GET ROLLING: 5 great bike rides in Carmel

Are you ready to get rolling in Carmel?

Thanks to the “polar vortex” and a variety of other pleasantries, this has been a great summer season for bicycling in Carmel. Crisp mornings, low-humid days and beautiful sunsets have made biking more pleasurable than ever before.

But where to bike? Carmel is filled with multi-purpose paths, wide sidewalks and safe street lanes that entice all bikers – from beginners to pro's – to get out and turn the wheels on the regular basis.

Earlier, on our Twitter page, we asked some of our readers to help us compile a list of 5 great bike routes in Carmel. Here, in no certain order, we present the results, with our take as to why we enjoy them.

Perhaps you have your own ideas? Go to our Facebook page and let us know what you think.

Hagan-Burke Trail

What it is: An offshoot of the Monon Trail, less than two miles long, connecting the Monon to 146th Street on the northside of Carmel.

Cool feature: This trail is not a straight line, but a scenic little jaunt that runs by Cool Creek and provides for some nice scenery.

Bonus: It runs ever so close to Dairy Queen, just in case you’re looking for a reason to stop for ice cream.

Monon Trail

What it is: Most popular trail in Carmel and central Indiana; extends from downtown Indianapolis, north through Carmel and up into Westfield.

Cool feature: Long, linear and not many hills. This is a trail built for folks who want low-impact biking, but with long stretches. It can be crowded, however, so caution is important, especially in downtown Carmel.

Bonus: Slow point at Main Street in Carmel; might as well stop for a beer, burger or pizza. Plenty of choices here.

HazelDell Parkway

What it is: A five-mile parkway with mostly roundabouts at major intersections. Nice paths are not as congested as the Monon, but equally straight and mostly linear with few hills.

Cool feature: Long stretches of sidewalk allow you to pick up speed and work up a good sweat, although you do need to be careful of the occasional jogger or baby stroller.

Bonus: At 116th Street, go to the west and enjoy a very cool water stop near Gray Road – the Flowing Well Park. Great place to cool down and fill up your water bottles.

Village of West Clay

What it is: A huge, upper-scale community in West Clay that offers a web of streets that meander around one of the most beautiful communities in Carmel.

Cool feature: Many scenic views with distinct properties, incredible landscaping and unique places to stop for a breather.

Bonus: Trail within the Village of West Clay connects to the south to Coxhall Gardens, another beautiful park to check out; and then you are just a short ride away from West Park. So much to see.

White River Greenway

What it is: A river-hugging trail off River Road, just south of 146th Street, leading to River Road Park near 126th Street.

Cool feature: High above the waters of the river, this often shaded path gives casual bike riders beautiful views of the water and its natural setting.

Bonus: Double up on the fun by grabbing your poles and some bait. You can do some fishing once you get to River Road Park, where there is also a pretty impressive playground.