Thursday, May 27, 2010

Featured Trail: Central Canal Towpath

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[see Photo Ops below]
  • Shady & Flat, wide path from Holcomb Gardens south.

  • Mile markers, occasional benches.

  • Eateries & shops at Broadripple Village.

  • Holcomb Gardens.

  • IMA.


  • Congestion and narrow path most of the way from Broadripple to Holcomb Gardens.

  • Speeding Cyclist.

  • Adjacent traffic most of the way from Broadripple to Holcomb Gardens.

  • No water.

  • Scarce Trail Side Parking.

Overall Path:

  • 5.23 miles, Broad Ripple Village to 30th Street @ White River.

  • connects to Monon Trail and White River Wapahani Trail and the IMA Art & Nature Trail

  • Walk/Jog, cycling


Broad Ripple Village, Butler U. Holcomb Gardens, IMA and Riverside Regional Park.


-click the arrow to start/restart the slide show-


From the Monon Trail [Broadripple Village] going south is a nice, shady, and flat walk. On a busy day walking two abreast would be virtually impossible and at certain times the glare of the canal can be very distracting in one direction. Path is sometimes sandwiched between the Canal and street and sometimes is a little too close to traffic. Mile markers make it easy to time yourself and adjust your turnaround point for shorter walks. Occasional benches and less street crossings than I imagined. No skaters on the crushed gravel portion but path width makes bikers a little unnerving. Plenty of eateries and shops at the Broadripple end but sparingly along the route. The trail continues south passed the Butler campus and Holcomb Gardens. Nice neighborhoods, Butler campus, IMA and Holcomb Gardens, shade, geese and ducks.

Recently [May,2010] walked the Canal Towpath with Kelly and we noticed some manmade features in the tree tops. We left the trail and discovered a hidden clearing were some type of manmade elevated obstacle course involving climbing walls, rope bridges, climbing nets, etc. Looked like fun but potentially hazardess. Couldn’t believed it wasn’t fenced off, you could walk right in under it. It was designed in a fashion that access to the platforms was restricted but not impossible. Someone needs to check their liability insurance and build a fence.

From Butler to IMA bridge: continuing past Holcomb Gardens/Butler the paths width is wider and there is a little more shade, but because the path is so close to the canal the canal's width precludes any consistent shade except in the mornings and evenings. Less ducks and geese but turtles abound on the opposite bank and in the moss beds. Absolutely no street traffic and few crossings as the trail becomes almost totally secluded. Several access footbridges to Butler Campus and IMA as well as IMA's Art & Nature Trail.

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Holcomb Gardens is located along the Central Canal Towpath on the grounds of Butler University. The garden, pond, and other features are very scenic. To view a full sized slide show of Holcomb Gardens click this link.

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Indiana Museum of Art: Gardens like Holcomb Gardens is located along the Central Canal Towpath and is reached by crossing a footbridge. The grounds of the Museum features sculpture, foliage and landscaping from the Ely Lilly era. To view a full sized slide show of click this link.

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