Certified Sustainable Trails

Our River of Time Trails, a network of Sustainable Trails certified by the Indiana Wildlife Federation,

are an opportunity to explore a 1,000-year-old village, a 100-year-old farmstead, and a blooming, innovative land stewardship project. Travel trails tied to the stories of people since time immemorial. Our trails are easy hikes, with flat terrain and options for quarter mile or half-mile walks. Interpretive signage will guide you through the many stories the Guard Site has to offer. You can even add to your experience with an augmented reality tour integrated into existing trails. The trails will take you on a journey through patches of wildflowers, native prairie restorations, ongoing archaeological excavations, and the heart of a village that thrived along the Great Miami River 1,000 years ago.  

Our journey to sustainability began as we started planning our trails. The Guard Site is a special place, and such places deserve careful stewardship that is archaeologically ethical, economically sustainable, and ecologically responsible. We have partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service branch of the USDA to ensure high-quality conservation practices. Our trails meet the Indiana Wildlife Federation’s Gold Level Certification by encouraging the growth of native species, providing habitats and nesting areas for native wildlife, enhancing natural biodiversity, and working toward an environmentally friendly corridor to be used by both humans and animals.  

The trails are ever-changing, offering a new perspective each time you visit. In the upcoming years, watch for accessible trails, new interpretive signs, returning native species, archaeological excavations, an experimental archaeology lab, and new, longer trails, adding to your exploration of the Guard Site and the sustainability of this special place. 


Our certified sustainable site trails at ARI provide an interactive experience to the public free of charge. Through support from generous donors, we share our trails with over 1,000+ visitors in 2021 and are projected to triple that in 2022. Sponsors enjoy a range of benefits, including recognition on the trail signs and on our start page of our Augmented Reality experience, as well as invitations to special events, and media coverage including Great Outdoor Weekends and National Trail Day! Be recognized as an official trail sponsor with as little as $500 through our Trails & Tours Fund. For a more customized sponsorship, contact our Resource Development Director at nichelle@exploreari.org for more information.  


The Archaeological Research Institute (ARI) recognizes that the land we study and steward is the homeland of many peoples. We acknowledge the myaamia (Miami), Shawanwa (Shawnee), Peewaalia (Peoria), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) and the multitude of nations who call this their homelands.  

ARI recognizes the violence inflicted upon the indigenous Nations of the Ohio Valley, including their forced removal following treaties such as Fort Finney and Greenville. ARI condemns the intentional destruction of their languages and cultures. ARI condemns the continuous discrimination against the living Native peoples throughout the United States.  

ARI recognizes that these peoples are not of the past, but are vibrant living nations. ARI recognizes that Native Americans are a diverse, resilient people with a deep enduring history worth knowing.  In that light ARI extends our respect to all Native peoples both past and present.  

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