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Indianapolis / Marion County

Indianapolis serve as the geographic and historic hub of the NRHT embracing the Indianapolis Cultural Trail and the White River State Park as core elements to connect trail users with the Historic National Road and all of the other attractions of the vibrant downtown area.

As shown below, Indy Greenways and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail are planned to form the route through Marion County.  See more details in the
Indianapolis Greenways Master Plan.

NRHT through

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On the west side, the NRHT will use the developing 34-mile Vandalia Trail from Putnam and Hendricks Counties.  From Plainfield, this route will take the planned Vandalia Trail along the north side of the Indianapolis International Airport and through neighborhoods bordering the active railroad to intersect with the open Eagle Creek Trail
and continue on into downtown.  Trail users access the vibrant "business route" downtown and in Fountain Square on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail which also proceeds south to connect with the Pleasant Run Trail.  Following the Pleasant Run Trail northeast, trail users then pick up the Pennsy Rail-Trail in the historic Irvington district and continue through the Pennsy Trail in Cumberland.  This is the gateway east to the Pennsy Trail in Greenfield and the evolving NRHT in Henry County.

Dozens of interesting sites await visitors along the trail.  A dramatic entrance into downtown Indianapolis is presented by the old Washington Street bridge between the Indy Zoo and White River State Park, now a popular bike/pedestrian bridge.  Other landmarks such as the Capitol, Monument Circle, Fountain Square, and the Irvington Historic District grace the route.

Open Trail

The portions of the trail in Marion County that are open today are part of a 20-mile continuous trail from the Indianapolis Zoo area east into Hancock County.  This begins with a short piece of the White River Trail by the Indianapolis Zoo, then crosses the old Washington Street bridge to downtown, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail along Washington Street, Virginia Avenue, and Shelby Street through downtown and Fountain Square, the Pleasant Run Trail from Shelby Street to Ellenberger Park in Irvington, the Pennsy Trail in Irvington and east to Cumberland, and 1 mile of the Cumberland Pennsy Trail.

White River Trail Bridge to Downtown
Washington St bridge

Future Plans

The Indianapolis Greenways Full Circle Master Plan includes completion of the Vandalia Trail west to Plainfield which is currently being promoted by the westside group White Lick Creek & Vandalia Trail Alliance (WLCVTA).  Plainfield has already built its Vandalia Rail-Trail at the border.

Existing Features on or near the Trail

Indianapolis Airport
Indianapolis Zoo
White River State Park

Amtrak station
State Capitol
Monument Circle
Garfield Park
Historic National Road Interpretive Panels
Washington Street Historic District
Bona Thompson Center
Irvington Historic District

The old Washington Street bridge (White River Trail)