White River / Wapahani Trail – Indy
The White River Wapahani Trail, winding along the banks of the White River, is truly a trail with history in it’s making. The name “Wapahani” comes from the Delaware Indiana’s tribe’s word for White River. The White River makes a winding path through the city, 27 miles from the northeast corner to the southwest. For more information about this important river, go to: www.indcanal.org. Making home in this river are many species of small fish, small animals and invertebrates, and deer, coyote’s, or red fox can possibly be spotted. A variety of ducks and birds, like the blue heron inhabit the White River in Indianapolis too.
The White River Wapahani is is an important trail that links to the Central Canal Towpath on it’s North endpoint and the Canal Walk downtown; both very scenic trails. This path also links to the Southern portion of another trail of interest, the Fall Creek Trail. The Wapahani will eventually connect to other trails such as the Eagle Creek and Pleasant Run Trails. Trail users can also get to the popular Monon Trail via the Wapahani Towpath or a cross town connection on St. Clair Street.
The White River Wapahani is paved in asphalt, thus appropriate for walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading, etc. Canoeing and kayaking is permitted on the river adjacent to the trail.
The White River Wapahani is amidst dense woods and interesting, diverse residential sections. There are several interesting spots to note. Within a mile of the North end point can be found the Indianapolis Museum of Art, a real jewel in the city, with a variety of venues to offer both indoors and outdoors, all at no cost, and the historic Crown Hill Cemetery, where such figures as Benjamin Harrison, James W. Riley, and John Dillinger are buried. The highest land point in Indianapolis is where James W. Riley, famous poet, is buried. Also within a mile of the Northern terminus of the White River Wapahani Trail is the Major Taylor Velodrome, where there is a bicycling track as well as dirt bike course. Just a few blocks East of the trail is Marian College, a beautiful small university featuring such historic buildings as the Stokely and Allison mansions.
Along the way of the Wapahani can be found two golf courses, Riverside and Coffin Golf Courses, both open to the public. Another finding adjacent to the White River Trail is Riverside Park which has a play ground, picnic areas, tennis courts, ball fields, and an aquatics center. Nearby is Hasler Naval Armory, an active Naval base.
Heading south on the scenic Wapahani, one eventually arrives downtown, right at the Central Canal walk with its many fountains, benches, paddle boats, bicycles, and other items of recreation available for rent. Within a mile around the Wapahani, is home to the newly built White River State Park, Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens with a large greenhouse, the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of Native American History, and the IMAX theatre. All good for hours, even days of pleasure and interest. About a mile east, can be found the modern Circle Center Mall, with a large variety of interesting shops, boutiques, restaurants, and a food court. Along the way to downtown one can discover the Indiana Repertory Theatre, an historic, beautiful theatre operating 9 months out of the year with a variety of plays and dance performances.
November 15, 2013 marked the opening of a 2.06 mile extension south from the White River Gardens, connecting with West Raymond Street. Crossing under six bridges, you are traversing along the edge of the shimmering river below the earthen levees.
If you want to see a lot of diversity and some pleasant surprises, get your sports attire ready and check out the White River Wapahani Trail!