Eagle Creek Park
Visit one of America’s largest city parks and enjoy 3,900 acres of pristine natural forests, 1,400 acres of water, and approximately 10 miles of trails. Birding, fishing, swimming, and boating fun make this an outdoor mecca. A great place to start is the Earth Discovery Center where you can learn about our natural world, particularly about Central Indiana wildlife and vegetation, and even enjoy an accessible frog pond outside. At the center, pick up maps routing 15 different walking trails of various difficulty, gather other activity suggestions, and tips from the staff. If water fun is for you, rent a kayak or pedal boat from Eagle Creek Outfitters, or put your toes in the water at the swimming area. A visit to the Ornithology Center will help you learn about our feathered friends.
- Parking at the Earth Discovery Center is recommended and features accessible spaces in the front of the building.
- Rentable shelter houses have recently had ADA upgrades to include accessible parking, restrooms, and drinking fountains.
- Specialized group programs on various nature topics can be arranged in advance by calling the park’s main number listed above.
- Service animals with proper identification are welcome at all Eagle Creek facilities.
Fort Harrison State Park
Fort Harrison State Park, on the northeast side of Indianapolis, was named after Benjamin Harrison, the nation’s 23rd president. It originated in 1906 as an active military post and operated for nearly nine decades before listed for closure. The State of Indiana stepped in, obtained the land, and in 1996 established a 1,700-acre state park. There is a lot to do at the park and most activities are accessible to people with a variety of interests and abilities. A great place to start is the Visitor Center and the nearby Museum of 20th Century Warfare. Multiple trails for hiking and two for mountain biking crisscross the park. For those with dogs, you’ll find an accessible dog park, the only one in Indiana’s state park system. On the grounds is a saddle barn operated by independent contractors who offer riding lessons and trail rides. Of great interest to many are interpretive programs on a variety of topics, from wildflowers, animal life, to military history.
- Accessible parking spaces are available throughout the park including at the Visitor Center, Museum of 20th Century Warfare, and at all four rentable picnic shelters.
- Accessible restrooms are located throughout the park including at the Delaware Lake and Shafter parking areas, and at all picnic shelters.
- Check with the Visitor Center staff regarding trail grades, levels of difficulty, and recommendations. Some trails have steep grades along the path that prevent fully meeting ADA standards.
- Interpretive programs open to the public can be found here. The park naturalist will work with you to create an educational experience for everyone’s abilities.
Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden
Garfield Park is the oldest city park in Indianapolis, designed in 1911 by renowned landscape architect George Kessler. The three-acre Sunken Garden is spectacular during the spring and summer months, with the fountains running daily mid-April through mid-October. The tropical plant Conservatory is a treasure trove of unusual plants and features a koi pond under a waterfall. Garfield Park boasts an outdoor amphitheater that hosts concerts and theater during the summer months, as well as a vibrant arts center. Visitors may choose from a variety of recreational activities including swimming, tennis, sand volleyball, and walking the Pleasant Run Greenways Trail.
- Accessible parking is available near the Conservatory.
- Accessible ramps, doors, drinking fountains, and restrooms are found at the Conservatory and Gardens as well as the Arts Center and Burrello Family Center.
- Service animals are welcome with proper identification.
- The staff encourages prospective park visitors to call in advance to set up special accommodations, guided tours, and more.
Indianapolis Central Canal
Downtown Indy’s Central Canal is a beautiful space for walking, hiking, and recreational boating. The waterway stretches from White River State Park on its south end to 11th Street on its northern boundary. A full journey stretches 3 miles. Along the way visitors will discover the Medal of Honor Memorial, the USS Indianapolis Memorial, the NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Indiana Historical Society. In addition to walking the path, rental bikes, surreys and Segways provide an alternative and on-water travel can be rendered via pedal boats, kayaks, and gondolas.
- Perhaps the most convenient place to park is the White River State Park garage, entry on Washington Street at the Eiteljorg Museum. Accessible parking places, ramps, and elevators aid guests into the park’s museums as well as to the canal.
- There are multiple ramps and elevators throughout the canal’s footprint. For example, ramps are located near the Indiana State Museum/NCAA Hall of Champions, and behind the Eiteljorg Museum along West Street. Please refer to map above. Visitors may also access the canal by passing through and using elevators at the Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society.
- Stop along the way at the NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, and Indiana History Center for accessible experiences and refreshments (refer to our Accessibility Guide listings for more information about each experience.)
- For bike and boat rental, please contact Wheel Fun Rentals, at 317-730-2290 for specific information regarding accessible experiences.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail
The internationally acclaimed, 8-mile Indianapolis Cultural Trail connects walkers, joggers, and bikers to the city’s cultural districts, neighborhoods, attractions, restaurants, and more. Along the pathway is compelling public art, opportunities to rent a bike from Pacers Bikeshare stations, and the inspiring Glick Peace Walk which honors 12 luminaries who pursued peace. During your trail travels and route chosen, you may discover the American Legion Mall, Monument Circle, White River State Park, Mass Ave, and Fountain Square neighborhoods, and other sightseeing surprises. The trail hugs the sidewalks of major attractions and commercial enterprises, so it’s easy to slip off the trail, grab a bite, or shop for something special. The Cultural Trail was built with full accessibility in mind and is frequented by individuals of all abilities. A self-guided tour brochure is available, and you may also inquire about guided tour options.
Adaptive bicycles are also available through Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc. They are specifically designed for people who are not comfortable riding a traditional two-wheeled bicycle, or have mobility challenges that make it difficult to safely ride a two-wheeled bike. Five different types of adaptive bicycles, including tricycles, are available to rent and ride by the hour. See the Adaptive Bikes link above for each option. Adaptive bicycles are available for hourly rental, $10 + tax per hour. We encourage first time riders to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your reservation starting time. The Cultural Trail’s trained staff will provide a customized adaptive bicycle fitting before you ride and help select the right adaptive bicycle for your comfort and needs. Safety training is also available. Adaptive bikes are available for hourly rentals Monday-Thursday, 10 am-8 pm; Friday-Saturday, 12-5 pm; and Sunday, 12-6 pm.
- Parking is at your discretion with lots and garages located in multiple locations along the pathway.
- The entire trail is wheelchair/scooter accessible with low-grade slopes and accessible intersections.
- Intersections have crosswalks with buttons that have visual prompts and audio commands (walk, wait).
- The trail has separate, adjacent lanes – one for bikers and one for walkers and joggers. The texture of each lane is different to identify the lane’s use.
- Throughout the trail are areas to sit, relax, and rest before moving on.
- The trail hugs many commercial businesses including shops, restaurants, and museums. Mobility access to the majority of adjacent businesses is easy.
White River State Park
White River State Park (WRSP) boasts world-class attractions that offer distinctive experiences for every visitor. Greenspaces, trails, and waterways co-mingle alongside cultural, educational, and recreational attractions across 250 beautiful acres in downtown Indianapolis. WRSP puts many of Indy’s most prized attractions within a short distance of each other, including the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Victory Field, the Indiana State Museum, the state’s largest IMAX Theater, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park concert venue. Connecting these gems are accessible spaces and pathways including the Historic Central Canal Walkway, Historic Old Washington St. Pedestrian Bridge, Celebration Plaza, and the White River Promenade, a beautifully landscaped half-mile-long passageway lined with 1,272 massive blocks of Indiana limestone featuring renderings of famous landmarks carved into the rock. WRSP is also a great starting point for exploring more of downtown’s Central Canal by way of a leisurely canal-side walk, a pedal-boat excursion, or even a gondola ride with singing hosts.
- The White River State Park’s underground parking garage (enter off of Washington St.) offers accessible parking and connects directly to the Indiana State Museum (and IMAX Theatre), the Eiteljorg Museum and is near the entry to the NCAA Hall of Champions. The underground garage also features direct access to the Canal Walk and elevators that will take visitors to the park grounds. The Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field also have accessible parking spots in their surface lots, and the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park offers accessible parking in the surface lot adjacent to it.
- Whether it is via the underground parking garage or their own driveways, all WRSP attractions have spots where guests with disabilities can be dropped off close to entrances. Call ahead to individual attractions for more information.
- The Canal Walk, Washington Street Bridge, and Canal Promenade (behind the Indianapolis Zoo) accessibly connect all points in the park for those who can travel longer distances.
- All of the individual attractions in White River State Park are accessible to those with disabilities, and all make accommodations for those with special needs. Call ahead or stop at each attraction’s guest services desk to learn about specific accommodations available at each site.
- People of all abilities can enjoy a day at the park even if they don’t plan to visit an individual attraction. With greenspaces, public art, accessible walkways and pathways, outdoor features, and a wide range of public activities, the park is itself is a fun—and accessible—attraction.