Trails in Indiana

Westfield Trail System

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Westfield

   

Westfield

The city of Westfield is located in Hamilton County just north of Carmel, Indiana. Westfield was founded in May, 1835 by Quakers from North Carolina. It was believed to have been a stop for the Underground Railroad which was a network of routes and safe houses used by black slaves to make their escape to “free” states.
Today, Westfield is a rapidly growing city with a population of about 30,000 residents, nearly tripling from 2000 to 2010. Some well known residents and former residents include professional football and basketball players such as Jeff Foster and Jamaal Tinsley of the Indiana Pacers and Brandon Stokley of the Indianapolis Colts. Because of its growing population, the city is revamping its downtown area. Some of the city’s plans include commuting and recreational trails.

Trails System

One of the most popular trails in Indiana is the Monon Trail. The Monon is a paved rail trail which connects several communities from downtown Indianapolis northward through Carmel to Westfield. Other sections in other parts of the state include Sheridan, Delphi and eventually Ellettsville. Westfield’s 2.5 mile portion has a north-south orientation between US 31(which is east of the Monon trail) and Oak Ridge Rd. (which is west of the Monon trail) from 146th St. to 169st. St. The trailhead for this Monon section is located at Greyhound Pass Rd. From 169th Street, the Monon runs northward for about a half kilometer, and then the path winds northwestward.
This angling half mile length, the newest trail section, is known as the Anna Kendall Greenway, and connects the Monon to the west section of Midland Trace Trail at Quaker Park, just west of Oak Ridge Road, and about a half mile southward from US 32, and about a half mile west from US31. This winding diagonal trail diverts the Monon away from the intersection of State Route 32 and US Highway 31, the latter to made into an interstate highway, which will prevent Westfield from using the former Monon rail right of way into a trail. 
The west section of the Midland Trace Trail, which forms the south side of the Quaker Park, is about a quarter mile long..   
Meanwhile, east of US 31, Westfield has built a cluster of trails, the east section of the Midland Trace Trail, the Natalie Wheeler Trail, and the Grand Junction Trail.    
The Natalie Wheeler Trail is a 1.6 mile long, 12 foot wide asphalt run along Union Street from Cool Creek Park, where Union Street jogs off of US31, northward to 171st Street. This trail is named for a happy-go-lucky, free spirited ten year old girl who died suddenly of uncertain circumstances.
The Grand Junction Trail is directly linked to and continuing north from Natalie Wheeler to Jersey Street. As its name implies, this short, four tenths of a mile, nicely bricked, and scenically landscaped trail serves as a junction between three pedestrian / bicycling routes. Continuing to the south is the Natalie Wheeler.
Connecting to the north, for less than a tenth of a mile, is the Union Street sidewalk which becomes part of the Main Street sidewalk through old downtown Westfield and its east-west overlays of county road 176th Street, and State Route 32. Coupling to the east at the Old Friends Cemetery extends the one mile Midland Trace Trail - the east section – from Union Street and Grand Junction Trail to Carey Road. Near Carey Road is the quarter mile Simon Moon segment tying the Midland Trace Trail to the Simon Moon Park at 2710 East 171st Street. Simon Moon Park is an excellent parking place for trail users.  
Although the east and west clusters are separated by US Highway 31, bicyclists are not thwarted. Cyclists can ride on 156th, 161st, and/or 169th Street from the Monon to or from the Natalie Wheeler.
Notably none of these three streets have a sidewalk or side trail, and the streets are narrow. Thus walkers should use caution along these streets. HRTC is not sure if or when Westfield might build a trail link along these streets and between the Monon and the Natalie Wheeler.