“A fast course through the White River corridor and along an old levee.”
— Nate Hawkins
This trail closes frequently during wetter seasons due to inundation of the floodplain.
If the wooden trail gate at the trailhead or the park gate on 96th St. are closed, the trail is closed to all traffic.
The entrance to this trail is at 5325 E. 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN and the open/closed status can be obtained by calling (317) 327-PARK.
The terrain of this trail is very open, flowy, and fast. Sections along the levee have a very roller coaster feel to them. The return segment of the trail north of the I-465 bridge is very narrow and somewhat technical in parts, however. This trail can have very high traffic on nice days, and watch out for families and new riders riding slowly along the trail.
Many local racers like to use this trail for training purposes and track their lap times. Remember to be courteous to all trail users, including walkers or trail runners who may also be using the trail. If you want to race your lap times, sign up for a race!
This trail is fairly close to Fort Harrison State Park. Ride both parks in a day for more miles. Better yet, ride to both of them! There is currently not a "best" route connecting them, so you'll have to do some planning and figure one out. Connect Town Run to the bike lane on Allisonville, Rd., which you can connect to the Fall Creek Greenway via 56th St. or Kessler Blvd. and then to Fort Harrison State Park when the extension to the greenway is finished. Along 86th St. just west of Allisonville Rd., ride the short loop behind BGI-North while you're at it.
Need to Know
The park entrance and trailhead parking were paved in the spring of 2013, so you no longer need to watch for ground clearance as you enter or exit the park onto 96th St. The 96th and Allisonville Rd. intersection has been under heavy construction through 2012 and 2013 with many changes in traffic pattern. It is probably best to approach this trail from 96th & Keystone Ave. unless you are familiar with the construction zone or until construction is completed.
The trail is primarily one-way going clockwise except for a small segment that passes underneath I-465 along the White River for a short distance. This section has two-way traffic, but is sufficiently wide to allow for unrestricted travel.
Occasional construction on I-465 can close this passage and access to the southern section of trails, as occurred in 2012.
Stay tuned on the HMBA Forums
for updates on trail status.
Enter the trails at the wooden gate on the eastern end of the parking lot to the left of the shelter.
The first part of the trail snakes along with occasional views of the White River, using the levee to help riders pick up some gravity-assisted speed. There is an occasional optional jump line, but since this area is in a floodplain, it is best to scout such features before riding them, especially if the trail has flooded somewhat recently. The river will move just about anything when it gets high.
This area can be pretty fast, so be careful to ride under control in case you encounter slower trail users.
After you cross under I-465, the trail character changes somewhat. This portion snakes through an open meadow that is maintained as a native prairie. Here you'll see many native tall grasses and prairie wildflowers. You might see some young trees that were killed by the drought in the summer of 2012, as well.
On the return portion of the trail north of I-465, the trail character changes yet again. At first, the trail snakes along a hillside and is pretty narrow and technical compared to the rest of the trail. Watch for the goat path on your left that takes a higher line up the hillside and gives a better approach for the tabletop jump when the trail returns to more open terrain.
The trail follows along the levee for awhile, providing some opportunities for speed, before changing character again into a twisty ride through thick, moist forest. There is a fun wooden wall ride tucked into this section, so watch for it.
The trail takes you out into the open and has one more trick up its sleeve. You still have Tetanus Hill left before you return to the trailhead. Tetanus Hill provides a short, steep climb and some narrow technical trail. The hill is almost entirely comprised of buried junk, so be sure your tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date. If you are a timid rider, you can choose to wear armor, but you can also bypass this section.
History & Background
The area of Town Run Trail Park was originally farmed. In the mid-20th century, the area was quarried for sand and gravel. Sand and gravel extraction continues adjacent to the park.
There is a good history lesson of Town Run Trail Park on the HMBA forums
. If you're interested in the history and seeing aerial photos of the area dating back to 1941, take a gander and learn a little bit about the area and why it appears the way it does.
The southern section of trails is on a Central Indiana Land Trust parcel called Oliver's Woods Nature Preserve
. An agreement between the Trust and IndyParks allows the mountain bike trails to persist here, but the Trust has plans to build its headquarters here along with some nature trails.