FishersTOS: Fishers 2023 Summer Parks Challenge

Fishers has evolved over the years. Fishers continues to evolve every year. Just two years ago, you could have visited Pocket Park in Fishers and looked at the artwork or sat on a bench. Today that is gone and other things have replaced it.

Fishers continues to grow and many people continue to be unaware of some of the hidden little features that are tucked in around our park. I have done two things that really exposed me to the breadth and scope of Fishers. One was to run for school board for HSE the other was to create a book that used the parks in Fishers.

One of the things that I did when running was to put a sign at each of the schools in the district. While this took me outside of Fishers when I traveled to Durbin Elementary, most of the schools in the district are in town. If you ever want to get a feel for the size of our City and the school district, travel from Riverside Intermediate/Junior High to Geist Elementary School, then to Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate/Junior High then up to Durbin, and back over to Harrison Parkway Elementary School. It is a pretty long drive. It is also an interesting tour to see the vast variety of our schools. Swinging past Deer Creek Elementary or Southeastern Elementary will also give a view of the variety of schools.

In creating the book Spot the Difference in Fishers, Indiana: City Parks Edition, I travelled to all of the parks in Fishers. Like the vast variety of schools, it was interesting to see the vast array of parks within our City. These include lots of local parks, a county park, and two nature preserves. There is a river, a reservoir, several creeks, and lots of other bodies of water as well as a vast variety of activities.

I mention all this because there is a lot to be discovered in Fishers, Indiana. With summer now starting, I issue a challenge to those that want to learn more about Fishers. The following are ten things to do or places to go around town related to our parks. Hopefully you’ll find something new or surprising in this list. Fishers has a lot to offer, so check it out! Take the challenge and do all 10!

The 2023 FishersTOS Summer Challenge

  1. Stand on the dock at Cheeney Creek. This is one of the more hidden things in Fishers and can be a fun adventure to find. There is a dock on the water. Can you find it and go out to the end?
  2. Toss a rock into the White River on the Fishers side! It’s easy to do this from the Carmel side because there are a variety of parks along the West side of the river in Carmel. It might sound challenging to do this from the Fishers side – at least until the new White River Park is built, but there are actually three or four places that you can easily do this. The most obvious is from Conner Prairie, but I suggest trying to do it from the north side of 116th Street. Why this location? Several reasons. One, you can drive all the way to the river – literally. Two, you’ll discover an easy location to launch a kayak if you have one as well a good place to end canoe trips. If these reasons don’t interest you, then there are two different places south of 116th that you can access the river today.
  3. Climb a treehouse. There are many things you can do in Flat Fork Park, and one is to enter the treehouses. These are fun discoveries and often have hammocks near or around them. If you are an off road biker, then take your bike to find the treehouses!
  4. Visit the Fishers Parks and Recreation Office. This might sound like an odd adventure, but it isn’t as odd as you think. You have likely heard of the Hub & Spoke, but most people have never seen it. The Hub & Spoke is actually a building that you can go into that has a first floor with many businesses within it including the Parks office. You can go in and look around to see what all the hubbub was about the Hub! The parks people are also fun to simply go in and say “Hi!” to as well. Last time I was there I believe I got a Fishers sticker!
  5. Play frisbee golf. You can use a regular frisbee or there are actually frisbee golf frisbees you can order online or get at stores like Meijer. There are lots of frisbee golf courses in the area, but since this is a Fishers Challenge, I suggest you do the simple course at Cumberland Road Park. This is a nice little course that goes around the open field, so it isn’t too difficult.
  6. Walk the Nickel Plate Trail. I have talked a lot about the Nickel Plate Trail. Most of it has been about what the City said it would cost versus what the Fishers residents have actually paid – and will be paying to complete it. There are lots of places to jump onto the trial; however, I recommend not using 131st Street from the westside to get to the trail due to lack of safety – at least until the City builds a promised sidewalk. Good places to jump onto the trail are 106th Street or downtown. I recommend walking or biking the entire trail up to 146th and down to at least 106th. If pavement to 96th is completed before the end of the summer, then add that to the challenge as well. As a part of this challenge, make sure to go under the road and make sure to sit on the swings at 116th. You don’t need to do the entire trail in one jaunt. If walking, do it over the course of a couple of visits! You can start downtown and go north one time, then do the same only going south on another day.
  7. Splash somebody. If you don’t want to get wet, then take a kid or other person and let them get wet. Do this at one of the little splash parks we have within town. There are three that are easy to get to. This includes the one in the Nickel Plate District, although it might be closed some days due to construction of the new City building. There are also ones at the Roy Holland Park and Billericay Park.
  8. In Indiana it can rain, so challenge number 8 is also indoors similar to challenge 4. This challenge is to do a nature craft. More specifically it is to go to the Fishers Public Library and do a nature craft in the Ignite Studio. With the new entrance to the library, the Ignite Studio area is much more accessible. If you go into the Ignite area and ask a librarian about doing a nature craft, they are likely to overwhelm you with possibilities. The area of the library is loaded with supplies and kids that will let you do things ranging from painting to drawing, to doing a variety of crafty kits – and again, they have all the stuff you need and much of it is at no cost if you have a library card. Do a craft tied to nature or Fishers.
  9. Sit on the bench overlooking Geist Reservoir or bring your binoculars to look for birds in the bird sanctuary. This is a challenge you likely won’t hear from Fishers Parks because this is accomplished by going to Geist Park (not Geist Waterfront Park) of Florida Road. You can take the trail along Fall Creek to the end where there is a bench you can sit on to look out over the water. It’s a fun, flat trail that often has people fishing by it since it follows the edge of Fall Creek.
  10. Walk a trail at Ritchie Woods. If you’ve never walked the trails at Ritchie woods, then you’ve missed another hidden little gem in town. Walk one of the dirt paths through the woods. You’ll go by the creeks and get a good feel for nature. You might even get to see some of the local animals!

I toss these ten challenges to you to do this summer here in Fishers! If you do them, take pictures and post it on social media into the Fishers Chatter Group or respond to this article on the FishersTOS Facebook page. Share what you discovered about Fishers that you didn’t know was here! Most of all, have fun discovering some of the hidden gems we have around town!

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