The trail system in Carmel is perfect for all ages. Grab the backpack, fill the water bottles and toss in some snacks for a quick trek. Pack a full on picnic and a change of clothes if you intend on staying all day and taking advantage of the many water access points that provide ample areas to creek stomp. The parks and trails in Carmel are beautiful in every season. No matter which route or when you choose to go, get outside and breathe the fresh air. Let us follow along on your journey and use #PLAYIndy in your posts.
Trails in Carmel
If you are looking for rugged or paved trails for hiking, strolling, or biking the trails in Carmel, I have you covered. They have short options and long distanced options that connect more than one trail. Visitors young and old will enjoy the breathtaking views along creeks and rivers and acres upon acres of natural greenspace. Plan a visit to our favorite trails today!
1430 E 96th Street or 1201 Rohrer Road, Carmel
Carmel’s section of the Monon Trail, the Monon Greenway, runs from 146th Street to 96th Street.
Grab the kids and the pups because everyone will enjoy this 5 mile trail. Bring binoculars to check out the wildlife in the wooded areas and see how many different critters you can spot in the trees. If the little legs get tired there are several rest stops along the greenway with water fountains and restrooms.
365 Monon Trail Carmel
(Address is for Midtown Plaza as no physical address exists for the Monon Boulevard)
This is the urban trail portion of the Monon Greenway between 126th and Main Street. Kids of all ages will have fun checking out the interactive experiences. We love the spray park in the summer. Discussing the public artwork, playing ping-pong, bocce ball and corn hole are just a few of the family friendly activities along this trail. Grab something to eat in Midtown Plaza at a variety of eateries. See what else you can do along this urban trail with a stop at Midtown Plaza
Central Park East Woods
1235 Central Park East Drive, Carmel
Central Park East Woods boasts over 3 miles of natural beauty. Explore the foliage as the trails snake between prairies, wetlands and woodlands. The trails in East Woods offer connecting trails to the Monon Greenway.
Central Park West Trails
1195 Central Park Drive W, Carmel
A great nature area any time of year. Some of the trails are wooded while some are paved making it easier on strollers and wheelchairs. Make sure to hit the playground and go birdwatching at the large pond. This area connects to the Monon Trail as well.
5100 E 116th Street, Carmel
Closed until spring 2021. This 15 acre park is a favorite of kids of every age. There is a mile-long trail that wraps through the woods and provides numerous educational spots. Cool Creek winds throughout the park and is a great area to fish or take the kids creek stomping. Bring your empty water jugs to fill up at the “Old Faithful” artesian well.
Prairie Meadow Park
5282 Ivy HIll Drive, Carmel
A quarter-mile paved trail wraps around this park, but you’re going to want to let kids run wild through the mowed paths throughout the prairies. It’s a fantastic place to see all different types of creatures including praying mantises, hummingbirds, butterflies and flowers.
931 Rangeline Road, Carmel
This small, 0.6 mile trail connects to the Hagan-Burke Trail and heads North to Carmel High School. You can‘t miss the historic bridge from the 1920s that was brought back to life on this trail. It’s a perfect trail to ride bikes, skate, or push a stroller on.
Lenape Trace Trail
9602 Westfield Boulevard, Carmel
From the Monon Greenway, connect to this short and sweet 0.75 mile trail. Near the Lenape Trace Trail’s midpoint, is the 5-acre Lenape Trace Park. The park offers a gazebo perfect for picnics and plenty of green space for kicking around a soccer ball. Or head straight to the park and hit the trail from there. Suggested parking for the Lenape Trace Trail and Park can be found off Windcastle Trail, the neighborhood road on the western side of Lenape Trace Park.
Vera J. Hinshaw Preserve
1430 E 96th Street, Indianapolis
This is almost ten acres of undeveloped land located east of the Monon Greenway, just north of the Monon South Trailhead. Follow the paved pathway and observe the beauty of mother nature. The preserve has various mature trees; see how many varieties the kids can identify (oak, hickory, walnut and more). To access the preserve, park at the Monon Greenway South Trailhead and head North.
230 Smokey Row Road, Carmel
This paved 1.4 mile trail is perfect for bikers, walkers, and runners. It provides valuable connections to three other trails in Carmel: the Monon Trail, the 146th Street Trail, and the Greyhound Trail. This trail also winds through wooded areas along Cool Creek which is a favorite for creek stomping.
146th Street Trail
2510 E. 146th Street, Carmel
At just under 2.5 miles this is a paved trail that is great for older, experienced riders and runners. The trail crosses busy intersections and runs along a fairly busy road so make sure little ones are contained if you ride this trail. Access to Carey Grove Park and Clay Terrace are hot destinations for users along this trail.
450 Meadow Lane, Carmel
This trail, at just over two miles long, winds around a picturesque pond that is annually stocked with catfish, sunfish and trout. The park which surrounds this trail, has plenty of greenspace, courts, and a playground. (currently closed with expected improvements completed in 2021)
1475-1635 E 116th Street, Carmel
This is a great trail to follow if creek stomping is your thing. This paved trail offers lots of shade on a hot summer day. Make sure to bring your camera because there are intricate chainsaw carvings that will fascinate kids of all ages. Nature info boards are scattered along the trail as well for your reading pleasure.
106th Street path
10580 N. Meridian Street, Carmel
(park at the North end of the lot area near 106th and Illinois street roundabout)
This trail provides a smooth asphalt path to link the communities of Zionsville and Carmel. You’ll pass by neighborhoods, churches and businesses but the coolest thing is the small bike-ped bridge over Williams Creek. Stop over the creek and try to spot some wildlife.
River Road Park
12575 River Road, Carmel
This 62 acre park has paved trails along the river, prairies and wetlands The park also offers open fields for sports and lots of green space to explore! Don’t miss the playground, it’s definitely unique.
White River Greenway
13410 River Road, Carmel
This is another asphalt trail that runs along the river, perfect for spotting waterfowl. Enjoy wooded areas and on the South end the River Road Park will entertain the littles. Head North and eventually connect with the 146th Street, Trail.
11677 Towne Road, Carmel
This 125 acre park is littered with paved paths and bike trails winding through prairies, along fishing ponds and plenty of greenspace. Pack a picnic and a Frisbee. This insta-worthy park is gorgeous! Allow enough time to visit the Children’s Garden and let the kid’s imaginations run wild.
Biking in Carmel
Grab the bikes and safety gear and hit the pavement for a family bike ride. The Carmel Access Bikeways (CAB) is intended for casual riders. The routes are long but fairly easy. Riders will pass by various areas of Carmel, each route providing access to Carmel’s wonderful amenities. Check this website for route and map info.
Cool Creek Loop
13.9 miles with the trailhead at Carey Grove Park. This trail will take you through neighborhoods and city streets.
12.5 miles and the trailhead is at 146th and Monon Trail Head. A long winding route that explores both shopping and residential areas in and around West Clay
9.7 miles The trail head is at Creekside Middle School. An easy ride that passes through neighborhoods and schools.
White River Loop
7.2 miles The trail head is at River Heritage Park. This beautiful and scenic trail wanders along the White River and through several east side parks
City Center Loop
6.8 miles Trailhead is at Carmel City Hall. A short but exciting ride that follows the Monon Trail through the heart of Carmel and offers access to all of the City’s central features.