Posted on June 6, 2020 in Neighborhood Feature

Best places to visit in Indianapolis
 A view of the Indianapolis skyline

With the Coronavirus pandemic unlikely to go away any time soon, the state of Indiana continues to remain under a stay at home order. While the measure is necessary to curb the spread of the virus as much as possible, it’s only natural to feel cooped up at home. 

However, as it turns out, there are plenty of safe getaways available in Indianapolis that can allow you to get out of the house without exposing yourself and others to harm. Take a look at our list of best places to visit in Indianapolis while socially distancing. 

Hamilton County sign for Cool Creek Trail.
Boulder at entrance of Cool Creek Park, Carmel, IN
  1. Cool Creek Park 

Located in Hamilton County, Cool Creek Park is an ideal destination for you and your family to plan a quick getaway without breaking any social distancing rules. It stretches over 90 acres and features a Nature Center, a play area, and a variety of hiking trails. If you have been to the park before, then typically you’d go to the playground. With the pandemic still at large, it’s best to steer clear of this area.

Instead, we recommend that you head to the back of the park and explore the nature trails available. These lead directly into the woods. There are two hiking trails for you to consider. The first is a 1-mile trail, while the other is 1.5 miles long. Both trails are fairly easy to climb for children as well as adults. 

  1. Pine Hills Nature Preserve 

Located within Shades State Park near Crawfordsville, the Pine Hills Nature Preserve is easily among the best places to visit in Indianapolis at the moment. If you love being around nature, then you will fall in love with everything this place has to offer.

From steep ravines and cliffs to hiking trails, there are plenty of stunning views for you to enjoy. You’ll have to access the preserve via Shades State Park. Make sure you call ahead to check if the preserve is open to the public before planning a trip. 

Entrance sign of Flat Fork Creek park. Facilities for visitors of Flat Fork Creek.
  1. Flat Fork Creek Park 

Another gem within Hamilton County, the Flat Fork Creek Park is well known for its massive sledding hill. Even if you can’t use it for sledding, you can always hold a friendly competition to run up and down the hill. 

The park also offers a variety of trails that go on for 5 miles. There are some mountain bike trails available, as well. Most of these trails run alongside the river and will lead you into the woods.

If you are into fishing, then you can take advantage of the fishing pond available. There are also some lovely tree houses scattered throughout the park. However, these are currently inaccessible due to the pandemic.   

Pogues Run, art & nature trail entrance sign Information of Pogues Run at beginning of trail.
  1. Pogue’s Run Art and Nature Park 

Located toward the east side of Indianapolis, Pogue’s Run is a creek that isn’t exactly easy to find. It is named after George Pogue. He was a blacksmith and among the first white people to settle in Marion County. You may have heard about his infamous disappearance in 1821.

The Park in question is singularly unique for its public art installations. Set among nature, these art pieces have drawn a variety of art lovers over the years. If you enjoy a mix of nature and artistry, then Pogue’s Run Art and Nature Park is the ideal spot to visit. 

The park was established in collaboration with the Herron School of Art and Design. Students from the school donated the public art pieces that are currently on display. The art installations are located along a trail that runs from South to West. It begins at N. Olney Street and ends at Rural Street and South Brookside Pkwy Drive. 

  1. Fort Harrison State Park 

If your kids are slightly older and like to go on a challenging hiking trip, then the Fort Harrison State Park is a great option for you. Located toward the northeast side of Indianapolis, this park offers very diverse walking trails. There are some paved trails available as well and if your kids love riding their bike in an open space, then they will enjoy the challenge of biking across these trails. 

A hiking trail that dips and rises across 2.75 miles is also available for older kids. There is also another 1-mile trail available that works well for families with young kids. It’s located on the south side of the park and offers a great view for you and your family to enjoy. 

Wrapping It Up 

That was our list of the best places to visit in Indianapolis.  If you are planning to visit any of these parks or nature preserves, make sure you call and check which areas of the park are open for visitors. 

You must also observe all social distancing rules and steer clear of any areas that appear crowded. Avoid enclosed spaces, as well. Maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people at all times and avoid going out of if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms. 

Lastly, we understand that you may be feeling stressed out because of the pandemic but do not make any careless decisions that put you or your family at risk. You should only venture outside if it appears completely safe to you. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? 

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