From rails to trails, the Nickel Plate Trail in Fishers is nearly complete.
According to Sarah Sandquist, director of parks and recreation for the city of Fishers, “people are using it to exercise, they're using it to walk their dogs. They're biking, they're running, they're jogging, they're walking.”
This used to be the Nickel Plate Rail Line, where the Indiana State Fair train would run every summer.
“We removed the tracks in 2019 and started working on the Master Plan and the design process to convert the entire rail line, our portion of the Fisher's portion, which is about five and a half miles, into a multi-use trail," Sandquist said.
The first part of the trail, from North Street to 126th Street, is newly paved. When that was finished, Sandquist said it was paved up to 146th Street. But there's still more to do.
"We're still working on the final piece… the 106th Street to 96th Street, including a pedestrian bridge over 96th Street," Sandquist said. "And then also working with the city of Indianapolis and city of Noblesville with their connections as well.”
The tunnel underneath 116th is done and open for walking, running, or biking.
According to Sandquist, the tunnel is “really wide, so it doesn't feel like you're, you know, as enclosed in a tunnel. It's 20 feet wide and tall.”
It has safety features along the trail, including pedestal lights and security cameras.
And just north of 116th Street there's a magnificent mural.
“This mural was part of our Fisher's Arts and Culture Commission grants program and went through a jury process to select the artist and then worked with her," Sandquist said. “It's really a taste of Fishers and the goal was to represent everything that is Fishers and being a resident of Fishers."
She said the mural depicts both high schools, the amphitheater and the Bell Ford Bridge, which is going to connect the Geist Greenway over the east side of Fishers.
"It just really exemplifies what it is to be in Fishers," she said.
The grand opening celebration is Saturday, May 14. There are two events, one for families from noon to 4 p.m. and then another from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., which will be more adult-focused.