So this week I find myself in Indianapolis, Indiana.
As I’m only here for a couple of days, I decided to get out and stretch my legs this morning early before work. I also wanted to take the Marmot Kompressor Plus 18L out for a walk to see how it held up compared to my usual traveling daypack (the REI Flash 18).
My initial impressions of Fort Harrison State Park were not good. There was a $5 fee per car entering the park. It was also the ONLY trail that wasn’t a paved multi-use (Bikes, rollerblades, etc) that I could find on AllTrails.com and it had not gotten stellar reviews.
I tracked 4.5 miles (7k) in about an hour and a half on these two interconnected trails, which are really one loop trail that is bisected by a multi-use paved path. Even at 8am, they were fairly busy.
All in all the trails combine for about a 4k hike. I looped back and did the Falls Creek trail again, coming back along the multi-use path as I just hadn’t stretched my legs enough at 4k.
Trail condition was fair, not good as the trails had grown over a bit and were not well maintained. More attention is being paid to the multi-use trails and local picnic shelters that this park is clearly designed for.
The trail itself was a rolling easy walk. The only interesting bits of elevation gain had actually be totally covered by a wooden boardwalk and stairs, which I was a bit bummed by.
So I had to pay for an only middling hike. I feel a bit bad for hikers in the city as the terrain was interesting but has been totally supplanted by a more multi-use park for dog-walkers, strollers, bikes and roller blades. A shame really, as some of the spur trails that ran paralel to the river were actually quite fun to ramble up.
Overall, if you’ve got the time to get outside the city a bit and find a better state park, then I would do so. This park is likely a great place for a picnic or to take the kids for a bike ride, but any technical hikers or trail runners will be really disappointed, especially for a pay park.
On a funny note…
When I looped back this empty quart of Bourbon simply materialized on one of the bridges. It wasn’t there thirty minutes earlier the first time I passed. Someone was having a better time than me in that park! Parents with kids beware.