On the Cultural Trail

On the Cultural Trail, written and recorded by Chad Caroland

When Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, was chosen to be a Cultural Development Commissioner, he was tasked with finding new ways to promote Indianapolis’s cultural facets. He devised a plan to connect Indy’s Cultural Districts, Massachusetts Avenue, Fountain Square, The Canal & White River State Park, Indiana Avenue, the Wholesale District, and Broad Ripple.

What he came up with was essentially an urban counterpart to the already successful Monon Trail. An eight mile long biking and walking trail that would run through all six cultural districts, past restaurants, local businesses, and public art, lined by stormwater planters.


Through the Pacer Bikeshare program, you can explore the trail by renting one of their signature yellow bikes, equipped with lights and a handlebar basket. You can purchase different passes based on your bike usage, and bike terminals run all along the trail.

Construction began in 2007, and required $63 million dollars in combined private and public funding. By 2013, it was completed, and the grand opening was announced. Since then hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the trail for their commute, to run errands, or just for a joyride.

If you haven’t already checked out the trail, today’s the day. Take a self-guided tour, which can be printed off of the Cultural Trail website. Or, you can just hit the hexagonal bricks, and make your way around the city. Keep an eye out for counters to see how many people have joined you on the trail, and make sure you stay in your lane--left for pedestrians, right for bikes.