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Backpacking Map

Nice trail the older version said only 7 mil s but inbelieve closet to this app saying 11ish

Great trails! More importantly though were the clean, roomy and stocked pit toilets and the discovery center has water. I enjoyed following the blue arrow trail markers and will definitely return.

A beautiful hike. We started at the end by the inn and easily followed 8 out, coming back we jumped along several trails by the falls and on the loop back. Take a trail map! The route had some ups and downs and also some rocky areas and stairs We had two dogs along, and the stairs and rocks were challenging for our one with mobility issues in one back leg. But he made it and loved it! Saw a few tiny flowers and many others getting ready to bloom.

11 days ago

I started the Trail on saturday at the trailhead off of SR 462. I went clockwise. The Trail was very muddy in spots. Plenty of water flowing in the creeks (I didn't end up needing my cached water at Cold Friday Road crossing). My first day, I hiked approximately 10 miles to the Chimney Shelter. Next day I hiked out 15-16 miles and finished the trail. There was logging taking place at the Ohio River Shelter. Some notably tougher spots were the climbs after Cold Friday Road. The trail was pure mud around the old iron bridge. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty decent backpacking trip. If your going to backpack it, I'd recommend allowing at least two nights / three days. It was pretty difficult to get it done with one night, which is obviously do'able but you can't really enjoy the trail much having to rush.

12 days ago

Nice trail for a early season overnight. Pretty muddy in the bottoms but I have to consider that southern Indiana has had lots of flooding in the last few weeks. I would still hike this trail again.

Went august . Beautiful . Loudest crickets I've heard at night. Like a full orchestra. Saw coyote . And snakes. Some ticks. In tall grass

Love this park! Beautiful bluff views of the river!

21 days ago

Wonderful trail and great campsites for a simple 1 night trip. Did it in mid-august and saw very few hikers. The two dams make for a great spot for lunch or sunset.

For Illinois, this is about the best you can find for overnight backpacking trips. It is VERY hilly, the campsites are great as well. I went during winter, can't wait to go back during summer. About 3 hours from Chicago.

26 days ago

Had a great time on this trail in Feb.
Had a little trouble with some of the markers but there were quite a few changes because of timber harvest.
Take this trail seriously, it is tough but very pretty

We did some trail running yesterday. Obviously, the ground is super saturated at the moment but it was still great to get out and experience this trail.

The trail is rated hard and it is Hard but well worth it. Spent two nights out. The first night we camped just off trail, since we hiked the first 6 miles in the dark. It was cold and wet considering it had snowed earlier in the day and that changed to rain. The next day was perfect at 57 degrees and sunny. Spent that night at the Indian Creek Shelter. From there it was on to the car which was parked at the Trail Head.

The trailhead is not marked as the Trailhead to the AHT. We walked the entire trail counterclockwise. There are several areas of the trail, Northwest side, that are not marked well at all. But from then on it was no problem.

Some of the Trail was detoured due to flooding and some tree harvesting going on. Emerald Ash Borer has reeked havoc on the forest. At times we had to deviate from the trail because of flooding in the low ground around mile 8.

Do this Trail. It is well worth the experience. We plan on going back once all of the AHT is open. The shelters we saw were great. Very comfortable.

1 month ago

Had a great time . Beautiful area , first time here and won’t be the last . The brown leaves on the trail quickly turned all white ! Started with sleet and snow it did !

8 is a great trail with lots of views of the gorge below. Clifty creek (trail 2) was running high and swift. I crossed it and did trails 3/4/5/6/7 to see all the falls and make a 9.5 mile loop.

A lot of fun. Definitely challenging if you are new to hiking or (and) out of shape. I liked how clear the trail was. The lake was very pretty, looking forward to hiking this route again in the spring and fall for more foliage.

Trail is clear and wide. Took advantage of a warm January day after melting snow and rain. Some spots were a little chewed up from horse traffic, but overall a good trail. Few water crossings, but not too deep and decent hills and views. Will definitely do it again.

2 months ago

I have backpacked this trail in pretty all seasons, the best time I think is in the winter with snowshoes. But the great trail to try out new gear and prep for longer trails. I like to use it for testing out gear, the trail can be hiked in a day, however, you can hike it twice in a weekend.

The trail is not marked the best as some say it is, and most of the man-made structures like bridges, steps assists are pretty warned or just crap. Some parts of the trail are near private residents and they have several dogs that do roam and like to chase day hikers, backpackers. The trail starts out flat but half of it is up and down and side of the hills. If you have knee or foot problems probably better take it slow or go with a buddy.

Overall fun time and always an adventure. Except for the $10.00 for the permit. See ya'll out on the trail!

David "Hippie Hiker"

Hiked from Discovery Center to N. Territorial. Lots of elevation and demands endurance. Hiked it with a buddy in wet snow. Definitely pounded my legs.

Good trail. Watch for valleys.

3 months ago

Started Friday evening and finished Sunday afternoon. Was a challenging trip but definitely beautiful. Trail was marked very well, we only had to rely on GPS on a couple of logged areas. Can’t wait to come back and do again!

Very well marked trails, easy to follow. A few ups and downs, but overall easy trail and can complete in less than 2 hours.

I love this trail, go all the time with the dogs.

I dont know how to create new rails on here but 8 AND 2 ARE COMPLETELY SEPARATE TRAILS!!!! Here are my main take aways of this trail: 1) I can not vouch for 8 because I did not hike it, but trail 2 IS NOT EASY!!! I am an experienced hiker and trail 2 is nearly 5 miles of the most rugged trail Ive ever been on. And in my opinion it is the most rugged trail, per foot, in all of Indiana. Sure, trails like the KT trail are much longer, but for 5 miles this is a butt kicker. This trail is deceptively long because of how rugged it is. Children will slow you down and if you are elderly or handicapped you will NOT BE ABLE TO HIKE THIS TRAIL.
2) If you are traveling north on this trail wanting to see Cliffty Falls you will be "stuck" on trail 2 for the last 15-20 minutes and this is the most rugged area. What I mean by stuck is that the nearby trail 7 & 8 are not accessible so youll see the falls and then return back down trail 2 to leave.
3) Trail 2 is 100% creek bed. So prepare to get wet and prepare for non stop bolder hopping. Just did this trail yesterday and my entire pelvis is sore from the constant twisting and turning your legs are doing trying to stay balanced from rock to rock.
4) This is a beautiful trail with a great water fall at the end. But do not be tricked, you will have to earn the view. THIS TRAIL IS VERY RUGGED!!!!

4 months ago

Southern Indiana may have broken some records for rainfall as it poured for five days prior to our trip. Park personnel and conservation officers looked at us like we were crazy for trying the loop after such heavy rainfall - and we were. The trail was impassable in a dozen places and we trekked an extra 6+ miles off trail to get around flooded areas. The lakes were gorgeous, but stay away from this loop in early spring.

mountain biking
4 months ago

Trail is in great condition right now. Our team of mountain bikers have put in 300+hours trimming and sawing again this year. This trail is difficult but the experience and views are well worth it.

4 months ago

terrain and trail around Indian lake was decent. however, Indian lake was nasty. stunk like stagnant water and was so low you couldn't walk down to the edge to filter water due to the deep mud all the way around the shore. campsites were few and not very close to water. Celina lake looked much nicer but didn't have time to hike around it. I suggest doing this loop counter clockwise and plan to make it to Celina lake before you can find decent campsite. the overall condition and signage of the trail was very good and was great walking. this would be a good early winter hike, summer hikes would be hot and buggy. it's a heavily used trail, we met lots of other overnight backpackers along the trail.

Went to this are for a backpack hike and camp for 3 days and two nights. Beautiful camped out where the blue river meets the Ohio river great spot! Only downside harassed by DNR trying to leave the park. Not "approved" camping area where we were.

4 months ago

Fantastic trail. I started north from Deam Lake on October 19th around 3:45 pm and made it about 12.25 miles before setting up Camp around 9pm. October 20th was a long day; I made it about 23 miles in 12 hours hours. On the 21st, I started off about 9 am, took the trail around the north side of Delaney Park before ending at the around 5:30 pm. To round off my mileage, I hiked the trail south towards Elk Creek. Note: I did a few hours of night hiking before setting up camp each night. If you like night hiking as much as I do, make sure you have a good light and go slow.

The Delaney Loop itself was amazing. If you have just a day and want a good taste of the KT, I would recommend this loop. Again...it’s not easy and I would check with the park before before planning your day. Many trees were marked for harvest.

The weather for my trip was fantastic. Highs around 70, lows in the lower 50’s. I wouldn’t want to hike it in warmer weather but, that’s me...I naturally run hot anyway and due to the general lack of water, higher temperatures could have created problems or, excessively heavy water carries.

In all, the trail is amazing. It is very difficult and arguably dangerous in spots, especially once the leaves started falling. There were spots where the leaves hid the trail surface to the point that you couldn’t see what you were stepping on. There were also spots that weren’t marked very well and because the path was covered with fresh leaves, the obvious trail was hidden. About 6 times I had to stop, back up and find the blazes again before continuing on. Often around creek crossings, around recently fall trees and in two instances, where the KT veered off the forest road I had been on. In those case it was my inattention...I was just walking and wasn’t watching for blazes. In all cases, comparing a map to my All Trails track, got me back on track if I didn’t see the blazes.

Regarding water caches; the DNR map has a driving route between trailheads marked. I followed this to make my drops. Based on the distance between drops, 1 gallon per person was enough. I addition to the obvious locations, I would add the following: the New Chapel Trailhead is not on the KT. From the trail it was a short but, unnecessary hike up a hill to get to my water. Drive past the trailhead on Liberty Knob Road to the bottom of the hill. Cache your water where the trail crosses the road. It’s easy to find and you can thank me later. The Leota trailhead confused me as well. I didn’t see the actual trailhead while I was driving - when I was hiking it was obvious. I ended up pulling off the the side of a steep road (New Salem Finley Knob) near where the KT crosses, and cached water beside the guard rail. In actuality, the trailhead is just north of the road crossing and is a very short drive. You don’t need to park on the side of the road. I would also recommend making a drop at the Elk Creek trailhead, though it is a short walk from the parking lot. I thought I would have access to the lake in this area but, ended up passing the best access point near a campsite around mm 32. I was hoping for a better spot but, didn’t find one and ended up refilling from a spare jug at the trailhead. The last, not so obvious spot that I cached water, was off of West Point Road, on the back side of the reroute, just before mm 42. I did this to make sure I was carrying enough through the Delaney Loop. If you head towards Spurgeon Hollow first, you should be fine. For the record, when I got to my water, I drank as much as I could and left with 2.75 liters. I didn’t want to run out and need to drink a lot.

Regarding the reroute around mm 41: this project may be done soon from the looks of it but, who knows. As noted in previous reviews of the trail, there is a house on Pull Tight Road that has roaming dogs that will come out and bark. I talked to the owner and he said that he didn’t realize that they scared hikers and has been “trying to put them up if he thinks people are out.” I have been by the house twice and haven’t had any issues with the dogs, just keep walking. On the other side of the reroute, there is a house with some chickens, Guineafowl and a Doberman named “Smoke”. Both the owner and dog are harmless. One wants to sniff you, the other wants to talk to you - you’ll have to sort out the rest yourself.

on River Ridge Trail

5 months ago

I love this trail. It’s a great place to practice & hone one’s backpacking skills. There’s a small stream near the East Camp that is a suitable water source for filtration.

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