Plainfield Trails System
Submitted by admin on Mon, 09/27/2010 - 11:04am
Bicycle tour on Plainfield, Indiana interconnecting forest, field, and urban trails, pedaling across wood bridges, around waterways to discover a shady spot on a hot day.
Plainfield, Hendricks County - Indiana.
2010 / 09
The script of Plainfield Trails System video by Richard Vonnegut
Welcome to Plainfield where the Vandalia Trail crosses Vestal Road.
This is at the Plainfield Aquatic and Recreation Center. From here we will begin a tour of various trails in Plainfield.
Beginning with the Vandalia Trail and running eastward downhill, a curve and hill, a straight stretch paralleling the old Vandalia Rail- road or Pennsylvania Railroad. we leave the line of the railroad and turn southward to the junction with White Lick Creek.
We are on the Westside, opposite Franlin Park, as we head south we're going to go under highway 40.
This is the old National Road and we will come upward and go by the new pedestrian bridge which goes into downtown.
Bearing right -- still following the river south we go along the State property for the old boys' school, the juvenile center, then we curve on an old bridge across White Leek Creek. It has a wonderful habitat of birds and animals. Lots of insects--it's wonderful to study during summer. We Cross the creek to enter Friendship Park. It has many different gazebos and other sites where weddings and celebrations are held. We turn onto Center Road Trail. It's something of a variation of White Lick Creek. It goes southward by Anderson Park. There is a skateboard area here.
From Anderson Park we head south again to Hummel Park. You follow the one-way path in a clockwise direction in order to pedal around the perimeter to the west side. You then come to a long, narrow pedestrians-only bridge crossing. This is called the Red Maple Trail. Once you get to the West side you find two trails. Here in Hummel Park many people go to the river to cool off and splash in the water. The first of the two trails is short, and it's the Cottonwood Trail. It runs to the north, it circles through woods on a rustic, scenic, quiet path that's far away from the city of Plainfield. The path is only about a quarter of a mile long, but it's certainly wonderful for taking the time to bike through those tiny tracks. We crossed back on a short bridge.But then we by-pass the long Red Maple bridge, bearing away from it on a southward trail, known as the Blue Heron. This track wanders through some fields, around some ponds. It ends up in a neighborhood section, but it parallels East County Road 500 South. This westward run gets on the highway and goes to a T intersection. Now we go north where we come to the Sugar Grove Trail. Sugar Grove goes through a neighborhood and ends at the same East County Rd 500 South. From this location we head back north. Some other neighborhoods are nearby,but then we come back to the Hummel Trail System. On this portion of the trail we are cycling more slowly through dense woods. It eventually brings us back to the main trail in Hummel Park. Hummel Park is actually owned by the Guildford Township, so it is a township Park. It's not part of the Plainfield park system, but it certainly is connected to and complements the overall Plainfield recreational and natural experience. Following County Route 600 South we come to Hadley Road and so to Reeves Road where Plainfiled High School is located. We head north on the Clark's Creek Trail through a field. You ride along the edge of the wood, then through a tunnel. This is all under Reeves Road, which is the school's main entrance way. The trail bends around north of the high school. There is a gap to cross. You go West on Reeves Road to Centre Street. We bike north to Stanley Road, where the Clark's Creek Trail picks up again. Continue on Southfield Road which is the Hendricks County Medical Health Center neighborhood. We follow the pathway to a tunnel under highway two-sixty-seven. Thanks to INdiana D-O-T it is an easy way to cross 267 to get to the east side of Plainfield. The site of Plainfield has been developed in an expansive sprawl manner.There are many shopping centers. There are commercial and warehouse buildings. You then go onto Metropolis Road where Clark s Creek Trail ends. You can keep biking north on Perry Road. Perry curves around to Township Road. That's where we pick up the Vandalia Trail. There's a trailhead here. We follow the Vandalia for about three miles or so. At this point we're biking South-west. The old Pennsylvania Railroad was an earlier name of the Vandalia Railroad. Now it's the Vandalia Trail. It crosses several highways and in this particular segment, it runs through sprawl areas in modern-style neighborhoods. You can find more access points here. Then, under Highway 267 again. The trail splits as it approaches Center Road. One way goes south and west to Franklin Park. Partly it follows the edge of the old right of way along the tree line. Then where a bridge was at one time, it drops down into a neighborhood, crosses Center Street and then goes on through the neighborhood. Finally, it comes to a small trail that curves between houses to Franklin Park from the north. Franklin Park is part of old Plainfield. From here we cross White Lick Creek again, and come to the junction with White Lick Creek Trail. If you turn north and follow the Vandalia Trail, around the curve, you go uphill and find yourself back at the Aquatic Center. It's also possible to go further west from the Aquatic Center.You bike about a mile-and-a-half to County Road 600 East. Plainfield's network of trails is this T-system with the Vandalia being several miles on the North side. There it runs west. Then you have White Lick Creek being something in the center of the T where it tracks South. And then they have a variety of trails on streets and roads, and bike ways, too, that form loops or connect with neighborhoods. All these interconnected ways create a wonderful way of providing transportation and recreation in and around Plainfield. In fact the Plainfield system is something of a model for other communities. Besides the Quaker influence Plainfield has been directly influenced by the airport. Land was not developed near the airport until recently.So that area has become housing. With the change of the airport, the east side of Plainfield will be redeveloped into hotels, car rentals, and other service businesses for the airport. Plainfield is large enough to provide plenty of services, for its residents and certainly for anybody travelling US 40 across Indiana. Plainfield is an excellent place to stop for its variety of shops, food service, and hotels. Most of them are near the interstate and not on US 40, although some of these are real true tales from the fifties are on U.S. 40. Plainfield is in Hendricks County but stretches right up to the edge of Marion County, where Indianapolis is located. The White Lick Creek model of the trail is being copied by the town of Avon. Avon is building part of the Vandalia Trail as well. Hopefully, it will connect with the White Lick Creek of Plainfield. Possibly that might even continue north into Brownsburg. If so, then Avon would connect with the B&O trail, which is another major Indiana trail. Plainfield is run by a city Council. The town has a city manager named Rich Carlucci. He's been the city manager for a number of years and he likes trails. So, his push for trails has been consistent and strong. You can say the extent to which trails are built, and the progress of the trail system, is evident in Plainfield because of Rich Carlucci. The Quaker influence is important. They were the group that Plainfield was named for, just plain folk. But nowdays, Plainfield has developed into a metropolitan religious center. The headquarters of the North American Islamic society is located here. Just on the north side of Interstate-70, one can see the mosque. Plainfield also embraces a wide variety of Protestant churches. This is an historic place as well. You have transportation in the form of the steam railroad. Settlement by the Quakers. The National Road. The airport, and there's another transportation system-the Electric Railroad with its palm building station.This has been refurbished. Another major element is the boys' school. It's now something of a law enforcement Academy. All state police go there for summary decree every year. They keep up their skills that way. On the Southside of Plainfield they have the Metropolis Mall. It is a very large mall. There's the Aquatic Center, which is a major recreational center, and it's the headquarters for the Parks Department facility. Plainfield definitely has a lot going for it and is an interesting place to visit.