With today's topic being Travel is healthy for National Travel & Tourism Week, I felt it was time to dive into the Hendricks County Insider archives and dust off a story I wrote almost two years to the day about the top trails in Hendricks County.
Not much has changed with these trails since I turned to our county's park leaders to get their recommendations. This time of year and in the fall when the leaves begin to change are two of the best times to explore these trails.
So, when you come to Hendricks County, make sure to take your visit to another level by checking out our wonderful trails. They are free to explore, offer breathtaking views and provide a healthy option to be one with nature.
- Arbuckle Acres Trail (Brownsburg) - This paved trail is located in the lower level of Arbuckle Acres Park, 200 N. Green St., where hikers can enjoy an easy hike that winds through a 16-acre parcel of woods. The trail parallels White Lick Creek for a good distance before climbing uphill to a bend in the trail. The elevated bridge to cross the creek provides a picturesque perspective of the creek and lower area. Length: Nearly a mile. Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
- Avon Town Hall Park Trail (Avon) - Featuring a 10-foot wide paved trail that loops through the Town Hall Park, 6570 E. U.S. 36, this trail offers a diverse mix of scenic and environmental views. Some of the highlights include a 9-acre lake, open space, woods and native Indiana prairie and wetlands. The trail is handicap accessible and fun for all age groups and skill levels. Length: 1.5 mile. Difficulty: Easy.
- Beaver Ridge Trail (Sodalis Nature Park, Plainfield) - This scenic trail offers hikers amazing views in a pristine wildlife refuge. The trail meanders through mature woodlands, providing views of the 5.5-acre pond below and offers a chance to observe the flora and fauna. Although beautiful, the trail is flat making it a favorite for trail hikers with limited mobility and has benches periodically to rest, relax and take in the nature. Length: 0.6 mile. Difficulty: Easy.
- Blanton Woods (Danville) - This scenic path provides great opportunities for the inexperienced and experienced hiker. This trail, 625 N. Washington St., offers a tranquil and relaxing place to get views of White Lick Creek, wildlife or even to take in a little mushroom hunting. Follow any of a number of trails to experience creek crossings, hill climbs, bird-watching podiums, bat houses, wild flowers and more. Length: More than 4 miles. Difficulty: Moderate.
- Bluebird Trail (Avon) - Avon-Washington Township Community Park, 115 S. County Road 575 East, is home to numerous trails ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. However, the Bluebird Trail comes with the highest recommendations as it provides a picturesque, leisurely stroll through the woods. The Bluebird Trail also offers easy access to some of the park's intermediate trails as well as the historic Iron Whipple Truss bridge built circa 1876. Length: 0.13 miles. Difficulty: Easy.
- B&O Trail (Brownsburg) - The former railroad turned newly paved trail provides an easy hiking or biking experience for anyone. Still a work in progress, the B&O Trail currently connects Ind. 267 to County Road 300 North in Brownsburg and has another completed section between Ronald Reagan Parkway and Raceway Road. The trail will eventually extend 16 miles through Hendricks County. Equestrian trails are planned for future expansion. Length: 1.82 miles. Difficulty: Easy.
- Maple Ridge Trail (Williams Park, Brownsburg) - The main section of this crushed stone trail in Williams Park, 940 S. Locust Lane, isn't rigorous though a number of secondary trails that lead off it are a bit more challenging. The natural trails sit on 45 acres and provide a nice hike with elevation changes and ravines that lead to White Lick Creek. In the spring, you may stumble across a morel mushroom, and in the fall, the colors are beautifully smattered throughout the property. Length: 2-3 miles when you include the secondary trails. Difficulty: Moderate.
- Red-Tailed Ridge Trail (McCloud Nature Park, North Salem) - This trail offers hikers spectacular views as it passes over the centerpiece of McCloud Nature Park, its 100-year-old historic iron truss bridge over Big Walnut Creek. It then traverses mature woodlands, and crosses through grasslands and prairie providing a varied hiking experience that can be enjoyed by hikers of all abilities. Length: 1.1 miles. Difficulty: Moderate.
- Vandalia Trail (Amo and Coatesville) - In many ways, Hendricks County has two trails in one along the former Vandalia Railroad, as the two sections do not link. A more natural, rustic portion of the Vandalia Trail remains unpaved and extends from Amo to Coatesville. This portion tends to be popular for horseback riding, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Ample parking in Amo provides plenty of room for horse trailers. (Plainfield) - Running from County Road 500 South to a trail head at County Road 900 South, the paved Plainfield section has some nice spots, especially when it crosses White Lick Creek at Franklin Park, but it also runs through older portions of Plainfield, behind subdivisions and businesses and crosses several busy streets. Length: About 3 miles from Amo to Coatesville and about 2 miles in Plainfield. Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
- White Lick Creek Trail (Plainfield) - Beginning at the Plainfield Recreation & Aquatics Center, 651 Vestal Road, the White Lick Creek Trail is the centerpiece of Plainfield's trails system. This paved trail meanders south along White Lick Creek down to Hummel Park where it hooks up with a number of other wonderful trails. Hikers, bikers and walkers can get wonderful views of the creek. At Friendship Gardens Park, the trail crosses over White Lick Creek on an old iron truss bridge that was relocated from southern Guilford Township. Length: 6 miles or more depending on the route. Difficulty: Easy to moderate.