Walk Through History
During the 2020 season, the trails and park are open for public use “daylight to dusk.”
We will NOT have any public bathrooms available. Please practice social distancing and stay safe.
The 10-mile Delphi Historic Trails system is comprised of 8 miles of rural, “open” space and two miles of urban “street side” trails. Trail routes run along the Wabash River, Deer Creek, and watered remnants of the Wabash & Erie Canal. They also take hikers and bikers past architectural gems in residential areas and through the Courthouse Square Historic District.
Some trails and roads in Canal Park were once the towing path traversed by mules and horses pulling canal boats. Those and other trails running through Canal Park are part of historic Delphi’s 10-mile trail system, perfect for hiking, biking, birdwatching, and even cross-country skiing.
Multiple access points in and out of town including access to the Towpath trails at Canal Park are open 365 days a year from dawn until dusk, free of charge. Several National Register sites to visit along the canal trails include: the 1838-39 Canal Construction Camp site; Lock #33 and the adjacent lockkeeper's home site; and the 1857 Harley and Hubbard Lime Kiln site.
Monon High Bridge Trail – 1.5 mile
To access the parking area, go on East Main Street to just before the junction with the four-lane Heartland Highway and turn left onto CR 300 North. Just beyond the RED bridge overpass is a sharp U turn right up the slope, where parking is available. Nearby to the west and on top across the RED trail bridge is a stub of Old Camden Road (gravel) where it meets the rail bed. In front of you to the left up the slope in the wooded area is Indiana 1816-1916 Centennial Stone, dedicated to General Samuel Milroy, who platted Delphi in 1828. To the right is a little open park containing Bicentennial Monument, which honors the State of Indiana at its 150th anniversary.
To the east of the parking area across the historic iron 300-foot blue Freedom Bridge. Continuing your hike for over a half mile on the level stone trail leads you to Monon High Bridge. This trail route traces the top of a high escarpment following the abandoned rail line. The unique topography and many active springs highlight Deer Creek running at the bottom of the steep slope. At the end of the trail the creek crosses under High Bridge itself. That 1892 massive iron span is Indiana’s second highest and third longest rail trestles. Current plans are underway to install decking and hand railing on the bridge and improve the trail surface with an asphalt surface.
Founders Towpath Trail – .5 mile
Between North Washington Street and Founders Point, this trail runs along the west side of the beautiful, watered section of the canal, joining the Draper Trail at the “tumble.” Here, three million gallons of fresh water from the Delphi Limestone Company’s diversion pumps enter the canal daily.
Draper North End Trail – .5 mile
Between Founders Point and North Washington Street, this trail runs past the National Register Harley and Hubbard Lime Kiln site, where locally quarried limestone was “burned” to produce mortar, plaster and whitewash in the canal era. The trail also passes the warehouse where the canal boat is housed.
Belt Railroad Trail – .3 mile
Between the North End Trail and Carrollton Road, this trail follows a century old path of the Delphi Commercial Club rail line. Here, the Harley Brothers Lime Kilns and Delphi Ice Plant operated into the 20th century. At the junction with Carrollton Road, the Wabash River Scenic Route, and the Wabash Heritage Corridor Trail begins, heading 5 miles north to Carrollton Bridge where canal boats crossed the Wabash.
Underhill Towpath Trail – .9 mile
Between Highway 421 and North Washington Street, this trail crosses over the Wabash and Erie Canal and runs through the heart of Canal Park along a very popular section of the canal.
VanScoy Towpath Trail – 1.0 miles
Between Highway 421 and Sunset Point, this trail contains many breathtaking views and historic sites. At the southern end is “Sunset Point,” overlooking where Deer Creek meets the Wabash. A rest area provides the hiker a serene view every season of the year. Along the way, you’ll pass Canal Lock #33 and the 1838-39 Irish Canal Construction Camp, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the site of two prosperous paper mills that operated in the mid 1800s.
Obear Millrace Loop Trail – .6 mile
A side trail off the VanScoy, this trail overlooks the Wabash River and then traces the channel up to the paper mill sites before rejoining it again. The mills received their power from the surplus canal water which then exited to the river.
Robbins Trail – .5 mile
Connecting the VanScoy Towpath Trail with Interurban Trail and Happy Jack’s Loop, this trail runs past the end of a suspension bridge in Trailhead Park, under SR 25, and past beautiful Deer Creek Falls. Lined with tall sycamore and cottonwood trees, it traces Deer Creek along the shale bluff that once was the edge of a man-made lake used to convey canal boats across the valley. This thinly layered dark stone bluff protruded almost to the Wabash River.
Happy Jack’s Loop – .5 mile
A loop trail off the Interurban, this beautiful trail runs between the old Smith Dairy Farm site and the east end of the Robbins Trail at Deer Creek Falls, tracing along the north bank of Deer Creek.
Interurban Trail – .8 mile
Between SR 25 and VanDerVolgen Overlook at Deer Creek Falls, this trail joins the Robbins Trail and offers scenic views. In the early 1900s, commuter electric trains, called “Interurbans,” ran on narrow tracks along the elevated portions of the current trail. The VanDerVolgen rest area, named in memory of a local blacksmith and canal volunteer, is on the high pillar of a bridgebabutment overlooking beautiful Deer Creek Falls.
Gateway Trail – from Canal Park through downtown onto South Delphi
This trail starts as a stone trail out of Canal Park’s Pioneer Village, crosses over the Canal on Gray Bridge and winds past the County Historical Society’s Museum beside Adams Street, then follows with a well-marked hard surface, skateable trail to downtown. Gateway trail proceeds on past the Courthouse Square and continues beside Washington Street on its way through south Delphi. It allows for “safe routes to schools” for children attending community’s Elementary/Secondary/High School complex.
Downtown Loop Trail – .9 mile
Between 421 and points downtown, this urban trail connects the outlying trail system with the Delphi Courthouse Square National Register Historic District. It follows streets past beautiful and architecturally noteworthy residential and commercial buildings, including the Carroll County Courthouse. Antique stores, shops and restaurants dot this charming area.
Riley-City Trail – 1.5 mile
Between a point on the North End Trail to a junction with the Interurban Trail, this urban trail runs past many architecturally significant homes in Delphi and through Riley Park, named for Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. The trail follows along and crosses Deer Creek twice (once over a suspension bridge), and under State Road 25 into more of Riley Park.
Campbell Ridge Trail – 1-mile loop
Begin and end at a small parking area along the west side of State Road 25, just south of Trailhead Park. A short hike up the slope reveals a high bluff overlooking the confluence of Deer Creek and the Wabash River, at one time a “slack water” crossing for canal boats. The very last canal boat to reach this site in 1874 met an unfortunate end when it crashed into the rotting wooden spillway and collapsed the dam, dumping the boat, mules, driver and cargo into the Wabash.
See the Interactive Map!
Get a closer look at Canal Park with our Interactive Map!
Make a reservation to bring your class to the canal for a fun and enriching experience.
Our beautiful and historic trails are OPEN! Learn more about the trails and get some fresh air.
It’s as important as it is a pleasure to learn about those who have come before us and all the brave and impressive things they did which led up to the modern world we live in today. Learn more from the Learning Center on our site, starting with Canal History.
Things to Do
Come one, come all! Whether you have a school group, an event that needs hosting, or you plan on making a day trip, there’s no shortage of fun activities, period architecture, and educational displays to keep you engaged and inspired during your time here.
Weddings & Events
Your wedding day is one of the most memorable and magical days of your life. Bring your family and your friends, and we’ll supply the atmosphere to make your big day one to remember with memories and photos full of old-world charm. Contact us to reserve the Chapel and Canal Boat.