During Mark’s stay in Carmel, Indiana, he stayed at the Hotel Carmichael in the Carmel City Center. The hotel sits adjacent to the Monon Trail. It’s a walking and biking trail that stretches from Indianapolis north to Sheridan. The 27-mile paved path follows a former section of what was the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railway.
Monon Railway and Greenway
The railway was given the nickname Monon in the 1950s. It was taken from the Potawatomi word “monong,” meaning swift running.
The current trial was established in 1996, creating a greenway for recreational use. The trail is open all year from dawn to dusk. Yes, they actually plow it during the winter!
Exploring the Monon Trail in Carmel, Indiana
Mark took several morning walks along the trail. Directly off the trail and just across from the hotel is The Palladium – Carmel’s beautiful Center for the Performing Arts. The Booth Tarkington Civic Center and the Veterans Memorial Freedom Circle are close by as well.
Farther south, you’ll come to the Carmel City Hall. Just off the trail and across a red metal bridge is the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden. Honoring Carmel’s sister city.
Along the trail, mixed-use spaces have been developed. You’ll find people sitting on the front porch of their homes sipping coffee or having a cocktail on the balcony of their condo, which sits above dozens of restaurants.
Carmel Parks Department and Trail Amenities
The thing that blew Mark away were the amenities all along the trail. Due to Covid, there were several hand sanitizing stations. The drinking fountains were closed off at the time, but the fountains had dog bowls built-in. Every place he looked, there were internet charging stations.
Being that Chuck is an avid bicyclist, Mark was super impressed by the Bike Fix Station. They had installed a rack perfectly fitted to hang your bike for repairs. This included a scannable QR code to a site offering repair help. Additionally, it had a build-in bicycle pump and essential tools attached with metal cables.
Everywhere you looked, there were interesting benches to relax and watch the world go by. The artwork, fountains, and gardens were amazing. There was a kids’ play area, shuffleboard courts, and ping pong tables.
The bike tools, ping pong paddles, and shuffleboard equipment would have been long gone after a week in most cities. The local parks department and volunteers have done an incredible job. Mark saw people restocking the sanitizing stations during his visit, wiping down statues and sprucing up gardens.
It goes without saying, the Monon Trail, especially in Carmel, was incredible. It’s a great way to connect people and the community. There were people there of all ages walking, biking, and enjoying their city.
If you are visiting Carmel, be sure to take a stroll along the Monon Trail!