Written by Stephanie Greenwald
Set your GPS to 19401 N. Allisonville Road in Noblesville for a day of fun-filled family adventure. When you arrive at the main parking lot you’ll be greeted by Hamilton County’s only remaining covered bridge. It’s big and beautiful and makes a great backdrop for any picture you’d like to shoot.
Walk to the bridge off the main parking lot and peek through the windows to get breathtaking views of the White River. Look up and the kids will be amazed by the giant spider webs in the rafters. Once you’ve had your fill of bridge wildlife and gorgeous views take the main trail either North or South to see 66 acres of natural wonder.
Heading North is the Potter’s Bridge Loop Trail. It is a paved 0.2 mile loop trail where you will run into the best place to drop your canoe or inflatable inner tube. This is also a beautiful space to creek stomp. It is a fairly easy hike down to the launch site. Little ones may need assistance. You will have an easier hike if you stay on the paved trail but there is a more rugged shortcut if you are so inclined.
If dropping flotation devices in the river is your main goal, this is where the closest parking lot is; just North of the main lot. Located about ten minutes North is the White River Canoe Company. If you don’t have your own water craft they have rentals for canoes, kayaks or giant inner tubes to float down to Potter’s Bridge Park (about an hour long, leisurely trip on the water) or even further if you desire.
Riding the White River not on your list? Head South on the trail from the covered bridge. Here you will be starting on the White River Greenway. The first 3.1 miles from the trailhead at the bridge are part of the Potter’s Bridge Park. If you want to keep going you can hike all the way into Forest Park or go even further into the downtown Noblesville area.
Along the paved trail you’ll encounter wooded areas, prairie habitats and plenty of wildlife. Some of the foliage is marked with informational signage. The overlooks have benches you can relax on and watch boaters float down the river.
There are a few places you can access the river to splash around but they are challenging to the average hiker. Good shoes with traction and finding exposed roots to hold onto for stability may be necessary but once you get there the water feels great and it is a nice break for the kids to splash around and cool off.
Head back to the main parking lot for a public bike repair station complete with air pump, bike racks, a little free library where you can pick up a new book to read on one of the scenic overlooks, drinking fountains, bathrooms with changing tables, shaded picnic tables and every little ones favorite – the playground!
The Potter’s Bridge Park playground is just on the other side of the bathroom entrance off the main parking lot. The playground features two structures. The smaller structure has toddler sized slide and easier access steps. You will find plenty to climb and slide for the little ones. The second playground structure is slightly more challenging and taller than the first. Multiple slides and trickier climbing components make for a great way to burn some energy.
Potter’s Bridge Park offers plenty of shade. The trail, picnic tables, playground, and overlooks are well covered. You may catch a cool breeze off the river. Take time enjoying the foliage and wildlife. See how many different kinds of mushrooms and wild flowers you can find.
It’s recommended to pack water bottles (there are drinking fountains near the playground), bring sunscreen, and bug spray, wear shoes with good traction if you plan on trekking off the paved path. Bring a snack, especially for the little ones who always seem to get hungry. Didn’t pack a snack or picnic lunch? Head to one of these Noblesville establishments just a short drive away where kids eat free certain days of the week.
After your day of hiking the trails and floating the river relax with one of Nobesville’s drive in movie features–Friday nights during the summer of 2020.
Be sure to visit Potter’s Bridge Park in every season. Mother Nature creates beautiful backdrops throughout the year. You are sure to enjoy a mild weathered winter hike just as much as a fresh bloomed spring trek. Every fall the park hosts a fall festival that brings in more than 90 booths with arts, crafts and food to visit. Live entertainment and views of the gorgeous fall foliage will delight visitors of all ages. Check out the visit Hamilton County page for more details and dates.
You can make the day as easy going or as challenging as you like. This is a great park for guests of all abilities. The paved trails are great for strollers or wheelchairs. Bikers like the easy, smooth ride. There are mile markers along the White River Greenway trail so you will know every half mile you hit which is wonderful since there really is no end. Potter’s Bridge Park is a great place to escape the hustle and chaos of life. Step into nature and let life’s worries float away with the rushing White River.
19401 N Allisonville Rd