Cycling the Indy Cultural Trail

One of the best ways to explore a city at a leisurely pace is cycling. And these days, Indianapolis boasts one of the biggest and most excellent urban cycling infrastructures in the United States. The Indy Cultural Trail stretches 8 miles of well-signed bicycle-friendly and walking trail. The path leads you to six cultural districts and the most prominent attractions in the city. The best things about exploring these sites is that you are sparing the environment from pollution while burning calories.

Indianapolis cultural trail

Indianapolis may be known to the world as the home of exhilarating car races like the Indy 500 and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; but now the city hopes to attract cycling enthusiasts, nature lovers and adventure seekers to try out this cultural trail, which was only made available to the public in May 2014. The trail was constructed with safety as the priority, and it is spacious enough to accommodate both pedestrians and cyclists.

For locals, this trail is a safe and most convenient way to reach downtown. In addition, they can use the trail for running and doing everyday errands. But for tourists, this is a way to get the feel of Indianapolis and its cultural heritage. While following the trail, you will be exposed to lovely green landscaping and exquisite stone work and public art.

Indianapolis cultural trail bridge

One of the interesting public masterpieces is called “Moving Forward” by the artist Donna Sink. The art features a series of bus shelters adorned with lines of poetry written by local writers. The bus shelters are made of eco-friendly materials including stained glass. Another unique structure along the path is called “Chatham Passage” by Sean Derry. This masterpiece is actually a complex steel grate which hides a fragrance machine. This quirky machine produces the smell of roses, which is easily recognizable as you pass by.

If you are visitor to the city and do not have a bicycle, don’t despair. You still have the chance to discover the Indy Cultural Trail by renting the two-wheel transport. Bikes available for renting are lined up along the paved and lighted pathway. This part of the pathway is quite state-of-the-art as it features LED lights that are motion-activated.

Indianapolis cultural trail

The main loop of the Indy Cultural Trail winds through the downtown area to show you important sites like the Indiana Repertory Theater, the Indiana State Museum in White River State Park. It will also lead you to the famous Indianapolis City Market at 222 East Market Street. Travel experts recommend tourists to start their Indianapolis Cultural Trail journey at this market site, which was first established in 1821. The site underwent renovation is now a larger German-style indoor facility. While here, you can enjoy a wide range of cuisine including the favorite local snacks and desserts.

After letting your hair down at the City Market, follow the trail and head north via Alabama Street. By doing this you will encounter a parking lot that holds a memorial to Elvis Presley, who performed his last concert in this space in June, 1977. The cultural trail also shows prominent neighborhoods like the Fountain Square and the Mass Ave, with its hefty collection of restaurants shops and galleries.