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TRAIL ALERT - the bodies of two teenagers were found on the Delphi Historic Trails on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides and the police have released a photo and need your help identifying the male subject shown in this article. If you have any information, please contact the Carroll County Sheriff's Office at 765-564-2413, the Delphi Police Department at 765-564-2345 or Indiana State Police at 765-567-2125.
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 Trail—a 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.
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
My husband and I killed a whole afternoon riding these trails. It was very scenic, historic, and good, easy riding. We stopped at The Blue Moose in town for ice cream half way through the ride. I definitely recommend this trail, it's well worth it! Try and do a day where you have time to do all the trails. There are hidden gems on each one. We parked at the Canal Park where they had a map and just went everywhere from there.
This was such a nice surprise! Coming to Lake Freeman for several years and had no idea this trail exsisted. My son ran the trails while I walked with my dog. Trails in good shape and nice to get off asphalt for a change. Will definitely return.
We had a great time. Beautiful trail. What a treat to hike without a heavy coat in February. We had the trail to ourselves because it was off season. Well maintained. Really enjoyed the history posts along the way. Anxious to walk this trail each season!
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 streets so very nice. This trail is composed of sections and sometimes the sections do not seamlessly join into each other so make sure you take a map.
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 is that one might need to do a minute search for the beginning of the next trail segment after completing another trail segment so make sure you have a trail map. We started at Trailhead Park and made a circle through town for a leisurely 8 mile afternoon bike ride.
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 rentals right there in Canal Park and you can see it from the parking area. Run by Jean and Kevin Howell...nicest people you'll ever meet! Although we didn't rent bikes here we brought our own he gave us two highly detailed maps and advice on the best parts of the trails. Coming back from biking all day he was closing down. My bike pedal broke and he reopened the shop to repair it. Only cost $12 for two new pedals and no charge for the labor. We also got a look at their bikes to rent and they have great quality bikes, plus they have pedal surreys, and paddleboats! We just can't say enough about this couple.
The trails are a little bumpy and thick with gravel in some areas making the ride a little uncomfortable in spots. The trail is not one big trail but many little trails strung together. We did fine getting through all the trails in the wooded area near the canal but when we got to the trails downtown we got a little lost, thankfully we had the map to follow.
It's a great little friendly town, people are great there. We love history and outdoors so this was a great trail for us. So many things to see along the way, and a lot of the trails are in wooded areas so it's cool enough to ride even on a hot day!
The Delphi Historic Trail/Wabash & Erie Trail system in this small, north central Indiana community is truly a hidden gem for history buffs and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.
The system consists of about 10 miles of moderate to easy trails of mostly crushed stone that are multi-purpose use for a pleasant afternoon hike or ride.
Canal Park at 1030 W. Washington Street has become the central jumping off place for the trails.
Plenty of parking is available and there are restroom facilities (always good to know!), an Interpretive Museum of canal history, tours of the historic Case House, Noble Bikes bicycle/paddleboat rentals, snacks and drinks, and park benches to rest the legs.
The Underhill Towpath Trail runs through the park between the mile-long section of watered canal and the historic canal-era village.
The Underhill trail is a link to a dozen other short trails that run past the Wabash River, Deer Creek, through two city parks and along downtown streets where a number of historic homes have been preserved and a late-1800s opera house is being renovated.
The downtown streets of Delphi can also be used as links from one section of trails to another, not to mention a handy spot with several quaint restaurants to take time for leisurely lunch (Stonehouse Restaurant is popular with tasty homestyle food).
Trekking the trails can be a bit confusing but maps are available at the Canal Park interpretive museum and the Noble Bikes in the historic village.
Noble Bikes, in addition to bicycle rentals and paddleboats, also offers family pedal surreys for trips around town or on the easier trails along the canal.
I've ridden or hiked most if not all of the trails a number of times and it's always a pleasant experience whether a solitary hiker/biker, in a group, or as a family.
I highly recommend anyone interested in a pleasant hike/bike along waterways, wooded trails and historic structures to try the Delphi Historic-Wabash & Erie Canal trails.
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