Just East of Indianapolis you will find the town of Greenfield, Indiana. Small-town vibes are abundant here but don’t let that fool you. Greenfield is home to some amazing parks, shops, and restaurants. Check out the best places to play with the kids and plan your next adventure in Greenfield.
Best Parks, Playgrounds, and Trails in Greenfield
856 West 5th Street
This little pocket park is situated among houses near downtown Greenfield. On-street parking is the only option and 5th Street can get a bit busy, so use caution. This playground says it’s suitable for kids 5-12 years old. Personally, my oldest at 8 years old said she was “bored” but sure seemed to have fun climbing, sliding, and swinging. I do think this park is best for the preschool/kindergarten kiddos though. There’s a nice play set that our three and four-year-olds loved and another play set that was for kiddos a bit older and more skilled. The saucers were fun for the kids to spin and balance on. There is a bit of a grassy area behind the swings for kicking around a ball or laying down a picnic blanket. Commons Park does not have restrooms, benches, or shade. The mulch ground covering is likely to get muddy after a good rain. Plan accordingly.
2770 N Franklin St.
This is a beautiful park that has so much to offer. While they don’t have playgrounds for climbing and sliding the kids will have a great time exploring and maybe even learning. The ample, paved parking lot is situated between the huge dog park (separated into two areas) and the paths to the fishing pond. Here you will find the picnic shelter and amphitheater. The restrooms are open seasonally and easily accessible. You will find changing tables in both the men’s and women’s restrooms in the shelter just off the parking lot.
Throughout the park, you will encounter plenty of benches and shady areas to sit and relax. This park has a “natural tree walk” which showcases trees native to Indiana. The paths and boardwalks throughout will take you past a variety of native grasses, plants, and wildlife. In another area, you can learn about reforestation and how Mother Nature creates a forest from a field. Pack bug spray, sunscreen, and snacks and wear comfy shoes; you’ll want to spend some time exploring Beckenholdt Park.
Riley Memorial Park
Apple Street & US 40
Head into the park from the main entrance off US 40 and just to the right you will encounter the large, colorful playground which is suitable for kids of any age. They have a separate play area for little ones with a small climbing structure, a companion swing, a baby swing, and a standard swing. Kids love climbing the stacked rubber tires too. Parents like that the tire tower isn’t stacked too high.
Across the way, but still close enough to keep an eye on the big kids is a much more complex playground system; multiple slides, a rock wall, tunnels to crawl through, interactive wall features, monkey bars, and plenty of swings. Bring a ball because there is a gaga-ball pit here too.
This area of Riley Park is where you will find the restrooms. The women’s restroom is equipped with a shelf that could be utilized as a changing table. Cross the bridge over Brandywine Creek and feed the ducks or head down the path to any of the multiple picnic areas. You will find clusters of tables scattered throughout and a few covered pavilions with grills.
Towards the back of the park is another small playground. This mulch-covered area sports a couple of swings, a baby swing, and brown and green equipment to climb, slide, and monkey around on. This setup is near a huge covered picnic pavilion and seems to have its own parking area; perfect for large family gatherings.
If you park in the lots off Apple St near the splash pad and swimming pool you will come across the third play area. This is a much more modern playground. You’ll find a huge net swing, a very challenging climbing wall contraption, and a few things that spin. Grab a snack at the concession stand (seasonally) next to the splash pad and find a shady spot under the pavilion.
Parking off Apple St. also allows you easier access to the stone gazebo, the little free library, landscaped paths, and viewing areas of the park. Follow the paths and hopscotch your way to the playgrounds and creek below.
Depending on when you visit you may find folks sledding on the huge hill, catching air in the skate park, or squealing with delight at the splash pad. Don’t forget to visit the Old log jail and the Chapel Museum while you’re there.
Henry B Wilson Park
2349 Collins Way
This 14-acre park includes a multi-use trail with mountain bike features and floating bridges over Brandywine Creek. In addition to hiking or biking, you can spread out a blanket and picnic, creek stomp, or fish. Enter the Brandywine Village neighborhood and turn south on Fern Street. Look for a “Wilson Park” entrance sign on Fern Street (a trailhead entrance can be found in the South East Section just East of the corner of Collins and Fern). Wilson Park only has on-street parking available (in the neighborhood) and no on-site restrooms. Note that if there has been significant rainfall the trails will be flooded.
CR 150 West – CR 400 East
While there is no actual physical address this paved, multi-use, rail trail stretches from CR 150 West to CR 400 East (from Greenfield heading west into Indianapolis) and is over ten miles long. At the 150 West trailhead, you will find a parking area, water fountains, and all accessible restrooms. Pennsy Trail has an art garden, wildlife, plenty of shade, and benches to stop and rest on. In years past they had a drive-through light display at Christmas.
Thornwood Nature Preserve
1597 South Morristown Pike
This 40-acre park sits just to the East of Little Brandywine Creek. It boasts seven different trails of varying difficulty. Along the trails, you will encounter wildlife, wildflowers, a suspension bridge, and different posts with educational information on them. Thornwood offers overnight camping on the weekends and the Little Brandywine Creek is perfect for cooling off those toes after a long hike. Take the “red” trail to the outdoor classroom or the “orange” trail to hit the creek.
The city of Greenfield has a variety of park options. Whether you’re looking for bike rides, playgrounds, creeks, or camping they have got you covered. Stay tuned as the new Depot Park is slated to open in the fall of 2021.