Trails in Indiana

Zionsville Trails


A cyclist describes the trails of Zionsville, Indiana.

Time Length: 
9.22 minutes.
Zionsvile, Boone County - Indiana.

2010 / 08

The script of Zionsville Trails video by Richard Vonnegut

Welcome to Zionsville, home of the Nancy Burton Rail Trail and of the Zionsville Rail Trail. Zionsville is on State Route three thirty four, the eastern portion of which is named Sycamore Street. In the western portion it is named Oak Street. From three thirty four or Oak Street one can go to Ninth Street and turn south and go a block to Pine Street. Turn right or West and go to the Nancy Burton Park and park there. Get out your shoes or your bicycle and begin the tour of the Nancy Burton Trail which begins by going downhill and getting onto the trail which goes to a forest and goes to the bridge overlooking Eagle Creek where people like to tube in and walk. Between the high bridge and Eagle Creek is a boardwalk which goes down to Starkey Park. Many people use the boardwalk for walking for jogging and for walking dogs. At the Eagle Creek one can look up and see the nineteen century concrete bridge of the old New York Central Railroad, and during summer the water is warm and wonderful for family gatherings and for exploring the river. From the bridge at the very south end of the Nancy Burton one can go north, in this case flying over, the woods that makes up the canopy for the mile of the Nancy Burton trail. It is a thick canopy during the summer and fairly dark. To the left is the walkway to the Starkey Park. The canopy is thick and inside the canopy there are larger openings because there's not a lot of grass growing. This is a very scenic pleasurable walk on a stone surface. Coming north to where it opens up the are picnic tables and and a route to the left which cruises to a parking lot.
The picnic tables are sitting on part of the old area of the railroad station. Continuing north one leaves the stone and gets to asphalt and if one goes to the left one one leaves the Nancy Burton trail and continues northward again through mottled canopy of trees to come to the culvert under Oak Street or State Route thirty four, all with a wide swath and a natural setting.
The trail is going uphill so it's a little bit slow but passing mile post one, one crests and begins going downhill, a chance for a speedy ride in a wind before coming to the long straight stretch, again through mottled sunlight under trees,something of a tunnel effect. Taking the trail is a wonderful experience because one is in the middle of the urban environment but with all the trees it looks very rustic and woodsy. At the cross going under Bloor Road is a map which shows the Zionsville Rail Trail and the other streets that have bicycle routes on it. Continuing north and passing other users, dog walkers, and bicyclists one comes to a split. The right split goes up to Mulberry Street. The left side goes through a tunnel. The tunnel goes under the four way intersection, and the trail continues northward and again into a canopy of trees surrounding. There is a break to the right which goes to an elementary school. Continuing northward one passes a road in a subdivision and continuing on even more one comes to the north end of the Zionsville Rail Trail. This Whitestown road is the end of the Zionsville Rail Trail. Continuing north right now there's a nursery there and one has the choice of either going south on Whitestown road or turning around and returning on the Zionsville Rail Trail.

We go back along the corridor to Ford Road and go to the village where we have lunch. Coming out from the village one come to the parking lot and continue to Ford Road. Crossing Ford Road, knowing that the cars are stopped for us, the bicyclists, as we get on the trail along the side of the Bloor road, this pathway proved quite safe provides a nice buffer between the houses on one side of the road or another. At Bloor road one can leave Ford Road and continue across the street where you can enter a small parking area with lots of grasses and with an interesting circle with a brick pathway that meanders and snakes around various stone columns all of which provide a way to have a contemplative and meditative walk in an urban area without being bothered by other people.
Upon leaving this small park enclave and meditative area we get on the trail along Bloor road, go down the hill, and come to the Zionsville Rail Trail and we turn left taking the Zionsville Rail Trail north to Mulberry Street. This time we go up the ramp. At Mulberry Street one can turn right and begin heading toward the village of Zionsville. Along the way one is going to pass the Boys Club, a church. the Zionsville high school and several neighborhoods. Enjoying being on something of the crest which goes downhill in a gentle way along beautiful neighborhood areas one at last comes upward to a stop sign at Ash street. Continuing down Ash street one can go through the city in various ways. First Street is one good way to go. One passes Brown antiques and other noted businesses and the old library. One sees a number of old houses along the west side of the downtown and then comes to Oak street or State Route 334, where one has to stop and wait for traffic. Continuing one can come to Pine Street turn right into a slight hill to the parking space where one has left their car.

David Brown who runs Brown's antiques is to a great extent responsible for developing the trails even at a time when as he was head of the Park Department an later on the City Council got either no respect or only slight respect but he kept encouraging and encouraging for the trails to come about. And it is thanks to him and his followers that during the nineties and during the first ten years of the new millennium that Zionsville has developed and is continuing to develop not just a single trail not just a single bicycle path but a series of bicycle and walking corridors that many many people use throughout the year to get to shopping, to get to schools and to use for recreation and to get around town.