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The past, present, and future of Indianapolis, IN’s Monon Trail


The trail travels beneath the ramps of I-70 + I-65. | Photo via @athonesto

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Besides the fact that it’s a free way to exercise, has access to plenty of Indy attractions + is full of happy pups, there’s more to the Monon Trail than meets the eye. Today, we’re tracking the past, present, and future of this popular outdoor destination.

🚂 Past

Did you know it used to be train tracks? The Monon Railroad hosted the Hoosier Line, which was responsible for transporting both passengers + cargo, including the Indiana limestone that was used to build landmarks not just here, but across the country.

In case you were wondering, the word “monon” comes from the Potawatomi Indian word meaning, “swift running.”

A dog in front of a concrete sculpture with people's faces engraved

At E. 65th St. on the Monon, this sculpture is perfect for a pup pic. | Photo via @pod_the_rod

🚲 Present

Last week, the Monon Trail was featured in Livability’s list, “Off the Beaten Path: 5 Bike Trails Worth Exploring” — and for good reason.

The trail encompasses two counties, four cities + spans for 27.1 miles — from downtown Indy to Sheridan, and it’s even in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.

From the trail, you can access a number of city attractions:

It even intersects with the Cultural Trail, connecting pedestrians to a host of other destinations.

🏗️ Future

The City of Carmel is looking to boost safety on the trails by installing four automated external defibrillators (AEDs) stored in temperature-controlled safe stations connected to a 911 dispatcher. Fishers is also planning to connect its newly finished Nickel Plate Trail to the Monon.

Plus, developers have plans to transform a vacant area of the trail between East 29th Street + Sutherland Avenue into a mixed-use project. It would include residential, retail, and commercial space. We told you about these plans last November and will keep you posted on any updates.

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