Outdoor Adventure at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis

With 1,400 acres of water and 3,900 acres of forest, Eagle Creek Park is one of the largest city parks in the nation, offering unmatched opportunities for recreation and fitness, educational programs at two nature centers, and engaging experiences such as concerts, day camps, and more for youth and adults.   

The park’s diverse range of activities caters to various interests and age groups. No matter your preference, this park has something to offer.

Eagle Creek Park
Eagle Creek Park. Photo credit: www.facebook.com/EagleCreekPark

Beach and Swimming at Eagle Creek Park

Swimming is making a much-anticipated comeback at Eagle Creek Park after a temporary closure during previous summers due to Covid-19 and lifeguard shortages. As the largest park in Indianapolis, the return of swimming brings delight and enthusiasm to all who yearn for a cool and invigorating experience in the lake. Get ready to soak up the sun and relish the cherished days at Indy’s beloved beach again!

Eagle Creek Park Beach
Eagle Creek Park Beach

Watersports

Eagle Creek Park offers a wide range of water activities for those who enjoy being on the water. At the Marina, you can rent various watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, row boats, paddle boats, and paddle boards. To inquire about rentals, please contact 317.327.7130.

Watersports at Eagle Creek

Hiking Trails

Escape into nature and enjoy the tranquility of one of Indianapolis’ most serene settings with over 16 miles of trails at Eagle Creek Park. The park features six main hiking trails, along with additional trails at the Ornithology Center, perfect for all skill levels. Wander through charming woods filled with beech, maple, tulip, white ash, and black cherry trees. Explore open meadows and catch glimpses of the reservoir and Lilly Lake. Keep an eye out for wildlife and furry friends as you cross bridges, climb steps, and tackle a few hills.

Hiking Indianapolis

Fitness Trail

Additionally, on the north end, you’ll find the Fitness Trail equipped with 20 exercise stations offering a total of 32 different exercises. This trail provides a one-of-a-kind experience by bringing the traditional indoor gym workout to the great outdoors.

Treetop Thrills: Go Ape Adventures

What sets this park apart from others? One standout feature is its exhilarating treetop adventure course offered by Go Ape. This sky-high escapade provides visitors with breathtaking views while testing their agility on zip lines, rope ladders, Tarzan swings – all adding up to unforgettable moments.

This exciting journey isn’t just about seeking thrills; it also helps develop teamwork and confidence-building skills that will stay with you even after your feet are back on the ground.

The course remains open from March to November, and ample parking is available at the Earth Discovery Center. Those interested in booking can check the availability online by visiting GoApe.com.

Fishing at Eagle Creek Park

This park offers a diverse range of fish species, including crappie, largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, and channel catfish, to name a few. Anglers will find ample fishing spots both along the banks and on the water.

Notable bank fishing locations include the Marina, 42nd Street boat ramp, 56th Street causeway, Lilly Lake, and the waterfowl sanctuary. The park’s strict boat size and motor restrictions ensure calm waters, as speed boats and skiers are not permitted, allowing fishermen to enjoy a peaceful fishing experience.

Visitors can make use of the Marina, which supplies live bait, artificial lures, and fishing tackle. It’s important for anglers aged 17-64 to possess a valid Indiana State Fishing license.

Exploring Nature at the Earth Discovery Center

If you’re seeking a place where education and adventure intertwine, look no further than Eagle Creek Park’s Earth Discovery Center. Previously known as the original nature center, it has evolved into an educational hub that welcomes over 80,000 visitors annually. The park activities here are diverse and engaging.

As soon as you enter, you are likely to be greeted by fascinating creatures! It could be a snail or, during the summertime, you may even witness the incredible transformation of a caterpillar into a monarch butterfly right at the front desk. Inside the center, you will discover engaging exhibits and educational information about native Indiana plants and animals. Be enchanted by the live native reptiles, fish, and amphibians showcased in aquariums, as well as the taxidermy mounts and replicas. Keep an eye out for other wildlife ambassadors who may make special appearances during scheduled programs. When you step outside, enjoy a breathtaking view of the reservoir from the deck or embark on a memorable adventure along the nearby hiking trails.

Exploring Nature at the Earth Discovery Center
Exploring Nature at the Earth Discovery Center

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall is home to some of our live turtles, snakes, and other educational ambassadors, as well as a multifunctional space for field trips, public programs, art exhibits, and seasonal activities and displays. 

Wet Lab Classroom

The Wet Lab Classroom is set up much like a high school science lab with stools and six lab tables, and is a great space for messier field trip activities. The Dry Lab is a multifunctional open space that is also the home base for summer daycamps. By utilizing the Exhibit Hall, the Earth Discovery Center can host up to three classrooms simultaneously.

Wet Lab Classroom
Wet Lab Classroom

Geothermal Pond

In 2014, the Eagle Creek Park Foundation contributed $30,000 to supplement a 3Mgives Eco Grant for construction of a geothermal pond behind the Earth Discovery Center. This allows large school groups to immerse in an elaborate pond study program to dip-net for frogs and aquatic insects, adding to their studies in the wet lab.

Eagle Creek Park Playground

There are several playgrounds located in different areas of the park – some have shelters nearby to accompany birthday parties, and there is one even by the beach. After you work up an appetite on the slides and swing set, you can enjoy some food at one of the 24 picnic sites, which are first-come, first-served.

Special Events at Eagle Creek Park

The park offers an array of special events throughout the year that cater to different interests. There’s always something happening here, from concerts featuring local bands like Wife Patrol to various other social activities.

Summer Concerts

In Concert with Nature

Experience the harmonious blend of music and nature at “In Concert with Nature,” a series of enchanting performances held every other Wednesday from May 31 to August 23.

Jazz at the Beach

Experience the soothing melodies and rhythmic beats of Jazz at the Beach, a captivating concert series held every other Wednesday from June 7 to August 30. Set against the stunning backdrop of Eagle Creek Beach, these unforgettable performances commence at 6:30 pm.

Kids Fishing Derby

This long-running event introduces youngsters to the pleasures of the ‘ol fishing hole – aka Eagle Creek Park’s Lilly Lake! Kids 4-14 are invited to this annual catch-and-release event. No fishing license is required and all participants are admitted to the park with no gate fee.

Kids Fishing Derby at Eagle Creek Park
Kids Fishing Derby at Eagle Creek Park

 

Upcoming Events at Eagle Creek Park:

February

202429feb10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

March

202405mar10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202419mar10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202427mar3:00 pm3:45 pmFeeding Time at Eagle Creek3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278CategoryFree,Hike/Walk,OutdoorsFilterFree

April

202401apr10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202403apr3:00 pm3:45 pmFeeding Time at Eagle Creek3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278CategoryFree,Hike/Walk,OutdoorsFilterFree

202415apr10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202429apr10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

May

202408may10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202411mayAll Day12Eagle Creek Park Birding Festival(All Day) Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278CategoryFree,OutdoorsFilterFree

202422may10:00 am11:00 amStory Time on the Reservoir10:00 am - 11:00 am Eagle Creek Park Earth Discovery Center, 5901 Delong Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46254CategoryFree,Park Event,StorytimeFilterFree

202424may3:00 pm3:45 pmFeeding Time at Eagle Creek3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278CategoryFree,Hike/Walk,OutdoorsFilterFree

202429may3:00 pm3:45 pmFeeding Time at Eagle Creek3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Eagle Creek Park, 7840 W 56th St, Indianapolis, IN 46278CategoryFree,Hike/Walk,OutdoorsFilterFree

What is the Eagle Creek Park Foundation?

The Eagle Creek Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides volunteer and financial support to Eagle Creek Park in order to promote, preserve, protect, and enhance the park for future generations to enjoy. It is not a part of the Indy Parks system, and has no authority to make or implement park policy. Find more info here. 

 

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