West of Downtown Indianapolis, Hendricks County parks have become a great place for families all over Central Indiana to visit. A town known for it’s historical charm, the city of Danville boasts great outdoor family spaces for those new and old residents to soak up and enjoy. Danville invites visitors with it’s old historical charm seen across the town and within it’s unique parks.
Family Friendly Parks & Trails in Danville
600 E Main St, Danville 46122
Known for it’s historical swinging bridge, Ellis Park is no doubt one of the oldest park systems in Indiana. It can be traced back to 1913 when the town of Danville set aside 49 -acres of beautiful land to safeguard the wells that supply the town water till this day. The park lies along White Lick Creek, providing a great spot to creek stomp during those summer days. The Playscape wooden playground features lots of great space for kids to run and play, my boys love climbing to the top towers and running across the Playscape playground. The park has restrooms near the playground, unfortunately the playground is not wheelchair friendly, but the historical bridge is wheelchair accessible. During the summer, the park hosts “Symphony in Ellis Park” for people across Hendricks county and the Indianapolis area to enjoy. The park also hosts “Winterland Light show” during Christmas time, the entire park is decorated in the best lights along with appearances from Santa. My family has enjoyed visiting each year the winterland light show, a great park all year long for the entire family.
Twin Bridges Loop Trail
E Country Rd 200 S, Danville 46122
Twin Bridges loop trial is a great trail for families to enjoy a day of creek stomping and hiking. The trail is a 1.4-mile loop trail and features wildflowers and lots of trees and greenery. Bird watching is a favorite among locals due to the variety of species that can be spotted. This trail is grassy, and the creek can become high at times requiring proper boots. It’s not wheelchair friendly and there are no restrooms nearby so come prepared especially with children, I recommend proper rain or hiking boots if there was rain.
Gary Eakin Community Park
600 E County Rd 50 N, Danville 46122
Gary Eakin Community Park is a 42-acre new park land. It currently features trails for residents and visitors to walk, run and ride bikes on. The park is a new addition and is currently in a masterplan stage to expand within multiple phases. Phase one will include all the trails and some parking spaces. Phase two will include more parking and phase three will include a new playground, restrooms near the playground, shelters, football field, and football tower.
690 N Washington St, Danville 46122
Blanton Woods is a true getaway for those seeking nature. It comprised of 53 acres of woodlands and follows White Lick Creek. It has 5 miles of wooded trails that are great for walking, hiking, and exploring nature with kids. There area small streams running through parts of the woods which make a great place for little ones to get wet and have fun during summer. The woods have a small shelter with four picnic tables making it a great place for a family nature outing and picnic. The woods do not have restrooms nearby and it is not wheelchair friendly.
Jack Willard Community Park
292 West Main St, Danville 46122
Named after the first fire chief of Danville, this park no doubt boasts a unique theme to it that will appeal to any kid who loves big red fire trucks. This community park sits on one acre of land near the fire department and is entirely in a “fireman” theme. The playground is in a bold red color and features a firetruck for kids to pretend play. The playground is wheelchair accessible. Along one side of the wall there are various colorful fire hydrants for kids to explore. The park has some benches and one picnic table. There are no restrooms and parking can be limited due to its location within the fire department and town. My four-year-old son loves this park and pretending to be an fireman each time we visit. Overall a unique small park for the fire truck loving kid in your family.
Family Friendly Parks & Trails in West Hendricks County
Comprised of small towns and farm fields, West Hendricks County offers natural scenery for those seeking a getaway from the bigger towns. As a Hendricks county resident, my family has enjoyed visiting these small towns and truly admire what makes Indiana a great place to live. Spend the day at one of the natural play areas where your family can enjoy a picnic and nature. You and your kids can freely explore play structures, woods, and everything these parks offer.
130 E Main St, Pittsboro 46167
A quaint park in the town of Pittsboro on US 136 east end. The park boasts baseball and soccer fields, a basketball court, a walking and running track for everyone to enjoy. There is an adorable white gazebo for everyone of all ages to sit inside and savor the beautiful seasons. Scamahorn Park has two playground structures; one features a large structure with a larger slide for bigger kids. Another smaller playground for littles to play on with smaller climbing structures and slides is great for toddlers. An overall great park for the town of Pittsboro.
McCloud Nature Park & Center
8518 Hughes Rd, North Salem 46165
A nature park and center that offers many amenities and resources to families. McCloud Nature Park is the premier nature park in central Indiana. It consists of 232 acres of woods and 6.5 miles of marked trails. Big Walnut Creek is a place that’s great for fishing, wading, creek stomping, canoeing, and kayaking. A water feature that’s great for kids to do so much with parents, grandparents, and family members.
McCloud Nature Center features restrooms for visitors, interactive exhibits, a bird-viewing room, and a resource library. The interactive exhibit space has animal specimens, live reptiles, a greenhouse, computers with great information and a rotating art exhibit. The Nature Center offers lots of great information for all ages and learners. The best part is that the center is Free to visitors, its opened November-March: Friday & Saturday: 10am to 4pm and April-October: Wednesday- Saturday: 10am to 4pm and Sunday: 1-5pm
This park also offers yearly classes and programs to all ages, some programs are free, and others require a small fee. There are family programs on weekends, homeschool programs, baby and toddler programs and adult programs. A beautiful nature park and center offering lots of great activities for everyone in your family.
The Hendricks County Parks and Recreation department also host major annual events such the Maple Syrup Day. My family has loved visiting these beautiful parks over the years. Even as my boys grow, there is always something new for all of us to learn and explore.