Running in Indianapolis

Run Indy — What you need to know about hitting the Open Road in Indy

Running in the greater Indianapolis area is easy — so long as you have two legs, two feet a decent pair of shoes you’re good to go. Now I admit, I haven’t exactly run everywhere in the circle city, but I’ve run enough places to tell you that no matter what part of the city you’re on, you can find an open road:

Running in Indianapolis Indianapolis is a great place to run! But in all honesty, most big cities are. There are trails and pathways galore — some of which I’ll highlight in on the Hiking Trails page, but my favorite place to run is the Monon.

I’m not much of a trail girl — I prefer good old fashioned asphalt over soft bark or dirt paths — which is part of the reason I Iike the Monon. But it’s also because it offers easy access points from darn near anywhere ranging from the center of the city all the way to the north suburbs of Carmel and Westfield.

About the Monon Trail The Monon runs from 10th street in downtown Indy all the way north to Grand Park in Westfield. The entire length — running from start to finish — is just about 20 miles. The trail itself is the remnants of the old Chicago-Indianapolis main line of the Monon Railroad.

The main section that runs through Carmel is the most populated and it’s easy to find places to stop for potty breaks or even water runs. The Indy section is also populated, but you do need to use caution when running through certain areas. Although there’s rarely been any sort of incent on the trail, it is a big city and the trail — at times — can attract some people that are there to run.

Once you reach 146th street you cross into the town of Westfield. From there on up to the massive Grand Park Sports Complex, the trail is shady and a great place to run in the summer months, but it is definitely less populated.

Safety while running the Monon I run the trail all the time. Sometimes from my house I tag on an extra few miles down the trail, sometimes I drive to different access points. I typically run in the morning hours, anywhere between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m., and I have always felt safe. Always. There are a ton of people that use the trail — more when it’s nice than in the winter, and there are plenty of places to jump off if you ever need to.

NOTE: the trail is not lit, and I would not advise running on it at night. I am also a huge advocate of ALWAYS running with your cell phone in tow. Bottom line, run anywhere between 96th street up to 156thstreet and you’re golden!

Visiting from out of town If you’re in town staying at a local hotel, most concierges should be able to direct you to the trail. And though you can certainly run to an access point (depending, of course, on the length of run you’re looking for), you can also drive to one of many designated parking areas along the path. And the trail is clearly marked with mile markers in case you don’t have a GPS watch. Plus, it’s populated which, for out of towners, makes it a friendly place to ask for directions should you get lost.

Other places to run Yep. There are. And one of the best places to find maps and ways to access other trails is through the city government pages. Here’s a link to all the fabulous greenways we have in the Circle City:

Now go hit the pavement — maybe I’ll see you out there!

PHOTO CREDIT: I took this before the Mini Marathon, May 2015. If you’re a runner and you love this distance (or hate it) you need to run this race. One of the biggest in the world, and you’ll have inspiration all along the course. Takes place every May a few weeks before the running of the Indianapolis 500.


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