Fishers White River Park – The Master Plan for a Nature Park

White River Park snippet

The White River Park in Fishers has been a discussion point for several months now. The park would be located north of 96th Street on the southwestern corner along the White River within Fishers.

The City of Fishers has created a tentative master plan for what they envision in the White River Park. This plan had been created to get an idea of what could be done with the land in the case the city acquired it. The vision includes a focus on nature over athletics; however, the park planning is still in the earlier stage with public comments and presentations expected in the future.

What is expected in the park?

The park initial master plan includes a number of interesting features. These include a treehouse and open-air shelters. There are also a pedestrian board walk, an overlook, and a vehicle-rated bridge. A hammock grove is also mentioned. There would also be natural surface trails, paved trails a bike course, and possibly even a rope course.

With the park being along the White River, it makes sense that there would also be a canoe launch. A pond on the property would also allow for fishing and boating as well.

The initial plan includes a three phase approach. The first phasewould be the middle section of the park:

White River Park Phase I
White River Park – Proposed Phase 1

Phase 2 would be along 96th Street on the south side of the park:

White River Park - Phase 2
White River Park – Proposed Phase 2

Phase 3 of the White River Park would be on the north side of the park. This phase would finish the area between the new park and the existing Heritage Park that is located next to the White River at roughly 106th Street.

White River Park - Phase 3
White River Park – Proposed Phase 3

The entire park would extend from 96th Street all the way north to Heritage Park. When completed, residents would be able to bike, hike, or run from Heritage Park nearly all the way to 96th Street using the trails:

White River Park master plan
White River Park – Master Plan diagram

The City of Fishers recently acquired the land, so the possibility for this park now exists. With other parks and trails already in the works, the questions tend to fall onto funding. As with the Geist Trail and other proposed projects, there is an indication that the City is applying for grants to help cover the costs. The question to be seen is whether those grants will happen. (Update: The city has applied with 8 other municipalities for a READI Grant, which the City hopes to use to fund Phase 1 of this project.)

The Nickel Plate Trail Master Plan contains a promise of a lot of features that have not been created, nor has even the basic trail’s asphalt been completed all the way from 146th Street to 96th Street. Additionally, the Geist Waterfront Park is just beginning and also has multiple phases and a lot of features. With a community center and yet another trail in the Geist area also being discussed by the City, one has to wonder how much funding is actually available.

All of these projects sound fantastic, but let’s hope the City isn’t taking on or promising more than what can be done with the available funding. One thing is pretty certain – if the fund can be found and White River Park can be created based on the proposed plan, then the park will make a great addition to the City. Additionally, Fishers would finally fully tap into a great asset it has along its entire west side – the White River.

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Update: For more from Fishers on the park, you can go to

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