Indianapolis Area Mountain Biking Trails

Southwestway Park Trail (Photo courtesy of Hoosier Mountain Bike Association)
It's no secret that Indiana is not particularly mountainous, and that is even more true for Indianapolis. However, there are some pretty decent trails around if you look hard enough. Here's what's available:

Southwestway Park

This is the closest mountain bike trail to our store. In 2014 Scott Bicycles used it to for their Demo Day. It doesn't cost anything to ride on the trails. All the trails are multi-use, so yield to pedestrians and other trail users. Here are your options:

The park is located in the southwestern part of Marion county at 8400 Mann Road. It is managed by the Indianapolis Parks Department. Here are few reviews off the Internet:

"I came here to mountain bike and loved it. Can't wait to come back to bike some more!"

"Living in an urban area, you don't expect to find a park full of deeply forested trails and quiet spaces.""Beautiful place. After running a few miles I decided to try the mountain bike and it is awesome."

"AWESOME!!! FANTASTIC!!!! Apparently one of Indy's best kept secrets."

Here are a few videos of mountain biking at Southwestway Park:

In 2015 the DINO (Do INdiana Off-road) series will have a mountain bike race at Southwestway Park on Sunday, August 30. The DINO mountain bike series has a number of races throughout the state. There are categories for everyone from first time racers to national level competitors. There are categories for riders as young as 11, and a "Clydesdale" classification for racers over 200 pounds.

Town Run Trail Park

Town Run Trail Park is probably the best known place for mountain biking in Indianapolis. It is a 6.6 mile singletrack trail along White River. This trail gets a lot of use, so be sure to watch for other riders. The trail is managed by the Indianapolis Parks Department and there is no charge to ride. The address for the park is 5325 E 96th Street. Here is a video of the trail that is about twenty minutes long. Comments from the Internet:

"I'm a newbie mountain biker and I just finished the trail for the first time and I'm so glad I live close to this because it was AWESOME. I've have never had a more fun bike ride in my life. It is very much like a roller coaster."

"I wanted to give this place one star so fewer people will go and crowd the trail, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. This is a great bike trail on the northside of the city bordering Carmel. The loop is perfect for a quick 40 minute or so ride."

"This is a roller-coaster for your bike! The guys that keep it up do a great job."

Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park

Fort Benjamin Harrison was opened in 1906 by President Teddy Roosevelt. It was named for Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States. He is also the only Indiana resident to be President (He was born in Ohio, but later lived in Indianapolis). In 1991 the fort was closed as part of a round of excess military base closures. Four years later the federal government donated 1,700 acres of the former base to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for use as a state park. In 2011, the first mountain bike trail in the park was opened.

This is a state park, so you have to pay to enter the park. It is located at 5753 Glenn Road. Ride all loops counter-clockwise. Trails include:

 A review from the Internet:

"Love riding Ft. Ben after work on weekdays! It can get a little busy with hikers and joggers during its busiest times and on nice weekends, but it sure is a great system to have here in our city." 

Hoosier Mountain Bike Association

It seems that mountain bikers have had to fight for places to ride ever since mountain biking began, at least in Indiana. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association has been an a big factor in making more trails available for mountain biking. Whether it's building trails or maintaining them, writing grants, or meeting with politicians or bureaucrats, they have worked tirelessly to expand mountain biking opportunities in the state of Indiana, including Indianapolis. For a list of some of their accomplishments, visit the History page on their website.

One of HMBA's current efforts is to get 12-15 miles of mountain biking trails built on the west side of Eagle Creek Park. There is also a web page and Facebook page about mountain biking in Eagle Creek Park.