Explore the most popular forest trails in Charles C. Deam Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I try to do this trail annually with a small group. Beautiful sunsets! Firewood gathering can be a challenge, depending on site chosen.

2 hour hike each way. Down hill in, uphill out. Campsites are the nicest remote sites I’ve seen.

backpacking
2 months ago

I've hiked the trail a few time aover the years. My last trip was July 7-8 with the family. The trail is relatively easy. Both my non- hiking wife and just turned 7 year old got through it without any major complaints. The trail was busy but not crowded and there are lots of decent campsites. The trail have some very nice scenery thanks to the lake views and pine forests. That said, I would argue that the woods are always better in the fall. There were a few spots that we're muddy but, there were always walk-arounds. Most surprisingly, the trail and campsites were clean and nearly devoid of trash. I've seen the area around the lakeside campsites completely trashed before. I suspect there had been a recent clean up effort or, people have finally quit being slobs. lol

hiking
2 months ago

There is about 6 miles in of gravel road to get to trail head. The trail is used for horses and is not really very scenic until you get to the pine forest part - it improves at that point. Although we enjoyed this trail it is not one we would do again.

Good and relaxed. The lake is amazing. Bring floating gear to chill in the lake. Your shoes will take a beating from all the horse shit. It's a horse/walk trail. But had fun.... Cheers

backpacking
3 months ago

Super muddy in certain areas but there is walk-around paths to avoid it. Very beautiful. Some areas were just breathtaking. My 5 year old cane along and loved every minute of it!

backpacking
3 months ago

This was a great warm up backpacking trip for the season. The views from the peninsula are breathtaking! They made the somewhat muddy trail totally worth it!

backpacking
3 months ago

Great camping with beautiful sunsets over Lake Monroe. The swimming was great to get all the mud and dirt off. One of our only complaints were about the trail, it is heavily trafficked by horses so it was very muddy for a large portion of the hike. Our doberman loved the hike and the camping.

This hike started out fine. we went counterclockwise from the fire tower. We passed by a few campers but were the only ones on the trail on a late Sunday morning. We didn't realize that part of the trail near the end was on the gravel road we drove in on. The last mile of the path was also super overgrown and muddy like no one had hiked it for months. We probably wouldn't return, but it was a decent length and started out great.

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.

3 months ago

Went in the thick of tick season, right after it rained. This was otherwise a pretty hike, but between the mud, overgrown parts that weren't well maintained, constant spiderwebs, and bugs (including the ticks), was ready to be done early. The trail was also hard to follow at some points, which reminds me that the Alltrails trailhead is different from the trailhead located by Google Maps.

backpacking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Lost of horse poop. Decent camping spots once you hit the lake.

My brother and I hiked this trail a few different times. Easy hiking and beautiful landscape. The campsites along the lake near the end of the peninsula are absolutely flawless with phenomenal views!

backpacking
4 months ago

First time on the Peninsula Trail and we loved it. It was crowded but the weather was perfect and we got one of the last spots on the west side of the peninsula. One of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen. The trail was a little damp but not too bad. Can’t wait to go back when the water is warmer so we can swim!

camping
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

*we found an E-collar at the beach section of this trail today. Pertainer brand with a black colllar. I put it on the bulletin board in the flyer box.*
Great hiking spot. Gets muddy and slippery on parts of the trails from the hose back riding.

Great trail for novice backpackers. We only saw a handful of people while we were on the trail, but the camp sites by the lake get full as the day goes on. Very dog friendly.

backpacking
6 months ago

This isn't a terribly challenging trail, plan on 2 hours or so to get from trailhead to camp. Great trail for a beginner or if you are taking someone backpacking for the first time. You get a little challenge and a pretty good payoff of lake views. Several easy to find campsites make for a comfortable stay with beautiful lake views. Enjoy!

backpacking
9 months ago

Awesome one nighter on Dec 2 weekend. Beautiful views. Didn't see much wildlife, although we did see an eagle cruising over Lake Monroe. Last weekend of hunting season, we did hear numerous gun shots in the evening and morning. Encountered one hunter who was processing his deer on the trail. I'll do this trail again, but not during hunting season.

Great trail with awesome lake views !! Easy hike and kid friendly

backpacking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

A great trail. Not busy at all. Had a few spots where it could have used a few more markers just because if the creek bed crossings. Otherwise it was great! We started where it breaks off from the Peninsula trail.

backpacking
10 months ago

The trail was beautiful! Well marked. It is also well maintained. We chose a camp site out by the beach. A great weekend!

Hiked in for the weekend and found a great campsite. They're not all easy to find- just look for the fire rings. Wonderful fall weather and great views. The hike in was pretty moderate but felt like it went quickly.

backpacking
11 months ago

Great hike! Took my 8 year old son and spent the day fishing at our awesome campsite. The hike itself wasn’t difficult and the change leaves made for a pleasant time. I really enjoyed the old forest pine trees. We caught several bluegill and a bass from the shore.

backpacking
Sunday, September 03, 2017

backpacking
Friday, September 01, 2017

Favorite trail in Indiana, and one of the finest in the Midwest. A short distance right outside of Bloomington makes this an easy weekend trip. My law school buddies and I hiked this trail four or five times and would drive down from Indianapolis to hit the trail.

The scenery is great, and the terrain isn't extremely difficult. The views of the lake at the end of the peninsula are beautiful and with proper planning you can find some beautiful campsites. The campsites are level for the most part, and are very well-used so there are established stone fire pits everywhere. Further, all the tree cover provides a lot of great spots to put up the hammock!

hiking
Saturday, August 26, 2017

Love the camp sites at the end of the trail. Bring water shoes, the rocks are way hard on the feet.

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