Monon Greenway Trail In Indiana

Here is everything you need to know about the Monon Greenway Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Indiana
  • Length: 5.2 miles.
  • Type: Biking.
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department
  • Permit Required?: No.
  • Website:

The Monon Greenway Trail, located in central Indiana, holds a rich historical significance that dates back to the mid-19th century. Originally known as the Monon Railroad, this trail was once a bustling railway line that connected the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis. The railroad was established in 1847 and played a crucial role in the transportation of goods and passengers between these two major urban centers.

The Monon Railroad gained prominence during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as it became a vital link for industries, agriculture, and commerce in the region. The line witnessed a significant increase in traffic during the Civil War, as it served as a crucial supply route for the Union Army. The railroad continued to thrive in the following decades, contributing to the economic growth and development of the communities it passed through.

However, with the rise of the automobile industry and the decline of rail travel in the mid-20th century, the Monon Railroad faced challenges. The decline in passenger and freight traffic eventually led to the discontinuation of the line in 1987. Recognizing the potential of the abandoned railway corridor, local communities and organizations came together to transform it into a recreational trail.

In 1999, the Monon Greenway Trail was officially opened, offering a 27-mile paved pathway for walkers, runners, cyclists, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The trail not only provides a safe and scenic route for exercise and leisure activities but also serves as a living testament to the region’s transportation history. Today, the Monon Greenway Trail stands as a beloved community asset, preserving the legacy of the Monon Railroad while offering a vibrant recreational space for residents and visitors alike.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. 10th Street Trailhead – Located at 10th Street and the Monon Greenway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
2. Broad Ripple Park Trailhead – Located at Broad Ripple Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.
3. 61st Street Trailhead – Located at 61st Street and the Monon Greenway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
4. 86th Street Trailhead – Located at 86th Street and the Monon Greenway in Indianapolis, Indiana.
5. Carmel Depot Trailhead – Located at the Carmel Depot in Carmel, Indiana.
6. 96th Street Trailhead – Located at 96th Street and the Monon Greenway in Carmel, Indiana.
7. Westfield Trailhead – Located at Westfield Boulevard and the Monon Greenway in Westfield, Indiana.
8. Sheridan Trailhead – Located at Sheridan Road and the Monon Greenway in Sheridan, Indiana.
9. Tipton Trailhead – Located at Tipton Street and the Monon Greenway in Tipton, Indiana.
10. Delphi Trailhead – Located at Delphi Avenue and the Monon Greenway in Delphi, Indiana.

Transportation Available

1. IndyGo Bus Service – Public bus service covering various routes in Indianapolis.
2. Lime Scooters – Electric scooters available for rent through a mobile app.
3. BlueIndy – Electric car-sharing service with stations located throughout the city.
4. Pacers Bikeshare – Bike-sharing program offering rental bikes at various stations.
5. Uber – Ride-hailing service providing convenient transportation options.
6. Lyft – Another popular ride-hailing service for on-demand transportation.
7. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service available for pick-up and drop-off.
8. Bird Scooters – Electric scooters available for rent through a mobile app.
9. LimeBike – Bike-sharing program offering rental bikes at various stations.
10. Zipcar – Car-sharing service allowing members to rent vehicles by the hour or day.


The Monon Greenway Trail offers several amenities for visitors. Some of the amenities available at the Monon Greenway Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities located at various points along the trail, including at parks and trailheads.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas available at different access points along the trail. These parking lots provide convenient access to the trail for visitors.

3. Camping Sites: While camping is not allowed directly on the Monon Greenway Trail, there are nearby campgrounds and parks where visitors can set up camp. Examples include the White River Campground and the Cool Creek Park and Nature Center.

4. Picnic Areas: The Monon Greenway Trail features several picnic areas with tables and benches where visitors can enjoy a meal or a snack. These areas are often located in parks along the trail.

5. Playgrounds: Some sections of the trail have playgrounds for children to enjoy. These playgrounds offer a fun break for families and provide a place for kids to play.

6. Water Fountains: There are water fountains available at various points along the trail, allowing visitors to stay hydrated during their walk, run, or bike ride.

7. Bike Repair Stations: The Monon Greenway Trail has bike repair stations equipped with tools and air pumps. These stations are useful for cyclists who may need to make minor repairs or adjustments to their bikes.

8. Dog-Friendly Areas: The trail has designated areas where dogs are allowed. These areas often include waste disposal stations and water bowls for dogs.

9. Fitness Stations: Some sections of the trail feature fitness stations with exercise equipment. These stations provide opportunities for visitors to engage in strength training or stretching exercises.

10. Wayfinding Signage: The trail is well-marked with signage, making it easy for visitors to navigate and find their way along the trail.

Please note that amenities may vary depending on the specific section of the Monon Greenway Trail and the park or access point you are visiting. It is always recommended to check with local authorities or trail management for the most up-to-date information on amenities and facilities.

Nearby Services

1. Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis/Carmel – Convenient hotel with modern amenities near the Monon Greenway Trail.
2. Courtyard by Marriott Indianapolis Carmel – Comfortable hotel offering easy access to the Monon Greenway Trail.
3. Hampton Inn Indianapolis/Carmel – Affordable lodging option close to the Monon Greenway Trail.
4. Residence Inn by Marriott Indianapolis Carmel – Spacious suites with kitchenettes, ideal for longer stays near the Monon Greenway Trail.
5. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Indianapolis North – Carmel – Budget-friendly hotel located near the Monon Greenway Trail.
6. Whole Foods Market – Grocery store offering a variety of food options near the Monon Greenway Trail.
7. Kroger – Supermarket providing groceries and other essentials close to the Monon Greenway Trail.
8. Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream – Casual eatery known for its delicious burgers and ice cream, conveniently located near the Monon Greenway Trail.
9. Woody’s Library Restaurant – Cozy restaurant serving American comfort food near the Monon Greenway Trail.
10. Upland Carmel Tap House – Lively brewpub offering craft beers and pub fare near the Monon Greenway Trail.
11. Carmel Fire Department – Emergency services available in case of any emergencies along the Monon Greenway Trail.
12. Carmel Police Department – Local law enforcement agency ensuring safety along the Monon Greenway Trail.
13. St. Vincent Carmel Hospital – Nearby hospital providing medical services for emergencies along the Monon Greenway Trail.

Monon Greenway Trail Difficulty Notes

The Monon Greenway Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. With a mostly flat terrain and well-maintained paved surface, it is accessible to people of all fitness levels. The trail stretches for approximately 26 miles, providing a great opportunity for walkers, runners, and cyclists to enjoy the scenic beauty of central Indiana. While there are a few gentle inclines and declines along the way, they are generally manageable for most individuals. Overall, the Monon Greenway Trail offers a pleasant and enjoyable experience for outdoor activities, making it a popular choice for both locals and visitors alike.

Features And Attractions

1. Carmel Arts & Design District: This vibrant district is known for its art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. It offers a scenic view with beautiful architecture and street art.

2. Monon Depot Museum: Located in Carmel, this historical site is a restored train station that now serves as a museum. It provides insights into the history of the Monon Railroad and the area’s transportation heritage.

3. The Palladium: Situated in Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts, the Palladium is a stunning concert hall known for its exceptional acoustics and elegant architecture. It offers a scenic view and hosts various musical performances.

4. Coxhall Gardens: This picturesque park in Carmel features beautiful gardens, a serene lake, and a stunning amphitheater. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

5. Broad Ripple Village: Located in Indianapolis, this vibrant neighborhood offers a mix of shops, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s known for its lively atmosphere and scenic views along the White River.

6. Holliday Park: Situated in Indianapolis, this park offers a variety of natural landmarks, including wooded trails, a nature center, and the iconic Ruins of Holliday Park. It’s a great place for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring nature.

7. Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields: This renowned art museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a sculpture park. It offers a scenic view and houses an extensive collection of art from various periods and cultures.

8. White River State Park: Located in downtown Indianapolis, this urban park offers stunning views of the White River and features several attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indiana State Museum.

9. The Indianapolis Canal Walk: This scenic promenade follows the historic Central Canal and offers beautiful views of downtown Indianapolis. It passes by various landmarks, including the Indiana State Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the Medal of Honor Memorial.

10. Fort Harrison State Park: Situated in Lawrence, this state park offers a mix of natural beauty and historical landmarks. It features hiking trails, a golf course, and the historic Fort Harrison, which served as a military training facility.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Monon Greenway Trail. There are many more attractions and points of interest to explore along the trail, making it a fantastic destination for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Usage Guidelines

1. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
3. Bicyclists should yield to pedestrians and give audible warnings when passing.
4. Motorized vehicles, including motorcycles, are not allowed on the trail.
5. Skateboarding, rollerblading, and roller skating are permitted, but users must yield to pedestrians.
6. No littering. Please dispose of trash in designated bins.
7. No camping or overnight stays on the trail.
8. No open fires or barbecues.
9. No hunting or fishing along the trail.
10. No unauthorized motorized or non-motorized racing or competitions.
11. No unauthorized commercial activities or solicitation.
12. No alcohol or illegal substances allowed on the trail.
13. No amplified music or excessive noise that may disturb other trail users.
14. Trail hours are from dawn to dusk. Please respect the posted opening and closing times.
15. During winter months, the trail may be closed or have limited access due to weather conditions.

Seasonal Information

The Monon Greenway Trail, located in Indiana, offers a picturesque and enjoyable experience for outdoor enthusiasts throughout the year. The best times to visit the trail largely depend on personal preferences and the activities one wishes to engage in. Spring and fall are particularly popular due to the mild temperatures and vibrant foliage. During these seasons, visitors can enjoy pleasant walks, bike rides, or even rollerblading along the trail, taking in the beauty of blooming flowers or colorful autumn leaves.

Summer is another great time to visit the Monon Greenway Trail, especially for those who enjoy outdoor activities under the warm sun. The trail provides ample shade from the surrounding trees, making it a comfortable place for jogging, cycling, or simply strolling. Summer also brings various events and festivals to the trail, such as concerts or farmers’ markets, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

It is important to note that the Monon Greenway Trail may have seasonal closures or restrictions in certain areas. During winter, sections of the trail may be closed due to snow or ice accumulation, making it unsafe for use. However, some parts of the trail may remain open for winter activities like cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, providing a unique experience for outdoor enthusiasts. It is advisable to check the trail’s official website or local authorities for any closures or restrictions before planning a visit during the colder months.

Overall, the Monon Greenway Trail offers a delightful experience throughout the year, with each season bringing its own charm and activities. Whether it’s enjoying the blossoming nature in spring, the vibrant colors of fall, or the warm sun of summer, visitors can find something to appreciate and enjoy on this scenic trail.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Entrances: The Monon Greenway Trail has multiple entrances that are designed to be easily accessible for wheelchair users.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features smooth and paved pathways, ensuring a comfortable and accessible experience for wheelchair users.
3. Accessible Restrooms: ADA-compliant restrooms are available along the trail, providing wheelchair-accessible facilities for visitors.
4. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are provided near the trail entrances, allowing easy access for individuals with disabilities.
5. Rest Areas with Benches: The trail offers rest areas with benches at regular intervals, providing wheelchair users with opportunities to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Accessible Picnic Areas: ADA-compliant picnic areas are available along the trail, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy outdoor dining experiences.
7. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains are conveniently located along the trail, ensuring hydration for all visitors.
8. Accessible Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead facilities are designed to be accessible, including ramps, wide doorways, and other accommodations for wheelchair users.
9. Accessible Signage: The trail features clear and visible signage with Braille and raised lettering, aiding individuals with visual impairments or blindness.
10. Accessible Crossings: The trail includes accessible crossings at road intersections, ensuring safe passage for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility challenges.

Safety Information

When visiting the Monon Greenway Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings at all times. Be mindful of other trail users, including cyclists, runners, walkers, and pets.

2. Follow trail rules and regulations: Familiarize yourself with the trail rules and regulations, such as speed limits, right-of-way guidelines, and any specific trail usage restrictions. These rules are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

3. Use designated crossings: When crossing roads or intersections along the trail, always use designated crosswalks or pedestrian signals. Look both ways before crossing and wait for a safe gap in traffic.

4. Stay on designated paths: Stick to the designated trail paths and avoid venturing off into restricted areas or private property. This helps maintain your safety and respects the rights of others.

5. Share the trail: The Monon Greenway Trail is a multi-use trail, so be considerate and share the trail with other users. Keep to the right side of the trail, pass on the left, and give audible warnings when overtaking others.

6. Use proper lighting and reflectors: If using the trail during low-light conditions or at night, ensure you have proper lighting on your bicycle or reflective gear on yourself. This increases your visibility to others and reduces the risk of accidents.

7. Dress appropriately: Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for your activity on the trail. Dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, and consider using sunscreen, hats, or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

8. Stay hydrated: Carry water or other hydrating fluids with you, especially during hot weather or longer trail excursions. Staying hydrated is essential for your well-being and helps prevent heat-related illnesses.

9. Be cautious at road crossings: When approaching road crossings, slow down, look for oncoming traffic, and obey traffic signals. Always yield to vehicles and wait for a safe opportunity to cross.

10. Carry identification and emergency contact information: It is advisable to carry identification and emergency contact information with you while on the trail. In case of an emergency, this information can be crucial for first responders.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility, so by following these guidelines, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for yourself and others on the Monon Greenway Trail.

Conservation Notes

The Monon Greenway Trail, located in Indiana, holds a significant conservation status due to its ecological importance and efforts to preserve its natural resources. The trail traverses through diverse habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands, providing a crucial corridor for wildlife movement and promoting biodiversity conservation. The conservation status of the Monon Greenway Trail is primarily focused on protecting and restoring these habitats, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem.

Efforts to conserve the Monon Greenway Trail involve various strategies, such as habitat restoration, invasive species management, and water quality improvement. Restoration projects aim to enhance degraded areas by reintroducing native plant species, creating suitable habitats for wildlife, and improving overall ecosystem health. Additionally, invasive species management programs are implemented to control and eradicate non-native plants that can outcompete native species and disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem.

Water quality improvement is another crucial aspect of the conservation status of the Monon Greenway Trail. Measures are taken to prevent pollution and maintain the health of water bodies along the trail. This includes implementing stormwater management practices, such as rain gardens and bioswales, to filter and treat runoff before it enters nearby streams or wetlands. By addressing water quality concerns, the conservation efforts aim to protect aquatic habitats and ensure the survival of species dependent on clean water sources.

Overall, the conservation status of the Monon Greenway Trail reflects a commitment to preserving and restoring its natural resources, promoting biodiversity, and providing a sustainable habitat for wildlife. Through ongoing conservation initiatives, the trail continues to serve as an important ecological corridor and a valuable asset for both the local community and the environment.

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