This interconnected system of trails (about 10 miles' worth) courses through the valley of the Wabash River in northwest central Indiana and the former canal town of Delphi. The trail system follows about 2 miles of watered canal, part of the Wabash & Erie Canal system. It is the longest remaining stretch of watered canal of the 468 miles that once ran through Indiana. The trail system follows sections of Deer Creek, travels past historic downtown homes and traverses city parks, all along former railroad beds.
The best place to access the trails is at Canal Park, northwest of the historic downtown. The park features an interpretive museum detailing the history of the canal and its affect on Delphi, a canal-era village with a restored canal construction contractor's home, a bicycle/paddleboat/kayak livery and a canal boat dock with a Toll Booth/concession stand. It also has tent camping and a few RV sites.
The 1-mile Underhill Towpath Trail is a great starting point for the trail system and runs along the canal through much of the park. A left takes you back across Washington Street onto Founders Towpath Trail. This 0.5-mile trail loops around to Draper North End Trail and passes the restored iron bridge (from 1873) on its way to Founders Point and the "tumble," where fresh groundwater feeds the canal.
Draper Trail swings back past the cutoff to Belt Railroad Traila 0.3-mile section of railroad that served local merchants and connected to Monon Railroad. Draper Trail also runs past a replica lime kiln from the 1850s canal heydays, a replica warehouse/boathouse and back to Washington Street and Underhill Towpath Trail.
In the other direction, the Underhill Trail follows the towpath to a replica guard lock and a historic railroad baggage depot station. A tunnel passes under the railroad, and the landscape changes to quiet woods and farmland as it swings around to follow the highway above it.
The trail enters another tunnel under the highway; follow it up to the right and around the Pizza Hut to the Blue Bridge, a 76-foot stearns truss iron bridge. Across the bridge, the path becomes VanScoy Towpath Trail. A left leads you past historic markers for an Irish work camp, the site of Lock #33 and paper mill sites.
A side trail, the Obear Millrace Trail, cuts off from VanScoy and detours along the former race for the paper mills, following the Wabash River before reconnecting with VanScoy.
At the end of the 1-mile VanScoy Trail is Sunset Point, featuring an idyllic view of Deer Creek, the canal and the Wabash River. A cutoff path from the river goes to Robbins Trail, a 0.5-mile section along the clear water of Deer Creek, and passes by the suspension bridge to Trailhead Park (another trail entrance) and under SR 25 past Deer Creek Falls.
Robbins Trail turns into Happy Jack's Loop with a cutoff to the site of Smith's Dairy along the Interurban Trail.
The interconnecting trail system also includes routes along city streets, and paths along Campbell Ridge Trail and the Monon High Bridge Trail. Trails along the canal are also considered a section of Indiana's Wabash Heritage Corridor Trail system that follows the Wabash River.
Parking and Trail Access
Canal Park in Delphi (1030 N. Washington Street) is the main access to the Delphi/Wabash & Erie Canal Trail system. Public parking, restrooms, snacks, water/beverages, and the Canal Interpretive Center add to the area's luster.
Directions: From Indianapolis take I-65 north to the SR 25 exit at Lafayette. Go north to Delphi, about 15 miles, to the second stoplight (at the courthouse). Turn left and go about 8 blocks. After crossing the canal, the entrance is about ½ block on the left.
From Logansport take SR 25 south to Delphi and follow the above directions to the park.
For more information:
www.noblebikes.net, firstname.lastname@example.org, 765-427-3320
Canal Interpretive Center, 765-564-2870
This trail is nearly perfect with history, lots of shaded trail sections, great views, and refreshment stops in Canal Park or in town. We started out at Trailhead Park and took the 8 mile loop through town. The town section was mostly through wide residential ...
A Gem of a Trail
A nearly perfect trail, history, lots of shaded sections, great views, restrooms and concession stand at Canal Park, restaurants in town. The trail segment through the small town of Delphi is mostly through residential neighborhoods. The only minor problem ...
Wabash and Erie Canal Trail
We parked at Canal Park, very safe area to leave your vehicle unattended and right next to the trail. Coming from Indy and biking on the Monon with our Jeep broken into this is very important for us.
There is a great little bike shop for repairs and ...