Explore the most popular Hiking trails in Clark State Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

this park is a wreck. trees across the road . tress hanging over the roads . Nothing clearly marked. the fire tower is the main attraction however the trees are as high as the tower is. I used to go there in the mid to late 80's. it was really nice. sorry I won't be coming back.

My wife and I hiked the last 5.8 miles of this hike from Hwy 160 to the New Chapel trailhead since we had already hiked from Jackson Trailhead to Hwy 160 last time we were on the KT. This section of the KT includes extreme up and down as well as many flatter areas. So, you are typically moving along at a good pace or you are trying not to slip and fall down a steep hill. You do follow along and can see the paved road(s) that are part of Clark State Forest, but you are still in a remote area and we only saw one vehicle and no other hikers on a mild (upper 40s / lower 50s with no rain) day. Not much scenery other than forests which is fine with us as it is still beautiful. We did see one tree stand, but no one hunting. We wore our neon yellow wind vests. Many small to medium size trees over the trail due to the ice storms about 1 week ago that took out MANY trees in the area. I wished I had brought a saw to help with the larger ones. Next time! Overall, we enjoyed this section once we were warmed up and moving along. Again, Hwy 160 to the New Chapel trailhead is approx. 5.8 miles and is a nice little hike. See photos.

hiking
3 months ago

Really disappointed in how the horses have ruined this hike. The trail used to be runnable, now barely hikeable. Lots of deep hoof prints on climbs. Make sure it has been dry for at least a few days before you do this one.

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is a horse trail but people hiking can use this anyway. This trail is not clearly marked and not maintained greatly. Some things we heard on this trail was birds. Some things we saw on this trail was a nice lake and nice views. You should walk this trail because to see a nice lake. Make sure when you walk this trail, you bring 2 or more liters of water, good hiking shoes, and a nature guide.

been hiking our beloved k.t since 1982

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.

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

hiking
Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hiked the entire trail on 2/09/18. Very nice views of surrounding knob country and farm fields. The lake is beautiful. The tower structure shown in one of the pictures is actually an old airway beacon. If you want to see it take a side hike north to the top of Rock Knob. The trail at the time I hiked was very muddy and it has numerous steep climbs..A pair of walking sticks come in handy, particulary for the descents on slick leaves.

backpacking
Monday, October 23, 2017

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.

backpacking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Out and back overnight from Leota down to New Chapel trailhead- 17 miles. Cached water near New Chapel trailhead and camped near the creek there. Pretty nice hike. Numerous downed trees over the trail and several over grown areas. Overall pretty tough trail.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

didn't get to. do the whole thing, but the lake was great for pictures. the part of trail I did was ok, will go back in Fall, should be outstanding

Terribly muddy on this day.

hiking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

Good hike, trail was mildly strenuous and muddy. Could use better markings but overall good time.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Wouldn't call this tail easy. Lots of steep climbs up muddy slopes. You will see a trail branch off to the right shortly past the trailhead. Take this to enter the loop going counterclockwise. Bring water.

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trail was in pretty good shape. Had a good hike with family.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Great trail. Parking is on brownstown Rd in a small gravel lot. Follow the trail behind the gate to the dam and then follow the dam into the woods. Goes along the ridge lines with some pretty steep climbs. Views are awesome. Old firetower is about 2.5 miles in and offers awesome views of the forestry and surrounding areas. Not quite 5.5 miles but a decently hard hike still. Def recommend.

Love all the KT but this is one of my favorite, I really need a hike to clear my head trails. The trails are clearly marked and had some debris but easy to skirt around.

I hiked this portion a couple years back with a buddy and it kicked our butts. We still had an awesome time though. Not for the weak.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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