Hickory Ridge Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Norman, IN that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hickory Ridge Trails offers users 46.7 miles of loops, lines, and connecting routes penetrating deeply through both cool dense forests of hardwood trees and open meadows with scenic beauty at every view. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Etiquette and Rules Horse riders and mountain bikers (age 17 years and older) are required to have a permit and stay on trails designated for that type of use. Permits are available from our offices and local vendors. Observe the following trail courtesy: Mountain bikers yield to horse riders and hikers. Make your approach known in advance. Hikers yield to horse riders. Horse riders control your horse. Pack out your trash. Motorized travel is not permitted. Safety Use caution during hunting seasons. Blaze orange clothing is recommended (do not wear white) during deer season. If a parking lot is not available where you wish access, be sure your vehicle is well off the road. Many trails intersect roadways. If you choose to use a road as part of your trip, be mindful of traffic. Ticks and chiggers are prevalent in southern Indiana. Take necessary precautions including avoiding tall grass and thick brushy areas. Loose limbs and hazard trees can fall on the trail at anytime, especially on windy days. Emergencies Nearest public phone is located in Heltonville, IN The nearest hospital is located in Bedford, IN Lawrence County Sheriff: 812-275-3316 or 911. Indiana Conservation Officers: 812-837-9536.
Many different variations of backpacking available. Spend a few nights backpacking, or spend a few hours. I stayed out there two nights, and I did not walk the trails. There were quite a few horse riders, one biker, and no other backpackers. There is a horse campground that is pretty central, if you want to be near some other people, or there are many different private campsites with more privacy than any I have seen in Indiana. Just go out to the area and drive around until you find the perfect area, then find one of the parking sites along the road that are marked/numbered, and then start backpacking or stay and camp there on site.
I just parked my car in the center of the horse camp area, so that I did not take any spots from those whom have horses may need. From there I hiked North, with intention to camp for a few days on the southeast side of Lake Monroe. On the way, we decided to check out Lake Tarzian, which is just southeast of Lake Monroe. There is moderate vegetation if you plan to walk off trail to avoid other people and riders, but there is lots of change in elevation. You make pick to avoid this vegetation, but now you must trek up and down multiple ridges that are >50 degree angles up and down. We only ran into one hunter, but he waved and was friendly.
Upon arriving at Lake Tarzian, we popped out of the woods after two killer ridge climbs. Where we popped out of on the southeast edge of the lake, and it was beautiful. Check out my pictures to see the sunset I captured. Just before the sunset, Ed and Anne drove there Gator of to our camp site, which was hidden under overhanging trees in the distance. These two own the property and take very good care of it. Very clean water and beautiful landscaping. It was like walking into paradise after a 10 mile hike through stickers and over ridges. They asked us to leave, but were kind enough to let us stay after some nice conversation. If you want to stay here, check out my pictures, then call ahead and make it your destination by their approval. It is gorgeous.
My only dislike was the overwhelming number of trails, and not having much description of any of them via the maps. This is why we went of trail, not using the map, and ended up on private property. Check out the fire tower, watch a sunset, and enjoy all of rolling hills of Hoosier National Forest.