Indianapolis is a beautiful city! I’m here for work and the weather couldn’t be better to explore a new city. The first thing I do when I’m traveling is talk to the concierge at the hotel to find out if there are any local running trails. I was excited to find the Indianapolis Cultural Trail right outside my hotel.
This morning I had some time before a meeting so I decided to check it out. The trail is 7.5 miles and connects the five downtown cultural districts; Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave, the Canal & White River State Park and the Wholesale District.
A nice feature of the trail is the two separate paths; one for bikers and one for runners/walkers. This is something Chicago has been looking into for the Lakefront Trail to prevent conflict between bikers and runners. I don’t think the two separate paths can be enforced, but I think most people would follow the rules because the paths are clearly marked.
The trail wasn’t too busy, but I could feel the energy from all the students coming back to Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and moving into the dorms.
There’s a reason the Cultural Trail has caught the attention of urban planners around the country. The wide paths are lined with distinctive lighting and landscaping and beautiful large-scale art.
The trail passes within one block of every major arts, culture, heritage and sports venue in the city. While running I was making mental notes of the places I would like to go if we have extra time. The cultural trail wasn’t just a regular run, but an experience to explore Indy and see all that it has to offer. I’m looking forward to running it again tomorrow.
I only have two minor gripes. The Fountain Square didn’t have well-marked signs so I could see how pedestrians could get turned around and end up off the trail. Also, I don’t think I saw one water fountain. I’m definitely spoiled with all the water fountains along the Lakefront Trail in Chicago.
Have you been to Indianapolis? How do you find running routes when you travel?