Two of my favorite things–the Indy Cultural Trail & the downtown Canal

When I moved to Indianapolis 5 years ago, I wasn’t super excited about it. Growing up in rural Indiana, moving to Indiana’s “big city” didn’t hold a lot of thrill for me.

However, despite my lack of initial excitement, I truly have been pleasantly surprised by Indy. One of the neatest things (in my opinion) in Indy is the Cultural Trail. The Cultural Trail “is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects neighborhoods, Cultural Districts and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system.” (according to http://www.indyculturaltrail.org/about.html )
As a biker, I have appreciated the Trail and how it links up my way to work (the White River Greenway) with the Monon Trail (a rails-to-trails path) and weaves itself downtown, providing a much less stressful bike ride around downtown and is also very pretty. 🙂 The Cultural Trail is along existing roadways, so make sure to pay attention to traffic signals.

A detailed map can be found here: http://bit.ly/q2dvwW

The Cultural trail also ties in with another of my favorite things about Indy–the downtown Canal. The canal is great for running & walking (you can also bike on it, but it can get kind of narrow at points) and is below the street level, so it’s actually quite peaceful even though you’re in the midst of the city. Since it is below street level, you also don’t have to worry about crossing streets, having to constantly stop at lights, etc. You can get in a nice 3-mile loop pretty easily just along the canal (all the way to Buggs Temple on the north end), and it also hooks into the pedestrian bridge that connects the White River State Park with the Indianapolis Zoo, which has a promenade path on the north side of the zoo.

(image above from http://bit.ly/pwsfz1)

The main canal path is marked on the map in green. The conference hotel, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, is one of the red icons towards the bottom; the canal is only a few blocks from the hotel, so it’s a nice place to go for a stroll!

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