Hot On The Trails: Noblesville’s White River Greenway

The scenic Hamilton County route begins on the edge of downtown Noblesville and travels through 150-acre Forest Park, across State Road 19, and north along the wooded banks of the White River.
Length: 3.25 miles / Surface: paved / Location: Noblesville / Connects to: Forest Park/Morse Beach Trail

At the trail’s starting point, Syd’s Fine Food & Spirits is a quintessential townie bar. A tavern was first established in the location in the 1800s to service railroad passengers and workers. It took the name “Syd’s” in 1945 and, according to the signs, has the “coldest beer” and “best food” (presumably anywhere).

Noble Coffee & Tea Co.’s cold brew is steeped for 18 to 24 hours in the fridge to yield a smooth, iced pick-me-up. Blackberry-sage tea latte is a popular hot drink, and the gluten-free Bee Free Warrior Mix is a healthy snack.

Rides on Forest Park’s historic carousel cost $2.

Construction on Potter’s Bridge finished in 1871. The now-pedestrian-only wooden crossing was restored in 1999, and Potter’s Bridge Park hosts an annual festival (September 30) and attracts high school seniors in search of a bucolic portrait backdrop. Open windows inside the covered bridge look out over water, woods, and wildlife.

On Noblesville’s town square, trail users can enjoy: brunch at Rosie’s Place; ice cream at Alexander’s; and craft beer at Barley Island Brewing Co. or Copper Still Kitchen & Bar. Restrooms are available at the Noblesville Visitors Center and the White River bridge.

In February, the mayors of Noblesville and Fishers proposed a plan to connect their cities via a 9.2-mile Nickel Plate Trail that would follow the historic namesake rail line. It would end a few blocks from Noblesville’s White River Greenway.

Training for a solo ride from Noblesville to San Francisco, Emma Fisher uses the greenway nearly every day to head out of town and onto the rural roads of northern Hamilton County. “Potter’s Bridge is the beginning and end of my journey every time, so it’s special,” says Fisher, who likes to hang a hammock between trees and take a breather on the riverbank.

This article is part of “Hot on the Trails,” IM’s road-free guide to exploring Central Indiana.