This rail-to-trail conversion in Indianapolis, Indiana, is ideal for walking and cycling and has a dozen access points across the area. 

Explore Indianapolis on two wheels. Beginning in the city’s downtown, the 26-mile paved Monon Trail connects neighborhoods throughout Central Indiana, intersecting with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail at Massachusetts Avenue and leading all the way north past Carmel and Westfield to Sheridan.

Named for the Monon Railroad, the rail-to-trail conversion is now ideal for walking and cycling. There are a dozen access points with free parking, including locations at Broad Ripple and the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Concrete mileage markers encourage riders along the way. 96th Street, on the border between Marion and Hamilton counties, serves as the zero point with markers increasing in either direction. Bikers and pedestrians share the busy trail, so be mindful of trail etiquette while enjoying the breeze whipping through your hair. The trail gradually increases in elevation from south to north, so if you’re looking for a more leisurely ride, head north first for mostly downhill terrain on the return trip.

Broad Ripple is a great neighborhood for a pit stop to refuel. Enjoy a nutritious lunch at Public Greens or The Garden Table, then get popsicles for dessert at Nicey Treat. Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe specializes in plant-based, gluten-free recipes that are both hearty and healthy.

If you don’t have your own bikes, that’s not a problem. Pacers Bikeshare system doubled the number of bikes available last year to more than 500, found at 50 bike stations across the city. It costs $1 a ride and 15 cents for each minute. You can take the bikes anywhere and return them to any station, making for an inexpensive way to explore this part of Indiana.  

For more information, go to visithamiltoncounty.com.