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Backpacking Map

One of my favorites

Nice trail but often muddy near west side of Twin Creek. You can hike higher trail to avoid the mud.

Good time...

The trail was very good marked and maintained pretty good as well. We went early on a Saturday and just saw one parked car but met no other hikers at all. We saw a few deers, chipmunks and beautiful wildflowers. There were some spider webs but not an awful lot, we experienced worse. The flies were kinda annoying though. The only downside and the reason for not giving this one 5 stars is the amount of flies, mosquitos and that we got attacked by mini ticks. Long pants, long socks and anti tick spray on shoes, socks and pants didn’t hold them back. Besides that it was a really pretty and strenuous trail. I’d suggest to start the loop by going left, then you’ll start out with a couple of climbs and the second half is mostly flat. I’d defiantly do this one again, but I’d check for the mini ticks every couple of hours. Those are nasty!

7 days ago

Backpacked the full route this past weekend with friends. Loved the trail and terrain. Hats off to the volunteers who've created, maintained, blazed, etc. these trails. Fantastic job. Couple of quick tidbits to pass along, buy the official trail map - I can't imagine how much more difficult it would have been without it. Download the HHC trail guide and take it with you. It has key info regarding places where it would be easy to get lost, and upcoming water. Note that the Pine Rd. exit off 37 no longer exists so you'll have to access the SF HQ from the south (Bloomington) or the north (Martinsville). Stop for a cold drink at the Hickory Shades motel in Belmont, the only vending machine we found on the route.
90 degree days with no breeze to speak of...quite a challenge. I'd like to do it again in the full color of fall.

trail 2 is excellent, best trail there especially because it's low traffi,. there is no trespassing signs near the waterfall but no one ever stops us from going to it, and it's safe. my gf and I take trail 2 as warm ups before doing long backcountry packing trips.

11 days ago

Horrible. Not worth it. Trails need to be cleared of brush and many parts are not walkable. Full of poison ivy and ticks. No warnings about how the place has become overrun with ticks until you do a lot of digging on the Hoosier National Forest website. I hope no one gets Lyme Disease here. Please go somewhere else.

Great but long, if you take trail 2 the creek way the rocky trail both beautiful and challenging

Overgrown; covered in poison ivy, stickers and spider webs. Lake campsites are nice though.

15 days ago

good trail with dog.

Great hike. Bring bug spray.

The trail is well marked, but is closer to 3 miles instead of the 2.25-2.5 that I've read elsewhere. There's not a lot to look at along the way, but is about the right distance for a family. The fact that there is water, an outhouse and firewood are added benefits for a family trip.

The trail is wide enough to walk side by side in some sections, while in others it's barely a foot wide, with brush rubbing against your legs. where we went under the power lines, the weeds were over our heads and rubbing against us. Despite having only sprayed our knees and below, we all made it out without ticks or chiggers.

Firewood is self-serve, just deposit the $5 fee in the slot. If you can't register up front, the ranger will come collect and register you, but be aware that unlike the firewood fee, the campsite is actually $12.84, because they collect tax.

This trail is a nice feature that would be nice to see at more Indiana DNR properties.

21 days ago

it's pretty, not too bad of a trail

Hiked the whole 11 mile, 1600+ elevation, hills, tight ridge passes, climbs as good as it gets for nontechnical. Red pines at 870, , no droning traffic noises, very very lightly trafficked. Amazing time. Whoever designed this trail must receive a medal. Why 15 reviews? It may not be pet/kid friendly but it is definitely serious hiker friendly.

Not extremely scenic and the trail was littered with spider webs. Bring plenty of water as well, drank about 3 liters myself on the hike. The overlooks of the lakes however are pretty, and at one end of the trail, you end up walking through an open prairie which is a nice break from the woods.

28 days ago

This metro park, and specifically this trail, is a gem for the Gem city. It has some great vantage points and many different ecosystems to observe and explore. I saw a wild turkey while on this trail, as well as many rabbits and toads.

The orange trail has many connection points with other trails so that you can customize your experience each time you visit. I backpacked to one of the designated campsites by way of this trail and a few connecting trails. Overall it seemed very well maintained and regularly travelled through compared to some other sections of the park, which were laced with spider webs and partially overgrown.

This trail tends to get muddy, so I would recommend gaiters or something to prevent the mud and moisture from getting to your socks.

1 month ago

Went with my wife on her first backpacking trip. Didn’t get full trail in and had spots that were grown over and had to carefully look for blazes. Plan to do myself in the near future.

I love this trail. It is a large amount of traversing over creek rock. As you get closer to the waterfall the creek rock turns to boulders, but is definitely worth the climb. You are not permitted to go below the waterfall, as there are no trespassing signs once you get there, but there is an observation area that gives you a great look. The observation area requires you to climb ladders to get there, but if you can handle the trail up to this point, it should be no problem.

1 month ago

An early mile of poor marked trail, swiftly becomes a most awesome and varied nature experience. Its got groves, glens, rivers and roads. Perfect lunch spot at about mile 5.5 of the backpacking trail (rock ledge overlooking river). Very islolated - we didnt see a soul. Backpacking camps had bathrooms, garbage, picnic tables. There def are good water sources (not filtered) but need to plan that out - some would be hard to get to though you’re essentially following a river the whole time.

Great hike. Can’t wait to do it again.

There was Horse poop, deep mud and to many spider webs ! An easy hike on gravel that I am not fond of especially when going down hill. I did enjoy the view of the lake.

1 month ago

My wife and i starting at Rock Creek Trail head and moving counterclockwise. we cached two gallons water one at Pioneer Picnic Shelter and one where the trail crosses Cold Friday Road,we Hiked approximately 17 Miles(counting the reroute) the first day and camped at Homestead Overnight Shelter on Day two we hiked 11.4 miles to are car we did get a pretty hard rain storm early the morning of the last day we where there but the creeks where steal dry. We complete the trail in two days and one night. The trail is pretty challenging with lots of ups and downs. There is a reroute at Pioneer Picnic Shelter that includes a road walk and an incredibly muddy and poorly marked horse trail that was pretty terrible. The overgrown parts of the trail has a very high Deer & Wood Tick presence. Water is very scarce on this trail as well, with lots of dry creek-beds witch we new that why you shoud cache water along the trail all in all we did have a OK time but will not becoming back any time soon this trail would be good to hike in early spring or late fall when the ticks are not so bad.

This was a very challenging hike. The amount switchbacks were surprising. I have gone on plenty of other hikes, but the bugs on this one was too much. Nats, big spiders, plenty of mosquitos. On the second day of the hike the trail came to a fork in the road, with no sign as which way to go. That added more time to the trip. We ended up having to hitch hike back to the car.

did this trail with my dog and for kids ranging ages 12 to 9 years old. we had a great time! Trail to is I Walk Alone the creek bed so you will get your feet wet. then Trail 8 is an uphill Trail to leave. there were some spots where I was glad I had a walking stick with me. overall a good little late afternoon hike with kids to get out and see nature.

1 month ago

TRAIL 2 and 8 DO NOT CONNECT AT NORTH END. Trail 2 is an out and back trail if you go all the way up to the waterfall. you would need to hike back down to trails 5 or 8 to exit trail 2.

TRAIL 2 IS ALSO VERY RUGGED. it is literally in the creekbed of the river. you will get wet, and depending on how much rain there has been it could be nearly impassable at parts. I would not recommend this trail for kids or children.

Having said that, my SO and I did all the trails in the park and trail 2 was the most scenic and the least traveled. The view of the waterfall when you get up to the end of trail 2 is just surreal. I proposed to my SO at the end of trail 2 (base of big clifty) and it was just stunning scenery.

an alternative to get to trail 2 is to park at structure B (oak grove shelter) and then hike trail 5 to 2. this would also be an out and back route

Be prepared for Defcon 5-level mosquitoes. Much of the Waterloo side is covered in horse excrement, and the horses also do a pretty good job of tearing up the trail, so parts of it will feel like walking through sand. The Pinckney side has much higher quality trails, both in terms of scenery and trail maintenance. Ran into one person on the trail while hiking during weekdays.

Itinerary: Portage Lake trailhead > Pines campground > Green Lake Campground > Silver Lake. Around 10-11 miles each day for a 3 day/2 night sprint.

Be aware that Green Lake campground is a drive in campsite and there may be plenty of people on the weekends, so try to arrive early as you cannot reserve in advance and must self-register (bring cash, $17).

Pines DOES have water about 1/4 mile north - there is a water spigot near the gate to the stable area.

Green Lake also has a water pump.

Just remember to permethrin your gear, wear deet, and wear long sleeve shirts/pants.

2 months ago

Good trail, don't do it after a rain though, trail will be really muddy.

I loved this trail, it was pretty well maintained with just a couple trees down. There wasn’t much in the way of scenic outlooks due to the thick canopies. I camped the first day close to the lake and spent the next day hiking the trail and then returning the same day, which was much tougher than I had imagined it would be. This trail promises a hardcore leg workout, which gave me a great sense of accomplishment after I’d given my calves a much needed rest.
Besides a few people loading boats into the lake, I never saw another person for my two days there, which I certainly didn’t mind. Another thing about this trail was that I didn’t notice many areas where someone could setup a camp due to the constant inclines and declines of the hills. I ended up using permethrin and only had two bites while I was there, although I did find three ticks on my shoes as well. The little flies were driving me crazy as they dive-bombed my ears and eyes, but this is pretty much the case on any trail this time of year.

First of all, Be careful of the wood stairs and wood foot-bridges when it’s wet. They are all very slippery! I almost fell down a thirty foot fight of stairs while it was pouring. I slid down five steps, but luckily I was able to grab the rail with my arm.

Backpacked and camped at the backpacking campground this weekend with my 6yo daughter. The campsites are nice. Water, privy and firewood are available.
No need to request firewood to be delivered as told in the trail description. There are bundles stacked up in a small wood shelter, and there is a slot to drop your money, $5 per bundle.
You must register for your campsite at the main gate and it costs $12 plus tax per night. Seven sites are available and they’re on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The raccoons are aggressive so don’t leave your food or trash out unattended even for a few minutes. I went it to my tent to get my daughter ready for bed, and I heard something fall from the pic-nick table. A raccoon snagged our six pound food bag, and I had to chase him 100ft down the trail and into the woods to get it back!
Friday night there was only one other group of campers. We were the only ones there on Saturday. There’s lots of animal sounds at night, many I couldn’t recognize.
The canoe camp is less than a half mile walk away from the backpacking camp. There is a very nice view of Sugar Creek from there. I was surprised that we didn’t see anyone camped there either night. Though, there was quite a bit of rain this past weekend. As far as registration for The canoe camp, no need to register at the gate as the ranger will come around in the evening to collect fees from the canoe campers. As the park’s trail guide states, there is no limit to how many can camp there, all canoe campers must be accommodated as there are no other camping options.

2 months ago

We just did this trail, June 6, 2018. The day was about 83°. There is a long section through some pretty heavy overgrowth with almost no the creek with high hills on both sides. There wasn’t much wind or breeze so the bugs were getting annoying. That said it is June so if you do this during the summer bring some bug spray.

We saw plenty of deer, fawns, black squirrels, owls, hawks etc. the “red” backpack trail needs a few more clear signs. We wandered off the red trail a couple of times because some intersecting trails weren’t clearly marked. We added about 1-2 miles because of this.

This would be a great fall hike and overnight. There are a ton of places to hang a hammock or pitch a tent.

The people in the ranger main office were great. We had the trail to ourselves and didn’t see another hiker out there.

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