Of the Fort Harrison State Park trails, the Harrison Trace Trail is perfect for hiking during the month of January. Hiking in winter brings unique challenges, mainly in the form of snow, ice, and possibly mud. All of these are no match for the Harrison Trace Trail, because it’s paved! With an asphalt surface, this trail is frequented by walkers, joggers and cyclists. However, it is also perfect for those looking for a leisurely hike. While it does have some elevation gain, it does not have the nuisance of mud or uneven terrain.
You can access the Harrison Trace Trail at multiple spots within the park. It is a short stroll from the parking adjacent to most of the park’s picnic shelters as well as the Walnut Trailhead, the trail’s western terminus. Beginning at this point and hiking east, the trail runs through a forest to the north of the Lawrence Creek Nature Preserve and to the south of Fall Creek. The trail passes by the park’s sledding hill, as well as a number of playgrounds before reaching Delaware Lake. If you are looking for a shorter hike, you can simply loop around the lake. Whereas the longer option is to continue through the Warbler Woods Nature Preserve, a hardwood forest that loops around Duck Pond. Either way, this portion of the trail has plenty of shade.
If there happens to be snow, the trail is excellent for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, which we tried last winter.
As mentioned, the trail passes directly past Fort Harrison’s awesome sledding hill. So, after a snowy hike, you can slide down the slopes!
We hope that we have inspired you to hike this trail this winter!
Trail Name: Harrison Trace
Location: Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, IN
Length: 3.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 110 ft
Rating: Easy / Intermediate
*All trail information is from Hiking Project.