Explore Hoosier National - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hoosier National Map
VIEW FULL MAP

I think that I am really liking this trail. We have already had a water crossing.

did the north loop. tons of spider webs the entire way, had to walk with sticks in front of us. trails were rough from the horses. probably won't do this one again

backpacking
25 days ago

Ticks everywhere. The trail was overgrown and I couldn’t help but get these tiny ticks all over my legs. Bring lots of bug spray!

backpacking
27 days ago

Very poorly marked trails. Very easy to get lost. Very very overgrown trails. Very steep trails throughout. Definitely wouldn’t recommend to even my worst enemy.

backpacking
1 month ago

Fun backpacking trip with my dad and little sister. The two lakes are gorgeous in early springtime, particularly around evening. The sun sets to the right corner and fog dances across the water. The trail took us over hills, through forests, a river crossing or two, some marshy areas, and a few areas that had been deforested, but overall, solid Indiana countryside. The wildflowers were beautiful, especially the Fire Pinks.

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!

hiking
1 month 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.

I’m fit, yet this trail kicked my butt. You’ll need AT LEAST three full days of hiking, unless you are a freak of nature. It’s a lot of fun though and great southern Indiana scenery!

walking
1 month 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.

Camped out here for a night...beautiful spiders, huge range of insects and daddy longlegs, keep your tent zipped up! August poison Ivy and ticks in abundance, the spiders so thick it's like watching the ground move. Totally overgrown trail with no usage, not many flat spots to camp for over half a mile...with your gear on you. be smart....wait until late fall.

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

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.

backpacking
2 months 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.

Steep inclines and declines - this was tough for a newbie like me! I would not want to bring dogs or kids on this one. We hiked 3 miles in then turned back since we only had one vehicle. Challenging.

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.

backpacking
2 months 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.

backpacking
3 months ago

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

trail and hike was great BUT like the good State of IN. no notices of logging, closures and detours. We hiked within .25mi of night shelter and was met with closures and detour. Sleeping out is great except when one has planned for a shelter for the night.
Other than the unannounced closures and Detours the trail is good the hike was great.

backpacking
3 months ago

Our plan was to complete the trail in two days and one night. The trail is pretty challenging with lots of ups and downs. There is a reroute on the Southwest edge of the trail that includes a road walk and an incredibly muddy horse trail that was pretty terrible. Can't speak for the East side of the trail (see story below) but the West half was very overgrown in parts and has a very high Deer & Wood Tick presence. We pulled about 2 dozen off my legs alone after our first day despite Permethrin treated clothing and Picaridin bug spray application. Water is very scarce on this trail as well, with lots of dry creekbeds. Most of the water sources that we found were contaminated with horse excrement due to the high volume of horseback riders.

Hiked approximately 15 miles the first day (counting the reroute) starting at Rock Creek Trailhead and moving counterclockwise. Before we started hiking we cached two gallons water where the trail crosses Cold Friday Road, by the time we got to the cache the following evening, someone had taken every drop of our water. This left us exhausted, with very little water, and the sun just off the horizon. Ended up having to cut our trip short and road walk out the next morning. Thankfully we were able hitchhike on a local's tailgate back to our car. My suggestion would be to hide and label your water if you decide to cache water. Hopefully someone isn't as inconsiderate to your adventure as they were to ours.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful Trail, travels through diverse environs and ends at a beautiful lake setting. The trail is wide in most places and suitable for younger hikers, if they can handle the distance (4.5 mi). Truthfully, the best campsites are 15-30 min hike from the parking lot. We'll most likely do that next time and day-hike to the lake. It can and did get muddy after the rain as the horses dig up the trail pretty good. You should be prepared for possible muddy conditions. (now the bad part) My wife and I went on Memorial Day weekend. There was moderate traffic during the day and we arrived to the lake in the late afternoon. By that time the lake was hopping and packed like a Lake Havasu Spring Break. What I didn't know is that the boaters come over in the morning and take all the established (read: good) campsites and then go out boating all day. By the time hikers get there all that is left is primitive or non-established sites. Campsite rules pretty much go out the window and everyone was putting up a tent wherever there was an open spot.

Very challenging trial, marked ok, but no water sources, creeks are always dry, Mid-May we were constantly pulling ticks off.

This trail is not moderate. I do not get it.

backpacking
3 months ago

Easy trail with a fantastic end view of Lake Monroe. Trail has a lot of variety of scenic view

backpacking
4 months ago

I hated this trail. It was marked fine but terrain that could have easily been done with switchbacks was straight up and down. We did most of it in two days, but ended up hitching it out at our second water drop because the second shelter was closed due to logging. We didn't find out until we got to the first shelter.

backpacking
4 months ago

Mother’s Day weekend hike! Great time! Few suggestions- we had intentions of hiking it counter clockwise after reading the reviews - but if you park at the main Trailhead- you can only hike clockwise- for an overnight trip- if you go clockwise the second day is mostly uphill which stunk! But we had a great camp site on the edge of Indian Lake- and the traffic was very low! Will do this one again - and will park past the trailhead on the road and use a connector trail to go counter clockwise!

backpacking
4 months ago

backpacked this weekend from Indian hills to low gap backcountry area. I planned to retrace my route tomorrow back to my car but the total disruption to the trail experience by the multiple timber harvests made me change my mind. instead getting a ride in the morning back to my car.
The actual trail is good and well marked but the reroutes leave you bushwacking or road walking for miles on end.
Lutheran Hills and the Foxes Den Shelter area are supposed to be closed based on signage but it wasnt on trail site so I went anyways and regretted it. It seems the lumber company used the trail and blocked it more than any other area.
Kudos to the volunteers who have cleared the trails and blazed them - great work!! I really wanted to love this trail but I was left wanting a less unstable trail. I am really disappointed in how Yellowwood Forest has been pillaged.

backpacking
4 months ago

Avoid the Northern part of the loop and the temporary gravel road connector (normal connector is closed). Logging from the past and current has ruined the Northern part of the trial, sad. You can make a worthwhile trip backpacking the Southern side clockwise, staying on Indian Lake, then backtrack the way you came in. Be ready to deal with mud, but plenty of water sources end of April.

Load More