If you’re looking for outdoor activities around Indy’s northeast side, you’re in luck. The area is packed with parks and playgrounds offering a little bit of everything. Here are some of our favorite picks.
For Manicured Beauty: Coxhall Gardens
11677 Towne Road, Carmel, IN 46032
Carmel’s Coxhall Gardens is so carefully landscaped and flawlessly manicured that it regularly hosts weddings, banquets, and other special events. You can enjoy the gardens as an ordinary visitor as well, meandering for hours around the paved trails, rolling prairie, and gorgeous green space. The Children’s Garden has its own pint-size village that’s perfect for creative play, while the two bell towers will chime away your time exploring the 125 acres.
For Child-Sized Adventure: Flat Fork Creek
16141 E 101st Street, Fortville, IN 46064
Flat Fork Creek Park seems like an unassuming expanse of grass from a distance, but head into the trees and you’ll find a delightful landscape that’s perfect for child-sized adventures. Three forts are tucked away in the forest, offering peaceful views of the surrounding area. You’ll also find five miles of trails, a massive hill that’s ideal for winter sledding, and a few charming creeks to help you while away your time here.
For Tons of Trails: Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park offers six trails, ranging in length from under half a mile to 2.5 miles, giving you a little something for every type of hiker. Mounds is named for the 10 prehistoric earthworks found throughout the property. Archaeologists believe these were used by the Adena-Hopewell Indians for religious gatherings. In addition to viewing the mounds, you can enjoy prime wildlife viewing from the Visitor Center, fish in the White River, go swimming in the on-site pool, or set up a tent and camp for a few days.
For Small-Town Charm: Falls Park
460 Falls Park Drive, Pendleton, IN 46064
If you’re a regular visitor to Trail Seeds, you know I have a special spot in my heart for Falls Park. Situated in downtown Pendleton, Indiana, this park hosts Farmer’s Markets, holiday festivals, craft fairs, and other events on a regular basis. Stop in any day to enjoy the playgrounds and trails or dip your feet in the rushing waters of Fall Creek.
For a Little Patch of Peace: Geist Park
Geist Park is small and unassuming, but it’s the perfect destination if you want to hunker down by the water and spend a few hours fishing or relaxing along Fall Creek. It offers a few short nature trails and plenty of waterfront views. A decent-sized playground by the parking lot offers room for the kiddos to play, and a large green space dotted with trees is a great spot to run off some energy with a game of tag.
There’s no excuse for staying inside in this area. These parks offer a little of everything, so there’s something to suit any visitor when you hop in the car and hit the outdoors on Indy’s northeast side.