Cycling is a fantastic way to get out of the house, enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, spend time with family and friends and get from one place to another without burning gasoline. Plus, in today's world, social distancing is easily achieved when bicycling.
Cyclists abound in Hendricks County, Indiana, so here is your guide to cycling in our slice of Central Indiana.
Where to Ride
We have two main rail trails in Hendricks County: the B&O Trail and the Vandalia Trail. Both are excellent spots for bicycling. The Town of Plainfield boasts a slew of paved trails that are good for cycling and one of our local parks departments has several maps of bicycle routes from one point in the county to another.
So, let's take a look at where to ride in Hendricks County.
The B&O Trail runs about 6.25 miles through Brownsburg in Hendricks County, from Raceway Road northwest to County Road 500 East. Plans to expand the trail to the west and to the east have been bolstered by recent grant awards through the state of Indiana's Next Level Trails program.
The B&O Trail Association operates about half the trail in Hendricks County, while Brownsburg Parks & Recreation operates the rest of it. Not only does this flat paved trail provide a scenic cycling experience, especially when it crosses White Lick Creek by way of a nice new bridge, it also connects to other trails in Brownsburg including paved trails such as Bicentennial Trail, Bulldog Way and more.
There are two separate paved sections of the Vandalia Trail. The western section is operated by Hendricks County Parks & Recreation and spans 4.1 miles from Amo, west through Coatesville, to the Hendricks-Putnam County Line, where it connects to the crushed gravel People Pathways and continues all the way to Greencastle, Ind.
There are trailheads in Amo and in Coatesville that provide modern restrooms and water fountains for trail users from April 1 through Oct. 31, and the trailheads also include bicycle repair stations, complete with an air pump.
To learn more about the western portion of the Vandalia Trail, click here.
The eastern section of the Vandalia Trail is operated by Plainfield Parks & Recreation and runs through the Town of Plainfield to the Hendricks-Marion County border. This section of the trail connects with a multitude of other parks and trails throughout Plainfield's impressive system.
To learn more about the eastern portion of the Vandalia Trail and the rest of Plainfield's parks and trails, click here.
The Vandalia Trail is part of the National Road Heritage Trail (NRHT) system -- a visionary trail that will eventually span the entire State of Indiana from Terre Haute to Richmond. For more information about the NRHT, click here.
Ride Across Hendricks County
Hendricks County Parks & Recreation -- where I work -- has waterproof maps of about a dozen different bicycle routes throughout the county, Feel free to stop by our main office, located at 955 E. Main St. in Danville, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and grab as many maps as you'd like for free.
For even more information about parks and trails in Hendricks County, including other cycling options, the Parks Foundation of Hendricks County maintains a great interactive map which you can access by clicking here.
Where to Shop
Need a new bicycle or some parts or advice while you're in Hendricks County? No problem!
Bluegrass Bicycle Company
Gear Up Cyclery
In Plainfield, Gear Up Cyclery provides a wide array of bicycles, apparel, accessories, components, repairs and advice.
Their shop is located at 124 W. Main St. in Plainfield, and they're open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. They also host weekly bicycle rides with staff members.
Special Cycling Events
Every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. from May through September, Greg Midgley of the NRHT hosts bike rides for all ages and skill levels on the Vandalia Trail. On the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month, he begins at the Amo trailhead on the western portion of the trail. On the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, he leads the ride in Plainfield on the eastern portion of the trail.
Greg is also hosting an NRHT bike ride through Hendricks County on June 26 at 9 a.m., where cyclists can see firsthand the status of open sections of the cross-state National Road Heritage Trail while enjoying each section's local culture. The up-to-40-mile-long ride will span most of the width of Hendricks County, featuring the paved Vandalia Trail plus county roads in between as close as possible to the future proposed trail route.
On June 12 at Williams Park in Brownsburg, the B&O Trail Association is hosting its annual B&O Bicycle Tour. Four different routes provide cyclists with the opportunity to ride 12, 25, 45, or 63 miles. For more information, including how to register, click here.