“Flowy beginner-friendly and intermediate trails in the city”
— Nate Hawkins
Please stick to the pavement when it's wet.
Mountain bike trails on Indiana State Park property that are above "beginner" require an off-road cycling permit from the DNR ($25 per calendar year).
Dogs must be kept on a 6' leash.
Loops are all to be ridden in a counter-clockwise fashion. Only the connector trails accommodate two-way traffic.
Flowy singletrack in one of the hilliest parts of the city. This trail can get busy during peak hours and it's popular with walkers and people with dogs.
Camp Glenn is smooth beginner-friendly singletrack. It's wide enough even for strollers.
Lawrence Creek is more difficult and adds elevation change and technical obstacles with log crossings and some rock.
Schoen Creek offers a little more rock and adds some exposure, making riders think a little more at a few spots along the trail.
Need to Know
There are lots of rock-armored stream crossings here. Most of them have a slightly technical descent to enter and climbing turn to exit. They are usually dry by summertime. There are bridges over perennial streams.
Be sure to stop by Triton Brewing at 5764 Wheeler Road apres-ride for tasty brews. In addition to their house brews, there are many tasty seasonals and limited release beers, and many local food trucks make regular stops here. Check their Facebook page for updates.
Start at the Camp Glenn trailhead and ride counter-clockwise. This section of Camp Glenn is wide, smooth singletrack with some gradual climbing.
When you reach the intersection with the Lawrence Creek Trail
, make a right turn and continue counter-clockwise around the loop. Shortly after the turn, you'll cross a rock-armored stream and then climb up a short, climbing left turn. At about 2 miles, you'll be rewarded with your first flowy downhill section. At first it is punctuated by a couple of small uphills, but the overall elevation loss is around 69ft. When you reach the connector trail to the Lawrence Creek Trail
, make a hard right turn and head downhill to the parking lot.
When you reach the road, head uphill across the bridge. After you cross the road bridge, you'll see a wooden trail bridge that marks the beginning of the Schoen Creek Connector
. Follow it uphill, and when you reach the Schoen Creek Trail
, make a right turn to follow it counter-clockwise. You'll climb about 70ft within about half mile of the wooden bridge.
The next 1.8mi or so is undulating trail. About 0.8 mi in, the singletrack will dump you onto a crushed stone doubletrack. Keep right and follow the doubletrack uphill about 0.1 mi and the singletrack will exit to the left while the doubletrack continues uphill. The trail will continue undulating, pass through a native prairie and wetland area and offer some nice technical challenges that include a garden of loose rocks a bit smaller than your fist.
This will be followed by a nice downhill of around 60 ft in about 0.6 mi. The trail will then undulate for the next tenth of a mile or so until you exit to the connector. This section offers some exposure from the deep bench cuts into the steep hillside.
When you return to the Schoen Creek Connector
, make a right turn and head back to the Lawrence Creek Trail
. Take the connector on your left across the road and make a right turn onto the Lawrence Creek Trail
. This portion of the trail contains the Snake Creek area, and the trail on the north-facing slope is the wettest in the trail system. Check the trail conditions page onhmba.org
for notes about the condition of this area. If it's sloppy, please bypass this area on the road.
The 1.5 mi of trail after entering the Lawrence Creek Connector
is a flowy, undulating section with short climbs and short descents. This section will keep your heart rate up if you push it. The section on the north-facing slope near Snake Creek will test you. This section sets you up for what is arguably the best downhill on this route.
The downhill begins with a sharp bermed switchback to the right, and descends about 67ft until a sharp bermed switchback to the left in about 0.37mi. It's not the longest downhill and it's not the one with the most vertical loss, but I think it has the best flow. The second bermed switchback is a little tricky. Enter it high on the right and just before the apex, cut to your left and downhill, keeping away from the upper edge. You'll see where many other riders attempt to stay high all the way around and they wind up crashing over the top just before the exit.
The trail descends maybe another 10ft until the exit, but this section is pretty flat until the finish.
Keep to the right and head back to the Camp Glenn Trail
. There will be two exits to the parking lot. Pass the first one (an old doubletrack), rejoin the Camp Glenn Trail
(enters from the left) and then take the second right turn back to the parking lot.
If you need a cool-down lap, do a lap of the Camp Glenn Trail
by itself. It's good for stretching your legs and collecting your riding buddies before you hit the parking lot.
History & Background
Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park is on land that was formerly part of Fort Benjamin Harrison, which was purchased by the US. Army in 1903.
The Camp Glenn Trail
was named after Camp Glenn, which was a Citizens Military Training Camp that housed Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers.
From 1948 to 1950, the post functioned as the Fort Harrison Air Force Base, and the Tenth Air Force was housed at Schoen Field.
Fort Benjamin Harrison was officially closed in 1991, and much of the base was redeveloped into Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park, a golf course, residential area, Ivy Tech, and Lawrence city government offices among other businesses. Triton Brewing is located on redeveloped base land.
There is still a significant military presence here, which includes the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Army Reserve and Indiana National Guard units, a post exchange, and a commissary.