Indianapolis Outdoor Adventures

Indianapolis Outdoor Adventures

Leena Middaugh Leena Middaugh
6 minute read

Midwest peeps and travelers, welcome to our blog! Becker Supply is not only an apparel company but we also want to help you get out and find your next outdoor adventure. I've put together some really great Indianapolis outdoor adventures to equip you with tips from a local for your next trip to Indy!

These are the perfect casual walking trails near Indianapolis for dog walking, trail walking, hiking and casual biking.

The Monon Trail

The Monon is a great trail that links a lot of communities in central Indiana, you can ride or walk the Monon from Downtown Indianapolis all the way to Sheridan, IN. This distance is around 27 miles and is estimated to take 2.5 hours one way. You can also enjoy parts of the Monon in many different communities anywhere in between, the trail leads you through Broad Ripple, Carmel and Westfield.

Bike riding on the Monon is a common activity, I suggest having a bike bell to warn other walkers and joggers that you are coming up behind them as the trail can get pretty busy. Also, be aware that the trail currently has some construction going on so you may find some detours along the way.

 Here are some bike shops off the trail in case you get in a pinch!

We live just west of Broad Ripple and it has always been one of my favorite places to spend time. As you make your way up or down the monon you will find a ton of places to eat, drink and shop.

The Cultural Trail

The cultural trail website has a great interactive map to explore the trail, city attractions and locations to pick up/drop off bike share.

The cultural trail goes through an area of town called Fountain Square, it’s a fun and eclectic artsy district of town that would be a great destination!

Nickel Plate Trail

The Nickel Plate Trail is a newer trail that travels through a new district in Fishers, Indiana directly north-east of Indianapolis. I have walked the trail but haven’t explored the area too much so I am not going to offer too much destination advice but it would be a great area to visit if you are planning to travel to Fishers.

In our retail store I often get questions about State Parks and National Parks in Indiana, where travelers can find great hiking trails. Don’t worry, there are some wonderful options in the Indianapolis area and beyond.

There are so many great hiking trails near Indianapolis and the surrounding areas to explore, here are my favorites.

In Indianapolis

Eagle creek is my favorite park in Indy, it is a city park so you will find admission fees based on your county, $5 for marion and $6 for out of county. If you park nearby at the Mary & Geisse Soccer Complex you can walk into the park without a fee or ride your bike in for $1.50. But, of course if you’re from out of town we would appreciate our favorite park to be financially supported!

The park also has a ziplining course within it called GoApe so if you’re looking for a fun family activity (10 and over) that’s a great option!

Indianapolis has one state park located on the north east side of town.

An hour or less away.

You don’t have to go too far to see the best Indiana has to offer. These parks would be great options for packing a day pack and spending the day exploring. If you aren’t familiar with the Alltrails app I highly suggest that you download it and explore the trail options to ensure you get the hiking experience you are hoping for!

Turkey Run is a very popular state park in Indiana, it has absolutely stunning gorge systems to hike through and runs along Sugar Creek. Shades also runs along the same creek and is the less visited cousin to Turkey Run, it is definitely worth the visit though. There are beautiful hikes alongside honeycomb rock walls beside the creek. 

If you take trail #1 at Shades State Park it will take you to Silver Cascades waterfall, here is the trail details from Alltrails. 

All three of these parks are around the same area and are all large beautiful parks at the start of the hills of southern Indiana.

There is primitive camping available as well as backcountry camping, both require registration so be sure to read about that on their website.

All of these parks are a great place to pack a day pack (if you don’t have one check out the options at Rusted Moon Outfitters in Indy) and go out exploring, most of the trails are loops between 1-10 miles at different levels of difficulty. Alltrails is a great way to navigate and track your hiking while in the park.

Two towns worth visiting while down in this area are Nashville, Indiana (we call it little Nashville) and Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. Both towns are filled with unique shops and restaurants.  This area has a good amount of wineries, if you’re a wine fan you can walk the Nashville area and do wine tastings at many different spots. 

Outside of camping one of the best ways to experience this area if you’re wanting to stay overnight is to rent a log cabin, there are a ton of options and they fill up quickly especially in the summertime. One suggestion of mine to look into is these two cute Bungalows that were recently fixed up for rental by friends of mine. Check out the Bungalows of Brown County here.

Waterfalls? In Indiana? Yes, you can find some beautiful waterfalls throughout the Hoosier state!

An hour or less away.

Under 2 hours away.

2+ Hours away

If you want to visit Indiana’s National park you will find it in the far north east corner of the state, it’s nearly in Michigan. The Indiana Dunes National Park is situated right along Lake Michigan and offers awesome sand dunes to climb and explore. This is the area of Indiana beaches, during the summertime they get pretty busy so if you want to avoid the crowd I suggest a trip to the beach for sunset. My family’s destination was always New Buffalo, Michigan where you can walk/climb the rocks out to the lighthouse. 

  • Hoffman and Tunnel Falls

  • Hemlock Cliffs Waterfalls

I hope if you are visiting our homebase you will get some great ideas of Indianapolis outdoor adventures from these tips!

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