Monon and Midland Trace trails offer recreation for all ages


With summer in full swing and daylight lasting nearly 15 hours each day, families are on the lookout for activities to keep everyone occupied. In central Indiana, there is no shortage of trails to provide hours of recreation time for folks of all ages and abilities.

The Monon Trail in Westfield covers a roughly 5-mile portion of the former Monon Railway. But more than a connection from north to south, the junction of the Monon with Midland Trace provides opportunities to explore Westfield’s parks.

monon midland junction
The junction of the Monon and Midland Trace trials in Westfield provides access to recreational opportunities throughout Westfield. (Photo by Marney Simon)

Where to start: Access the Midland Trail west of the Monon Trail at Quaker Park, 17501 Dartown Rd. In addition to trail connections, Quaker Park provides ample parking, a splash pad, a playground, pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, bathrooms, picnic pavilions and even a hammock and a free little library.

To the east, Midland Trace Trail runs through Grand Junction Plaza, with playground equipment, bathrooms and connections to downtown Westfield’s restaurants.

Once connected to the Monon, the trail stretches to Sheridan to the north and Indianapolis to the south.

The paved trails of the Monon and Midland Trace offer an even surface with little grade changes, making it perfect for walking, running, bicycle riding, rollerblading and strollers. Throughout the length of the Westfield portion, amenities include parking, drinking fountains, dog waste stations, benches, bike racks, restrooms and fitness stations.

The Monon Railroad connected Louisville to Chicago, running the entire length of Indiana, from 1897 until 1971. The rail line was abandoned in 1987. In the 1990s, the Hoosier Rails to Trails Council gathered 4,000 signatures seeking development of a rail trail, and the Monon Trail was created. Westfield’s segment of the Monon Trail between 216th and 146th streets opened in 2008.

For trail maps, visit under the ‘parks and recreation’ tab.