Just about every part of Indianapolis has a near-by park where you can enjoy walking, jogging, cycling or simply sitting on a bench and watching the world go by. Several of the parks offer exceptional sporting facilities including golf courses, soccer and football fields and facilities for many other popular sports.
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You will find Brookside Park straddling Pogue’s Run, a small tributary of the White River. The park covers over 100 acres, providing an urban green space where Indianapolis locals and visitors can enjoy various forms of outdoor recreation. In summer you will find it hard to drag the children away from the outdoor swimming pool and splash pad, where they can enjoy hours of fun. Energetic adults (and children) can play a game of tennis or join a group of like-minded folk on the baseball, soccer and football fields. There are also basketball courts and an 18-hole disc golf course. In addition to all the above you will find nature trails, picnic shelters and a great playground for young visitors.
Brookside Park, 3500 Brookside Parkway South Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46201, Phone: 317-327-7179
2.Eagle Creek Park
Indianapolis locals are lucky to have Eagle Creek Park on their doorstep. The park is the largest in the city and one of the largest municipal parks in the US, covering over sixteen square kilometers. The park offers just about every recreational facility you could desire, including a massive 36-hole golf course, a Marsh and Bird Sanctuary, Boat ramps and slips for fishing and paddling, a canopy adventure area, a swimming beach and two nature preserves. Walkers and hikers can explore over ten miles of trails and cyclists can try the Lilly Lake Pedal. The park is a great place for the entire family to relax, recharge and enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature.
Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46254
3.Fort Harrison State Park
Fort Harrison State Park occupies a former military property known as Fort Benjamin Harrison, and currently protects several historic military buildings including a World War II Prisoner of War Camp. Today most people visit this park to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and jogging along three trails and the 18-hole, 72-par golf course. Cyclists can enjoy riding the paved trail and there is also a chance to rent a horse and go riding along the equestrian trial. You can try your luck at fishing on Falls Creek and in winter Ice Fishing is available. While you are there you can visit the interesting Museum of 20th Century Warfare.
Fort Harrison State Park, 6000 N. Post Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46216, Phone: 317-591-0904
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Located near Southside, Garfield Park is the oldest of the city’s regional parks and has been providing a recreational green space for city residents since 1889. The park has all the usual ball fields and courts, as well as walking and biking trails, gym and weight room. In addition, the park boasts a pagoda dating back to 1907, a beautiful conservatory where you can admire a collection of tropical plants from all over the world and a beautiful indoor waterfall. Plant lovers will enjoy touring the three-acre Sunken Gardens, where the seasonal displays of flowering plants are excellent. Other attractions include the Garfield Park Arts Center, the McAllister Center for Performing Arts, the Burello Family Center and Aquatic Center and a large playground located near the Pagoda.
Garfield Park, 2345 Pagoda Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46203, Phone: 313-327-7184
Located in Indianapolis’ quaint Holy Cross Neighborhood, Highland Park is so named because it is located on one of the highest points in the city. The park offers a peaceful place where you can relax under a shady tree against the backdrop of the amazing Indianapolis skyline. It is also a very popular spot from which to view the 4th July fireworks displays. The hilly nature of the park means that it does not have ball fields, but there is a paved trail for walking or cycling and a nice children’s playground for young visitors. You can bring along a picnic to enjoy at one of the picnic shelters while you watch a terrific sunset.
Highland Park, 1100 E. New York St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, Phone: 317-327-7163
Voted as Indianapolis’ best park by the Indianapolis Monthly magazine, Holliday Park is a sprawling 94-acre park located just six miles north of downtown. There are plenty of activities to attract visitors of all ages including the Nature Center (free entrance) where the whole family can enjoy learning about the natural world by using hands-on interactive exhibits. The old ruins in the park have recently been upgraded with gardens, fountains and a splash-pad for children and you will have difficulty persuading younger visitors to leave the state-of-the-art children’s playground. Walkers and hikers can follow picturesque trails down to the river where paddlers and fishermen can enjoy their hobbies.
Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Phone: 317-327-7180
7.University Park and Indiana World War Memorial Plaza
University Park occupies the southern-most block of the extensive Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, which was built in the early 1920’s to honor veterans of World War I. When you visit the plaza today you cannot help but be impressed by the beauty of the plaza, the result of the “City Beautiful” movement, famous for building classic, uniform and beautiful public places. At the heart of the plaza you will find the impressive Indiana World War Memorial (styled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus). You can visit the formal sunken gardens surrounding a black granite memorial cenotaph before moving south to see the impressive 30-meter black granite obelisk surrounded by pools and fountains. The University Park section contains several interesting statues.
University Park, 55 E Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Forming part of the enormous 250-acre White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, Military Park was once home to a military training camp and was the site of a Civil War encampment. The park covers sixteen acres, laid out in the shape of a military badge, and many locals enjoy walking through the park to get a breath of fresh air as they make their way from one downtown place to another. The park host many festivals and events throughout the year and you will often find families enjoying a quiet picnic on the lawns.
This park does not have restrooms or other facilities so you will need to plan accordingly.
Military Park, 601 W. New York St, Indianapolis, IN 46202, Phone: 317-233-2434
Once the largest municipal park in Marion County, Riverside Park suffered a great deal of neglect after World War II and many of its prime attractions (an amusement park, zoo, and more) closed down. Now a total refurbishment scheme is under way which will see a number of dramatic improvements over the next twenty years. Currently you can enjoy a round of golf at one of three golf courses or hone your skills at the Riverside Golf Academy. Cyclists can make their way to the Major Taylor Velodrome, which is home to a BMX track, a Cyclocross course, public green space and mountain-bike trails. Other attractions at the park include a boat ramp, children’s playground, outdoor swimming pool and several sport fields and courts.
Riverside Park, 2420 E. Riverside Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46208, Phone: 317-327-7171
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Covering over 85 acres on Indianapolis’s northeast side, Sahm Park offers local residents a sprawling green area where they can practice various recreational activities. The main draw-card of the park is the enormous Aquatics Center which lies at the heart of the park. You can enjoy swimming in the large pool which has a zero-depth entry area (great for young children) and offers 50 yd and 25mt lap lanes. For extra fun you will find some exciting water slides. The remainder of the park offers a children’s playground, basketball, volleyball and tennis courts as well as a nine-hole disc golf course. While you are in the area you can have a round of golf at the adjoining Sahm Golf Course or try out your new clubs at the excellent driving range.
Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46250, Phone: 317-849-2227
Located in the southeastern corner of Marion County, Southeastway Park covers 188-acres of recreational green space, maintained by the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation Department. Visitors can enjoy a fun-filled day in the great outdoors as they explore over 80 acres of forest, sprawling fields and meadows and a special prairie preserve. There is also a pond and wetland where you can enjoy wildlife watching. Walkers, cyclists and hikers have a two and a half mile paved trail to enjoy and there are picnic shelters and an educational center. Little visitors can have fun at the children’s playground in summer and bring their sleds to the sledding hill in winter.
Southeastway Park, 5624 S. Carroll Rd, New Palestine, IN 46163, Phone: 317-327-4834
As one of the four large regional parks which were constructed in each quadrant of Marion County in the 1950’s, Southwestway Park occupies a sprawling 580 acres along the west bank of the White River. The park boasts a host of brilliant recreational facilities including the 18-hole Winding River Golf Course, three baseball/softball diamonds and no less than eight soccer fields. However, you don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to enjoy Southwestway Park; many people visit the park to enjoy a quiet walk, hiking and mountain biking along several trails or simply relaxing with a picnic at one of the shelters. There is also a good playground where younger visitors can have fun.
Southwestway Park, 8400 Mann Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46221, Phone: 317-888-0070
13.White River State Park
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White River State Park is located at the western edge of Indianapolis’ downtown area, where it offers a large and inviting green space in one of the city’s designated cultural districts. The park is your springboard to a large number of excellent city attractions including the Indiana State Museum and IMAX Theatre, the beautiful White River Botanical Gardens, the Indianapolis Zoo and the must-see Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Besides visiting all this wonderful attractions you can spend several hours just enjoying the park – there are paddle-boats to ride (seasonal), quiet places to relax with a book and good paths for walking, jogging or cycling along the river.
White River State Park, 801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, Phone: 317-233-2434
13 Best Indianapolis Parks
- Brookside Park, Photo: pushish images/stock.adobe.com
- Eagle Creek Park, Photo: Eric/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Harrison State Park, Photo: cambraytees/stock.adobe.com
- Garfield Park, Photo: Henryk Sadura/stock.adobe.com
- Highland Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Holliday Park, Photo: imagindiana/stock.adobe.com
- University Park and Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Military Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Riverside Park, Photo: Morakot/stock.adobe.com
- Sahm Park, Photo: olezzo/stock.adobe.com
- Southeastway Park, Photo: PIXERATTI/stock.adobe.com
- Southwestway Park, Photo: lazyllama/stock.adobe.com
- White River State Park, Photo: Timelapse Travels/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com