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This is sort of a classic hike at Eagle Creek for us; we’ve been hiking this loop since we moved to Indianapolis and found Eagle Creek years ago. There are two good places to start, the Ornithology Center and the end of the service road that runs west from the north gate.
This hike is mostly an easy walk, making a loop on the Coffer Dam. The south west corner of the loop is a pretty steep climb (if you’re traveling counter-clockwise) or descent. The paved walk west from the Ornithology Center is the matching incline, but is done over quite a shallower grade, so that walk is easier. Consider this when deciding the direction around the loop, if you want a steep climb in the southwest corner head counter-clockwise, for a steep descent head clockwise.
If you happen to be making this hike in the summer and like critters (or have kids that like critters), make a stop at the duck pond across from the Ornithology Center. There are always frogs, turtles, tad poles, and snails to be found in the pond.
This is a great hike on a cool day, but there’s not much cover out on the levee, keep this in mind if you’re out in mid summer.
Facilities: There are bathrooms at the ornithology center and port-a-johns at the end of the service road.
Park entrance fee: $5 per vehicle, $2 for pedestrians and cyclists.
Trail map: EAGLECREEKPARKNORTH_2010.pdf