Last September, I shared at Indiana Outdoors about an Indianapolis park not far from my home, Pogue’s Run Art and Nature Park. At the time I was most interested in the egret I’d seen most of the summer while driving home in the evenings, but I discovered this morning that this park holds some hidden secrets.
Pogue’s Run is a small creek that winds it’s way from approximately Arlington High School on North Arlington Ave, through the east side of Indianapolis and Arsenal Tech High School, to downtown. The creek disappears into an underground pipe and flows under both Bankers Life Fieldhouse (home of the Pacers) and Lucas Oil Stadium (home of the Colts) before emptying into the White River. It is named for George Pogue, a blacksmith and one of the first white settlers of Marion County. His disappearance in 1821 is one of the enduring mysteries of Indianapolis.
The park is not initially welcoming. First, it is hard to find. There are no signs on Emerson Avenue or 21st Street directing the visitor to the park. (Hint: go north on Dequincy Street from 21st and be careful of the tracks.) Further, the park is hemmed in between I-70 and 2 active railways. Noise and litter are constant problems.
However, if you DO find the park’s spacious parking lot, and venture further than the first pond, you’ll find many surprises. First, the park’s wetlands are a terrific place for watching wildlife. Geese, ducks, and red-winged blackbirds are ubiquitous in any Hoosier wetland, but the park also supports herons, egrets, turtles, and a beaver lodge. It’s also featured in the Indy Birding Trail.
Second, the park was developed in conjunction with the Herron School of Art and Design, now a part of IUPUI. The students developed public art pieces, many of which double as places to sit as you watch the animals of the wetland.
Third, there are approximately two miles of crushed stone trails. I was on foot today, but it looks like a really nice place for cycling. The Indy Greenways plan calls for creating Pogue’s Run Trail, a greenway connecting Pogue’s Run park with Brookside and Spade’s parks down stream and maybe even into downtown’s Cultural Trail and the north-side’s Monon Trail.
Finally, one of the bordering railways crosses Pogue’s Run on an picturesque wooden trestle bridge.