Stretching from southwest Broad Ripple Village to White River at 30th Street, the Central Canal Towpath features two iron bridges from the 19th century along the crushed limestone path. Both bridges are considered an American Water Landmark, and date back to 1872 and 1879. A newer pedestrian bridge can be found in the Broad Ripple Village.
While traveling along the tree-lined path, bikers and joggers encounter a variety of wildlife, from ducks to blue heron, turtles and geese.
The path runs past several cultural hotspots, including the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Holcomb Gardens. At the trail’s midpoint, you’ll find a spur that links to Butler University.
Spanning over five miles, the trail also runs along gentle waters and takes visitors through peaceful woods. The path offers opportunities for bicycling, walking and even cross-country skiing in the winter.
Central Canal Towpath is part of a Greenways loop that connects the White River Wapahani Trail and the Monon Trail as well as a connection formed by Dorman and St. Clair streets.
The tree-lined, winding path offers respite from the bustling city nearby. For a moment in time, visitors forget they’re in an urban setting.
Major access points can be found at Westfield Boulevard and Broad Ripple Ave, or at Riverside Regional Park and 30th Street.
Parking can be found just a short distance north of the trail’s northern endpoint, adjacent to Monon Trail. You’ll also find ample parking at the southern end of the trail along W. 30th Street just across from the Naval Armory.
More parking can be found at the spur connecting to Butler University, but restrictions may apply.
The trail follows an 1836 canal towpath and represents just one of a handful of the city’s historic functioning canals.