, 2017 Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben Women’s Champion, 2x Olympic Trials Qualifier & Speedway Resident

Speedway Trails Map

  1. Fort Harrison State Park

Tucked in the northeast corner of Indianapolis are the beautiful rolling hills of Fort Harrison State Park. That’s where I spent six grueling, grinding months training for my first marathon. We got to know each other in a very intimate way. On the easy days, I’d stay on the 3-mile loop and run it 3 times. I knew every hill, every stretch that felt it would never end, every turn and the one and only bathroom stop. I loved watching the golfers chasing their balls on the beautiful neighboring course.

I watched children run the open fields while their caretakers fished lazily in the pond. If I got really lucky I’d be so light on my feet, I’d catch a deer on the back trails. The Park became my escape. If the marathon was my goal, Fort Harrison was the path to get me there. That’s where the real marathon was run…that’s where I was made as a runner. Even though I no longer live close by, I return to Fort Harrison frequently. It always feels like home. – Erin Peckinpaugh, CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Runner

Editor’s Note: Don’t Forget! You can always run at Fort Harrison State Park by participating in the Indy Half Marathon at Fort Ben!

Fort Harrison State Park Website

  1. Eagle Creek Park

Climbing up hills, sloshing through water, dodging tree roots, taking wooden stairs two at a time. Not options you’d expect to find running in Indianapolis. We’re lucky to have an amazing park like Eagle Creek, managed by Indianapolis Parks & Recreation, as an option for trail running in our city. With trails that range from smooth and woodchipped to those that require handholds to climb, Eagle Creek’s trail system has something for any runner. The tree canopy and water views are some of the best in the city … and during the hot summer months, it’s hard to resist a swim in the lake or cross training with a kayak paddle! – Ashley Haynes, Beyond Monumental Board Member

Eagle Creek Park Maps