Biking & Hiking Trails
Delphi Historic Trails
The Delphi Historic Trails system
now has over 10 miles of groomed trails. They are wide, crushed limestone surfaces, and they lead to some of the most interesting things. Trails have been constructed over several years, primarily by volunteers, and they are open to walkers, runners, and bikers. A trail map
brochure with descriptions is available at Canal Park, the City Building, and other locations in Delphi.
Places to start include:
- Trailhead Park next to Deer Creek, one mile southwest of Delphi on State Road 25.
- Another entrance to the trail system is off State Road 25 two tenths of a mile south of Trailhead Park.
- Also off SR 25 near Arby’s is parking for Interurban trail access.
- Limited parking is available behind Pizza Hut off Bicycle Bridge Road, adjacent to the historic Blue Bridge.
- Scenic tours also begin at both Canal Park and Canal Park Annex, 11 blocks north of the Court House stoplight on Washington Street. Riley Park on South Washington Street also provides parking and access to trails.
- Another starting place with parking is City Park in East Delphi.
The trails map
shows all the trails and their access points. Informational displays are strategically located along the trails. The Wabash & Erie Canal Park and Interpretive Center on North Washington Street provides abundant information about the Canal and its history.
In front of the Interpretive Center in the bank barn along the Canal is Noble Bikes and Concessions which rents all sorts of bicycles for use on the trail system and around town. Phone 765-427-3320
for more information.
Canal Park & Annex
Underhill Towpath Trail (0.9 mile)Trail 4 on the Map
The Underhill Towpath Trail takes the hiker from the Highway 421 crossing to North Washington Street. Canal Park is a main attraction along the way. The newest addition there are the new canal boat and the guard lock.
The Wabash and Erie Canal Conference and Interpretive Center offers meeting facilities and interactive exhibits to tell the fascinating story of life during the 1850s canal era. The canal village with the refurbished Federal style 1844 Reed Case House and other historic log cabins and blacksmith shop, provides hikers and visitors ample things to see and do.
Founders Towpath Trail (0.5 mile)Trail 5 on the Trails Map
From North Washington Street this trail takes the hiker along the west side of the beautiful, rewatered section of the canal, past the restored 1873 Iron bridge and ends at Founders Point where the 'tumble' brings the million gallons of fresh clear water from the Delphi Limestone Company's diversion pumps. The tranquil setting for the rest area at the point will allow the hiker time to reflect on how this 150 year old waterway might have looked during its heyday.
Draper North End Trail (0.5 mile)Trail 6 on the Map
This trail leads from Founders Point to the Riley City Trail. An easy walk from Founders Point take the hiker past the old Lime Kilns of the 1850s, where locally quarried limestone was 'burned' to produce plaster and whitewash. Commercially, these lime products were some of the best quality in the country and were transported as far away as New York City (via canal). You will also see the restored 1873 Pain Creek iron bridge, the trail then passes the widewater canal boat turnaround and loading area in Canal Park Annex and then joins the Riley-City Trail.
This trail leaves the North End Trail at Canal Park Annex and follows the century old Delphi Commercial Club's path to potential industrial site near the Golf Course. The most active commercial ventures were the Harley Brothers Lime Kilns, which ceased operations in 1917, and the Ice Plant, which ceased in 1950.
Robbins Trail (0.5 mile)Trail 1 on the Trails Map
Starting at Trailhead Park and crossing the suspension bridge over Deer Creek will lead the hiker to the choice of walking to the left and following the system of trails that are described progressively, or going right and reversing the order of trails listed here from bottom to top. The Robbins trail generally follows the beautiful banks of Deer Creek and was named for the generous landowners who allowed this path to skirt their field.
VanScoy Towpath Trail (1.0 mile)Trail 2 on the Trails Map
From Sunset Point to Highway 421, the VanScoy Trail contains some of the most beautiful towpath, especially the section nearest the Wabash River. This trail also passes by the 1838-39 Irish Canal Construction Camp, Canal Lock #33, and two prosperous paper mills that operated in the mid 1800s. The extreme south end of the trail is "Sunset Point" where Deer Creek meets the Wabash River. A rest area provides the hiker a serene view of the waterways at a point where the Deer Creek Dam provided a lake for the canal boats to cross the creek without an aqueduct.
Obear Millrace Trail (0.6 mile)Trail 3 on the Trails Map
After leaving the VanScoy Trail, this trail overlooks the Wabash River and then traces the millrace up to the paper mill sites where it rejoins the VanScoy Trail. The mills received their power from the surplus canal water which exited to the river after powering the mill wheels.
Campbell Ridge Trail (1.0 mile loop)Trail 12 on the Trails Map
From the small parking area along State Road 25 just south of Trailhead Park, hike up the slope to find the mystifying bluff overlooking the confluence of Deer Creek and the Wabash River. During the canal operational years of 1840-1874 the dam provided a “slack water” crossing for boats. The demise of the last boat to reach this site was due to the boat crashing into the rotting wooden spillway, which collapsed the dam. Boat, cargo, driver, and mules were all dashed into the river and drowned. A guard lock was located at the far end of the loop.
Downtown Loop Trail (0.9 mile)Trail 9 on the Trail Map
Connecting the outlying trail system with the downtown, this trail follows streets through beautiful old residential and commercial portions of Delphi including passing by the Court House and City Building. The Carroll County Historical Museum is located in the southwest corner of the Court House. Restaurants, coffee shops, boutique and antique stores abound on and near the Court House Square. This trail provides a connection with the Riley-City Trail. A description of buildings
on this tour and a separate detailed map
Riley City Trail (1.5 miles)Trail 8 on the Trail Map
This urban trail runs from the southern tip of Canal Park Annex through the city to its junction with the Interurban Trail. It follows city streets and sidewalks through Delphi to the suspension bridge where it crosses Deer Creek and enters Riley Park. It then follows along Deer Creek and under the highway where it continues through Riley Annex. The trail crosses Deer Creek again to follow Hamilton Street to the junction of the Interurban Trail at the parking area. Historic homes and tree lined streets as well as Riley Park, named for Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, afford a reflection on the architecture and park setting of this historic community.
Within Riley Park is also a measured, paved walking trail with exercise stations.
State Road 25
Interurban Trail (0.8 mile)Trail 10 on the Trail Map
From the parking area at the highway near Arby's to VanDerVolgen Overlook and Rest Area, this interesting trail has heritage dating back to the early part of this century. Commuter electric trains, called "Interurbans," ran on narrow tracks along the elevated portions of the trail. The trains ceased operation in the 1930s. The VanDerVolgen Rest, named for the Canal Park's beloved deceased blacksmith, is on the high pillar of a bridge abutment overlooking Deer Creek and the beautiful Deer Creek Falls.
Happy Jack's Loop (0.5 mile)Trail 11 on the Trail Map
Branching off the Interurban Trail at the site of the old Smith Dairy Farm, this trail continues to Deer Creek Falls. It passes by the site where County Court was held in Daniel Baum's cabin. This beautiful trail loops along the north bank of Deer Creek and rejoins the Interurban Trail at the east end of the Robbins Trail across from Deer Creek Falls. The return to Trailhead Park and the suspension bridge is by the Robbins Trail.
Monon High Bridge Trail (1.5 miles)Trail 13 on the Trail Map
From City Park on East Main Street, leave your car and hike Main Street to the “Y” and take Old Camden Road on your right, cross the millrace creek and proceed up the slope to where the old street meets the abandoned Monon Railroad. Just to your left at the top of the slope is the Centennial Stone (1816-1916) dedicated to General Samuel Milroy who platted Delphi in 1828. An historic marker dedicated to Milroy is also at this location. Cross the highway overpass and you are on your way to High Bridge
, Indiana’s second highest railroad creek crossing. Return the same way.
Access to this trail is also available from County Road 300 in the Deer Creek Valley Historic DIstrict.
Accessible from this trail is the Mary I Gerard Nature Preserve
, six acres of beautiful bottomland woods downstream of High Bridge on Deer Creek.
Flora & Burlington
The Town of Flora (0.9 mile)
Flora has a paved walking trail within its large park and to the adjacent YMCA grounds.
The Burlington Park also contains a paved trail as well as a nature area in the adjacent woods.
Adams Mill Oxbow
The Adams Mill Oxbow Natural Area
A protected 50-acre wetland with a one-mile walking trail. The C.J. Baker Nature Trail was dedicated in 2011 and is named for Carroll Baker who was dedicated to natural preservation. It is located near Adams Mill
Covered Bridge, across the road from Adams Mill, east of Cutler on County Road 100 E in the southern part of Carroll County. Parking is available across the road from the Mill at the DNR fishing access point.
The Oxbow area is so-named because of its near-circular shape, surrounded by the scenic Wildcat Creek. The land was acquired by the Wildcat Creek Foundation
in 2008, made possible with help from private donations and the Indiana Heritage Trust, which is funded by the sale of environmental license plates. The area is a focus of the annual Discover the Wildcat at Adams Mill festival which features canoe rides, nature hikes, and other attractions.
The Creek’s banks form a natural barrier for the land inside the circle. The result is a perfect place for animals and plants to flourish and humans to enjoy. A trail meanders around the outside edge along the creek from the mill to the covered bridge, and includes a stairway to access the bridge from the lower-lying field.
The grounds surrounding the adjacent Adams Mill also provide areas for walking, exploring, and relaxing.
Carroll County Trails
A perfect place for a peaceful hike in the woods next to the Tippecanoe River is at Moyer Gould Woods
. The 77-acre site is protected by the NICHES Land Trust
and has been in the Classified Forest program for many decades. It is located on US Highway 421, 1.25 miles north of the intersection with SR 18 north of Delphi. The entrance to the property is back a lane lined with black walnut trees. The 1.5 mile loop trail includes some steep slopes and descends near the half mile of river frontage. The area features many interesting botanical and geological features.
Carroll County offers an abundance of miles of lightly-traveled country roads that are perfect for bicycling.
Bicycle Route #1 traverses through a gently rolling landscape of farms, down into the Wabash River Valley, and along Towpath Road which parallels the remains of the Wabash and Erie Canal.
Bicycle Route #2 travels across the heart of Carroll County through its friendly towns and past historic Adams Mill and Covered Bridge.
National Trail Day
Discover the Wildcat at Adams Mill on National Trails Day
Discover the Wildcat at Adams Mill on National Trails Day
"Discover the Wildcat at Adams Mill" is an event held the first Saturday in June at Adams Mill
near Cutler in southeastern Carroll County. It is sponsored by the Wildcat Guardians
, Adams Mill Inc.
, and NICHES Land Trust.
It is held on National Trails Day and celebrates an important water trail--the North Fork of the WIldcat Creek.
The first annual event was held in 2011
and featured live music, free canoe rides, tours of the adjacent Adams Mill Oxbow Natural Area, and good food provided by Promoting Wildcat Valley. Some years artists set up on Adams Mill grounds to demonstrate their craft.
The three sponsoring organizations share their missions and specific goals as well as present ways for citizens to get involved. Other related orgainzations also have booths providing information about their activities. In 2010, Adams Mill Inc. and The Friends of Carroll County Parks had tables.
Tours of Adams Mill are always available. Parking is provided across the road from the Mill at the DNR access site for fishing, tubing, and canoeing. The free canoe rides launch from this area and end at the other end of the Oxbow in the area behind the Mill.
The Adams Mill grounds are available for recreation and relaxation, and visitors can explore tent camping possibilities and overnight cabin availability. The nearby Adams Mill Covered Bridge is just a short walk away, and next to it are stairs down to the Oxbow area.
All these events and amenities provide a full day of wholesome family fun for both adults and children.