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Outdoorsy Indy

Indianapolis woman on bicycleIndianapolis appears to have it all. It boasts affordability; actually it is the most affordable of the top 50 US cities. It allows you to experience all four seasons. The downtown is clean, safe and full of excitement. However, there's one recurring complaint I have heard from non-Hoosiers about Indianapolis: "There's nothing outdoorsy to do in Indy."

That's where I have to step in and offer Indy education. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do in the capital city, or just a short drive away. Here are 10 tried-and-true ways to be "outdoorsy" in Indy...

  1. Water ski at Morse or Geist Reservoirs. Find out where to launch your boat along with ramp prices.
  2. Take sailing lessons at Eagle Creek.
  3. Rent a kayak from Rusted Moon Outfitters and kayak down the White River.
  4. Camp at Indiana Dunes, or even closer parks like Shades State Park or Clifty Falls State Park. Reserve a campsite at any Indiana State Park campground.
  5. Drive an hour south and mountain bike through Brown County State Park, or stay close to home and ride the single track at Town Run Trail Park.
  6. Snow ski in Southern Indiana at either Paoli Peaks or Perfect North Slopes.
  7. Fish. We have lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams; take your pick. There are hundreds of places to cast a line in Central Indiana. Visit the DNR website for all things fishing in Indiana.
  8. Hike at Fort Harrison State Park, or feel like you're hiking in the middle of nowhere, just north of the city at Holliday Park.
  9. Run, walk, bike along the Monon Trail. This 18-mile converted rail trail will take you from downtown all the way to the northern suburbs.
  10. Rent a bike and ride the Cultural Trail in downtown Indianapolis. Grab a bike at one of the 25 bike share stations on or near the Cultural Trail and cruise the streets of Indy at your leisure.

No matter the time of year, there's always something "outdoorsy" to do in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis blogger Pete GilbertAbout the Author
Pete Gilbert
Pete is a former teacher, turned stay-at-home dad of kids ages 3, 5, and 8. When not packing lunches and shuttling kids all over town he writes a blog titled, "A Dad Influence" for IndysChild.com.

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