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Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Looking for the perfect place in Indianapolis to engage in your favorite outdoor recreational pursuits? This guide to Indianapolis parks and recreational facilities will steer you in the right direction. From water parks with the works to moonlit nature walks, it’s all here.

Cleaning the White River
Indianapolis cleans up the White River.

Indianapolis Downtown Boot Camp Provides Military-Style Fitness Workouts
Indianapolis Downtown Boot Camp is a series of fitness classes that provide an intense workout year-round, both indoors and outdoors in downtown Indy. Leading the sessions, which are referred to as "missions," are "Sergeants" Jason Haas and Todd Beattie.

Images of Garfield Park
Images of Garfield Park in Indianapolis, Indiana, from About.com's guide to Indianapolis.

Garfield Park Conservatory
Images from the Garfield Park Conservatory in Indianapolis from About.com Indianapolis site guide Christy Pingleton

Ten Safety Tips for Monon Trail Users
Indy’s Monon Trail is one of the city’s standout features, offering miles of scenic trail for walkers, runners, bicyclists, and rollerbladers alike, but a few commonsense safety tips can go a long way toward making sure your time on the trail is as enjoyable as possible. Check out these safety tips for Monon Trail users.

Free Things to Do Outdoors in Indianapolis

Indianapolis offers many miles of scenic trails, pathways, and public parks for outdoor enthusiasts, and taking advantage of them is free. Get active (bike, run, rollerblade), explore scenic trails, visit a nature center, or simply while away an afternoon on a blanket under a big tree. Watch the sun set. Walk your dog. But whatever you do, don’t let these opportunities for free fun p…

Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, Expo, and Post-Race Party
Runners will come from across the country and around the world to participate in the 2009 OneAmerica Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on Saturday, May 2. The largest half-marathon (13.1 miles) in the United States and the fifth largest running event in America, the Mini-Marathon was recognized in Runner's World as one of "A Half-Dozen Hot Halfs" in the world, based on runners' experiences.

The Beauty of Botanical Art: IMA's Oldfields Estate Grounds and Gardens
The Indianapolis Museum of Art, or IMA, includes the grounds and gardens of the Oldfields estate. The gardens feature an impressive assortment of plant life plus fountains, cascading streams, rock pools, and more to create a serene environment. Tours of the gardens and self-guided tree walks are offered.

Indianapolis Park Locations
IndyParks maintains and operates 206 park properties of varying sizes in Indianapolis and Marion County. Here you'll find a list of regional, community, and neighborhood or "mini" parks, along with links to more information about the amenities they have to offer.

Indy Parks Face Major Maintenance Problems and a Lack of Funding to Fix Them
An evaluation by the Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation has determined that the city will need $100 million to fix the maintenance problems that Indy parks are currently facing. From pools to playgrounds to parking lots, the list of needed repairs is a very long one indeed, and finding the funds to make them possible is no small matter, either.

Public Swimming Pools and Aquatic Programs
Indianapolis has many swimming pools and water parks that are open to the public, including both indoor and outdoor facilities. Here you can find information about IndyParks' aquatics facilities and programs, including swimming lessons.

Fort Harrison State Park
Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis has something for all outdoor lovers, including hiking and biking trails, picnic shelters, and a nature center. Winter enthusiasts can enjoy cross-country skiing, one of the biggest sledding hills in the area, and ice fishing.

Horseback Riding
The Saddle Barn at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis offers trail rides, pony rides for younger children, riding lessons, and hayrides.

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