The Old Northside of Indianapolis used to be one of the most fashionable places to live in Indianapolis during the time surrounding the American Civil War. After a slow decline during the 1950s and
The Monon Trail
The Monon Trail, operated by the City of Indianapolis and the Greenways Foundation, is a great walking, running, cycling and cross-country skiing trail that stretches from Downtown Indianapolis to Westfield. It is one of the better places in the Greater Indianapolis area to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.
The modern-day Monon Trail nearly follows the route of the Monon Railroad line, also known as The Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville Railroad. The longest leg of the Monon Railroad opened in 1853, running between Lake Michigan and the Ohio River. This line carried both passengers and freight. A second line of the Monon Railroad, the line that inspired the modern-day Monon Trail, ran from Indianapolis to Michigan City. The two lines intersected in Monon, Indiana, the namesake for the Monon Railroad and the modern-day trail. Today, portions of the former Monon Railroad are operated by CSX Transportation. The stretch of the modern-day Monon Trail between 10th Street and 96th Street officially opened in 2003. By 2005, this stretch had already been used over 1.2 million times.
Today, the Monon Trail starts in the Town of Westfield and ends at Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis, intersecting with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. In total, the trail is 18.1 miles long. Visitors to the trail do not have to start in Indianapolis or Westfield. There are plenty of access areas with free parking along the trail. Some areas include Westfield Boulevard, 91st Street and 86th Street. Activities like walking, cross-country skiing and bicycling are all enjoyed on the Monon Trail.
Stops on the Monon Trail
There are a number of great places to visit while hiking, biking or skiing on the Monon Trail. Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream in Carmel offers a tremendous variety of burgers, sandwiches and salads. They have a small ice cream shop, making it an excellent place to stop for a cold treat on a hot day. The Monon Trail also passes the Monon Community Center, which is located at 111th Street in Carmel, but only members are allowed entry. Members can enjoy the Monon Community Center’s gym, waterpark and park space. The trail passes through other popular areas in Indianapolis including Nora, Broad Ripple and Canterbury Park.
Special Considerations about the Monon Trail
It is highly recommended to visit the Monon during the daytime. Certain parts of the trail are not safe during the evening hours. Also, make sure to have a plan where you want to go on the trail. Since the trail is so long, it is easy to get tired and find yourself very far from your starting spot. Even though many parts of the trail are in the shade, it is still a good idea to bring water and apply sunscreen before starting on the trail.