Hiking Wherever I Am: White River State Park, IN

#61hike of my 52 Hike Challenge

Trail/Park: White River State Park, IN

I written about hiking when I’m traveling and been able to see some pretty beautiful places. It’s become a habit that is now just part of my planning and this last weekend was no different.

I’ve now got family in Indiana and was headed to bring my son back to Minnesota. In planning the trip I knew I’d have a few hours that I could explore one of the parks near Indianapolis, Indiana. I’ve also come to appreciate the community that I’ve built through Women Who Hike (WWH), knowing that the chapter members across the U.S. and Canada can and will provide me recommendations and hiking partners no matter where I travel.

I reached out to the WWH chapter and quickly made plans for a morning hike with a couple of the ladies, taking their thoughts on trails into consideration. We settled quickly on White River State Park in Indianapolis. It was hard to find much information on the park other than the location of the Visitor Center. We didn’t let that stop us. Armed with suggestions from the Visitor Center staff, we headed on our way.

The morning was bright and crisp. Anne and her dog Twig greeted me. We were soon joined by Hannah and had decided on our basic route. The park is part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail with options to follow the White River or the Central Indiana Canal. We decided to walk the river trail first heading to the west side passing a variety of sculptures. From the bridge we took the trail north along the river with the Indianapolis Zoo on one side. The path is bordered with large stone blocks and more sculptures and historical panels. There is even what appears to be an old stone window devoid of its glass.

The river itself was like a glass mirror with ice forming along its edges. We crossed to the east side of the river heading back toward the visitor center. Part of the way back we could hear rushing water. We explored a bit and found a small, man made waterfall flowing from what appeared at first to be a reflection pool. As we followed our curiosity, we discovered that the fall was where the Central Indiana Canal empties into the White River.

We had ample time to explore the canal all the way north to Michigan Street before turning back to wander past the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The canal is dotted with artwork of all kinds. Exploring it all was a wonderful surprise for my art loving soul. Even better was sharing it with Anne and Hannah. I’ll look forward to hiking with both of them on my next visit. I’ve already got plans forming for the next park to hike. Knowing I’ve got someone to share the experience with is truly wonderful.

Next Post Preview: With a few days to enjoy not working and quiet, I’m looking forward to heading to the trials for another adventure. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday season no matter where you roam!

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