Early fall is an excellent time to take a hike on the Fall Creek Trail at Fort Harrison State Park. Daytime temperatures are warm enough to enjoy creek-stomping along the banks of Fall Creek. While cooler nights and shorter days, bring the first hints of autumn color along the trail. If you are looking for an Indy-area hike to enjoy to the fall season, you can’t go wrong with the Fall Creek Trail!
Fall Creek Trail
One of our favorite Indianapolis-area trails is the Fall Creek Trail at Fort Harrison State Park. Appropriately named, for the tributary of the White River, Fall Creek, the trail is perfect for an early fall hike. Beginning at Delaware Lake, this moderate 1.5-mile trail winds through the lowlands surrounding the creek before heading uphill to Duck Pond.
Our kids absolutely love this trail because it provides easy access to the Fall Creek riverbanks. They can easily spend the better part of a visit creek-stomping along the shores!
Largest Hardwood Forests
Interestingly, Fort Harrison State Park has one of the largest hardwood forests in central Indiana. The forest has native Cherry, Oak, Walnut, Beech and Sycamore trees.
If they aren’t creek-stomping, the boys pretty much stop at any tree of interest, especially the giant Sycamore trees. They are convinced that this tree is one of the largest Indiana, although it isn’t listed in the Indiana Big Tree Register.
The Fall Creek Trail is a point-to-point trail, which means that it does not end where it starts. There are a few options for returning to Delaware Lake. The shorter option is to head south via either of two connecting trails near the Fall Creek boardwalk and observation deck. Both lead to the paved Harrison Trace Trail. Heading west on this trail will provide the shortest route to Delaware Lake.
Alternatively, if continued to Duck Pond, the Fall Creek Trail joins both the Harrison Trace and Camp Creek Trails. While both lead back to Delaware Lake, the former is paved and rated easy. Whereas the latter is an unpaved, intermediate trail. Both provide you with more gorgeous fall scenery!
Trail Name: Fall Creek Trail
Location: Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, IN
Length: 1.5 miles (~3.0 miles out & back)
Elevation Gain: ~150 ft
Park Map: https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/ftharrison_trail.pdf
*All trail information is from Hiking Project.