Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Indiana

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Facts

States: Indiana
Counties: Marion
Length: 9.2 miles
Trail end points: White River State Park and Monon Trail at E. 10th Street
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 7492464
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Indianapolis Cultural Trail Description

After six years under construction, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail (ICT) was well worth the wait. The trail is a definite boon for the city and also ranks among some of the country’s nicest urban routes by which cyclists and pedestrians can access and explore a vibrant downtown. Around 8 miles of trail (9 if you include the canal loop) link five of Indy’s cultural districts, flush with museums, theaters, shops, restaurants, hotels and parks. Financial support flowed from many, with the lion’s share coming from local philanthropists Gene and Marilyn Glick. And the results are phenomenal.

Developing an urban pathway through an old city isn’t easy—what driver wants to go on a road diet? But cut the fat the city did. Traffic-calming measures included reducing the number of lanes on some roads and buffering the trail from traffic in places with curbs, jersey barriers, rain gardens and other landscaping (which also filter runoff pollutants). Custom-designed lighting and signage, along with hexagonal pavers in green and terra cotta colors, provide visual continuity to aid in wayfinding among the city sidewalks. During winter, snow is removed, allowing you to use the trail year-round.

This linear park also features engaging public art specially commissioned for each of the neighborhoods through which the trail passes. In addition, you can access the Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions, American Legion Park, and the stunning Marion County Library, to name just a few attractions. You can also visit Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Colts, stroll up the pedestrian mall on Georgia Street, grab a bite at any number of restaurants and peruse funky shops and galleries. Combine your journey with a float trip along the canal aboard a rental paddle boat or stop to rest on a park bench and people watch.

The ICT is not only a terrific public space but an improvement for commuters who prefer the non-motorized way to work or play. With direct links to the White River Wapahani Trail, Monon Trail and Pleasant Run Trail, the ICT is easy to access if you’re heading to or coming from the Indianapolis suburbs.

A few downtown hotels offer bikes for staying guests wanting to explore the trail, and a bike-sharing program (coming in May 2014) offers visitors another option. There’s plenty of parking, some paid and some free, all along the route, so don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to explore Indianapolis.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available in White River State Park (801 W. Washington Street) on the western end of the trail; note that there are parking fees. You can also use ParkIndy to find a metered parking space, or visit the Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. website to find garage parking.

Indianapolis Cultural Trail Reviews

I rode and my daughter ran the Cultural Trail in September 2016. It is mainly a large square around the downtown area with a few branches which in some cases connect with other trails (the Monon and Pleasant Creek Trails). We found the trail to be very well marked and easy to follow with many opportunities for stopping at a cultural venue or a quick bite to eat or to relax at an outdoor park. A highlight of the trail is the portion that dips below street level along The Canal and connects with the White River Wapahani Trail which goes by the Indianapolis Zoo. The trail is easy to negotiate and quite flat. That said, this is not the trail for a training ride as there are many streets to cross and the trail is shared in some places with walkers occasionally making for crowded conditions. It is a trail very well-suited for a leisurely ride with easy access and parking, and definitely rates very highly among urban trails.

A personal favorite. Not for speed or cruising but for the art, atmosphere and people watching. Such a beautiful greenway- especially at night. Downtown Indy is all lit up. Being a Cycadelic Cyclist, my glowing bike goes well with the other LEDs.

This trail is really a must if you are into a casual fun and an interesting ride. The trail goes by most of the better scenery and places in the city and if you have something else in mind the trail gets you close. If all you want to do is ride, recommend supplementing this with the monon trail. If your a sightseer and tourist then just spend the night. Downtown hotels are a bit pricey but there are others on the outskirts of the trail. Indy did the trail right.

Accordion

I tried this trail with my wife who doesn't like to feel like it is a work out. It was fantastic. The trail was very nice. The variation in trail features and surrounding sites were fantastic. We also stopped and varied the route to go through some of Whitewater State Park. Simply stated, it was a wonderful adventure and my wife enjoyed it. I have a tendency to do overkill or I get bored. I really had fun and got the workout at the same time. We will use this again absolutely.

The Cultural Trail has made downtown accessible for our family to reach downtown via The Monon Trail. Last weekend our family of four biked from Westfild for an overnight trip to Indianapolis. This trail made it safe an easy for us to reach our hotel for the weekend.

We rode this recently. Nice and flat. Lots of cultural exhibits and goes all along the downtown canal. We got a bit lost around one part but asked other friendly bicyclets. Wonderful experience.

I live in Bloomington but am always looking for great trails to ride. I love riding in downtown Indy. The cultural trail is safe and well designated for bikes and pedestrians. I always hit the Monon trail on the north side of Indy which the cultural trail connects to. I ride the Monon trail all the way to Carmel and then back to downtown Indy and head home to Bloomington.

The cultural trail is gorgeous, right through the heart of Indy, taking you by some of the coolest spots in the city. The trail itself, is one of the nicest I've ever been on, well marked and shared easily by pedestrians and bikers. Love this trail, awesome that it hooks up with the Monon as well

Indiana isn't known for its progressiveness in a lot of things, but in recent years the state has put much energy into promoting non-motorized transportation by developing a network of awesome trails. The Indy Cultural Trail ranks at the top of the list, not just by Indiana standards, but on a national scale. The city did a fantastic job of designing the trail, from its traffic calming measures to support this roadside pathway, to its incorporation of rain gardens to filter runoff and beautify the trail, to its commissioning of engaging public art. Even if you have just a few hours, do this trail, on bike or foot. You won't be disappointed!

In May 2014, the city will introduce a bike-sharing program that will enable visitors and locals alike to hop on and explore Indianapolis on wheels. For Indy residents, check out Matthews Bicycles northeast of downtown on Pendleton Pike (MatthewsBikes.com). They sell some fantastic rides, and the friendly staff will take excellent care of you.

A distinctively designed urban trail experience that provides access to major downtown cultural destinations while linking to other major greenway corridors - Monon, White River, Pleasant Run, Canal, etc. Trail surface is actually asphalt pavers, not concrete, which are artfully placed to define lanes and provide warnings for upcoming stops and crossings. Public art, vibrant plantings, distinctive lighting,and custom signage add to the experience.

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