Oliver’s Woods to Become Central Indiana Land Trust Headquarters

Oliver’s Woods is a 53-acre nature preserve located in Nora near the Keystone at the Crossing shopping area. It was left to the Central Indiana Land Trust by Mr. Oliver Daugherty, who passed away in 2009.

The 53-acre property includes 16 acres of woods, 37 acres of prairie-savanna restoration, and a mile of frontage along the White River. The southern half of the popular Town Run Trail Park is encompassed within this property. The mountain bike trails will remain in place, as was agreed upon by Mr. Daugherty and Indy Parks. The remaining portion of the property will eventually serve as the Central Indiana Land Trust’s headquarters, and hiking trails will be added for nature walks and wildlife viewing.

“This nature preserve is not yet officially open to the public, but we look forward to sharing it with the community soon,” states the Central Indiana Land Trust website.

Photo credit: IndyStar

Town Run Trail Park

Town Run Trail is a 127-acre natural resource park on the eastern edge of Nora. With approximately seven miles of packed dirt trails, it is a haven for mountain bikers.  Town Run Trail Park is one of two public sites for off-road mountain bike trail riding in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Town Run also supports a varied amount of non-mountain biking groups including trail running, hiking, fishing, kayaking/canoeing, and other nature-observing activities.

The current trail system at Town Run provides a good beginner and intermediate level experience. The addition of a skills & challenge area at Town Run is the next step in the development of the park. The southern section of trails is on a Central Indiana Land Trust parcel called Oliver’s Woods Nature Preserve.

Town Run Trail Park is managed by Indy Parks. There is currently no fee to access this park or the trails. The entrance to this trail is at 5325 E. 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN and the open/closed status can be obtained by calling (317) 327-PARK.

This trail closes frequently during wetter seasons due to inundation of the floodplain.

Members from the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) volunteer their time and skills for installation & maintenance. They also  maintain a webpage that includes valuable information, such as trail status, current weather, river gage readings, and an interactive story map. Check out the HMBA Forums for information about trail conditions, trail work, and rides. There is also a good history lesson and aerial photos of the area dating back to 1941 on the HMBA forums.

“The terrain of this trail is very open, flowy, and fast. Sections along the levee have a very roller coaster feel to them. The return segment of the trail north of the I-465 bridge is very narrow and somewhat technical in parts, however. This trail can have very high traffic on nice days, and watch out for families and new riders riding slowly along the trail,” reads the MTBProject website. Check out their excellent and detailed overview and description of the trail, including downloadable GPX file, before you ride.

Also check out the Town Run Trail – Indianapolis Facebook page for additional information.