Best hikes in Hoosier National Forest

June 14, 2012

Has anyone ever been to Hoosier National Forest? Any recommendations on what hikes to do/ campgrounds to stay at? roadtrip
camping in the Hoosier forest for a couple nights, looking for cool hikes.
I'm based in Washington, DC

June 17, 2012

Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest, located in the hills of south central Indiana. The forest is  managed by the United States Forest Service. At a drive of 2 hour from Cincinnati, Evansville, Indianapolis, and Louisvill, this place offers many options like hunting, fishing, hiking, and to reconnect with nature 

There are over 260 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area in this forest is accessible only through hiking and no vehicle is allowed here. In all to capture the essence of nature in true sense this is a must visit place.

A visitor's review:

Hoosier National Forest is almost entirely open to hunting during legal season, so if you go in from October 1st-December 31st invest in a cheap oversized blaze orange vest like they sell at Wally World for a few bucks. If you take small kids during the fall dress them like pumpkins. Around the semi-developed areas like Springs Valley and Hemlock Cliffs there's not much danger of accidentally entering private land. On the undeveloped sites you'll need a map and a GPS unit to avoid private property--for the most part the property boundaries are totally unmarked by the US Forest Service. Solitude and nature are hard commodities to find in Indiana. The state park and reservoir properties are I.M.H.O. theme parks catering to carloads of suburbanites from Indianapolis/Louisville etc. trying to get a peak at nature from their air-conditioned cars. If that's what you're after, try Shades, Turkey Run, McCormick's Creek, or Spring Mill State Parks. The 'Hoosier' for the most part does not cater to this very large market. If you're looking for quiet and solitude and have no access to private land,'The Hoosier' is your best bet in Indiana. Just don't go there during fireams deer season(the last half of November). On opening day,some areas sound like Omaha Beach on D-Day. Deer and hunter densities are both high.

 (Source: Often barely used by the general public - Hoosier National Forest - Epinions.com)

1. Birdseye Trail

Birdseye Trail is a 11.8 mile long trail and is operated by US Forest Service. A travel permit is required for horse riders or mountain bikers. It’s a single tract trail consisting 2 loops – 6 mile fire road loop and 6 mile single tract loop. I am sure you will enjoy this trail.

birdseye trail
Views: 7Rating: Duration: 47 secs
trail hike
hartleydl (Source: hartleydl)

Here's a review:

Lovely view of the absolutely beautiful lake, nice bathhouses and spacious, accommodating campsite. We swam in the lake with our dog and had a wonderful time here. In the morning we went biking and found some lovely little mountain biking/walking trails. The bathhouses are surprisingly large and clean for a state park. The prices were unbelievably reasonable and the staff member at the front was understanding and helpful when we expressed our wishes for a good view.

 (Source: Patoka Lake, Birdseye, Indiana - Reader Reviews Campgrounds)

Location: 248 15th Street

Telephone: 812-547-7051

2. Shirley Creek Trail

Shirley Creek Trail is a multiple trail with many climbs some of which are steep. The trail maintenance is good with nice loops. It runs appox. 19.5 miles This trail is fun but definitely challenging. Loops within loops are quite  tricky. 

pic 8136 (Source: VirtualErn)

A review:

Shirely Creek trail is a mixed use trail and many horse riders use this trail. With that in mind, there will be some areas of the trail chewed up by the horse hoofs. However, most all of the trails drain fairly well due to the often steep terrain. The Forest Service is slowly providing maintenance of the trails which consists of spreading small /fine gravel over many areas of the trails. This gravel will help reduce the 'choppy' hoof marks left from the horses and provide longterm stability of the trail, but may seem to some like slightly taming the trail. I have ridden many trails used by horses and this does not bother me too much but has bothered others I have ridden with. Fewer serious large mud quagmires than most horse trails. Travel prepared to stay out for a while as it is a drive of some distance .

 (Source: Shirley Creek Trails Indiana Trail Reviews)

Another review:

Great trails. the camp is really nice. Built for horses. trails are great and tide. the best trail is bons chappel.

 (Source: Shirley Creek Trail Campground Reviews || Tripleblaze.com Camping & Hiking)

Location: Brownstown Ranger District 811 Constitution Avenue Bedford, IN 47421

Phone: 812-275-5987

3. German Ridge Trail

German Ridge Trail is a 23 mile long trail. You can do hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, all here. This trail is also operated by US Forest Service and permits are required for horse riders and mountain bikers. You will find many pine tress on this trail and a campground with pit toilets are also available here.

Beauty (Source: therichardlife)

A review for you:

Condition wise, this trail was pretty outstanding. Even after a pretty good rain for this area, the day before, the trails were all dry. It's a mixture of hardpack and also hardpack/gravel. Some double track, but mostly just wide which I don't mind at all. The forest service uses quads to maintain the trail and need the width so if it was all singletrack you can bet this place would be closed right now after a major ice storm. So I'm all for a little wider trail if it means being cleared, dry and staying open for use.

 (Source: German Ridge Indiana Trail Reviews)

Locatation : Ranger District 248 15th Street Tell City, IN 47586

Telephone: 812-547-7051

Camping Fee: 4$

4. Bluegill Campground

Located at an elevation of 640 ft Bluegill Campground is one of the six campground in the Hardin Ridge Recreational area. They provide tents with basic amenities and you can enjoy fishing here. This camp is open only from 15th April to 15th October. for reservations please Click here.

20120105-OC-AMW-0433 (Source: USDAgov)

A review:

I found out about this campground searching Google, and I tent camped there in April 2008. Describe your camping trip: If you enjoy fishing, this is a great place to camp. There are RV and tent sites, a nice size lake full of crappie, bluegill and bass. Boat rental available too. The store and bathrooms are newly renovated. Pros: Fishing, campsites, restrooms and store. Cons: We had no problems or stress. Great mini vacation spot. Nearby attractions: 25 minutes from Ft. Wayne where there are stores, restaurants, hospital. Further comments: We truly enjoyed ourselves. With gas prices so outrageous, we were happy to find a nice campground nearby.

 (Source: Campground Review - Camp Timber Lake, Huntington, Indiana)

Location: Chapel Hill Road off Indiana 446, Bloomington, IN, 47401

Telephone: (812) 275-5987

RESERVATIONS: 1-877-444-6777

Rate: $17 per day - no electric hookups

Hoosier National Forest

I hope this information will be help full. Do write to us to know more about accommodation or anything else you might need to know.

Enjoy your trip!



Hiking from the Hoosier National Forest to the Ohio River

Views: 395Rating: 5Duration: 102 secs
These are clips and pics from my hike from the Hoosier National Forest in Derby, IN to the Kentucky/Indiana border on the Ohio River.
earspratt (Source: earspratt)


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