The phrase “hidden gem” is tossed around a lot, especially when referring to lesser-known attractions in Indy. When I became a Southsider, I was apprehensive to leave behind favorite trails at Holliday Park and Eagle Creek. Unbeknownst to me, I was now a mere 15 minutes from a the second-largest park in Indy and a true hidden gem.
I have never been an avid hiker. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that I was inspired to add hikes into my weekend routine. When I visited Southwestway Park for the first time, I fell in love the minute I stepped through the tree line. The combination of the chirping birds, beautiful scenery, rolling White River, and the sound of the dirt crunching under your shoes makes for a tranquil experience. It’s very easy to forget that a bustling city is a quick 20-minute drive away.
One of the most interesting features of the 587-acre regional park is that it welcomes all types of adventurers. Hikers, runners, mountain bikers, equestrians, and man’s best friend all create their own memories on the trails. With 13 trails to choose from ranging from easy to difficult, you can easily curate your experience. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely hike, Cockrum is a 1.3-mile trail that runs along the White River and features many perfect picnic spots. For mountain bikers, the 3.7-mile Southwestway Figure 8 is a popular intermediate loop that ascends to 232 feet. All trails are shared use and two-way traffic, so be sure to watch out for other adventurers along the way.
The campus also features a playground, picnic shelter, six soccer fields, three baseball diamonds, and is conveniently located next to the Winding River Golf Course. This park truly is a hidden gem, in every sense of the word, in our city. No matter the adventure you choose, Southwestway Park is sure to please.
Marissa Renaldi is a proud Indy advocate and Southsider. When she’s not promoting the city as the Convention Marketing Coordinator for Visit Indy or networking with her 1828 Project peers, she can be found indulging at local eats and breweries. Although Marissa is not an Indy-native, she loves calling it her adoptive home.