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

backpacking
1 day ago

1st ever backpacking trip was here

Great little place for a stroll with my husband and daughter.

Great views, not crowded!

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.

Great trail, easy to navigate. Lots of spider webs, but hey, we are in the woods.

OH MY GOD! Tick city!! Three of us went on this trail and yes, it was beautiful but took a terrible turn towards the end with all the ticks. Beautiful hike but beware!

backpacking
2 months ago

We did a two day overnight on this trail. Camp sites are nice. Will do again in future.

walking
2 months 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.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail! Would not grade it as hard. More of the high end of moderate. Well marked. Dachshund friendly. Great workout. No real excess to the lake.

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.

Moderate well marked and not busy. , but mid July @ 94 degrees may not be the best time to try it.

The trail was very overgrown in some places and there wasn’t really much as far as “neat scenery” to see. Ticks were terrible and after cutting the hike short a couple miles and taking a dirt road back to my car I found over 30 ticks on myself. Maybe I must have just done this trail at the wrong time of the year, but not sure I’m even up for trying it again at a different time of the year. Ooh and there was horse droppings EVERYWHERE along the trail.

Was on this trail yesterday and got lost when I got to the Creek… Not very well marked on the other side. Literally spent four hours yelling for help. Luckily I remembered honeycomb rock when I saw it and was able to find the path again. One of the scariest days of my life.

It’s a decent trail with low traffic. Not hard but not a moderate run either.

hiking
3 months ago

Fun trail and quite scenic. Watch out for ticks in the overgrown grassy areas. Also, those spiders like to web at face level :).

backpacking
4 months ago

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

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Not too many people on a Saturday morning. Not a "hard" trail as stated, closer to a moderate.

hiking
4 months ago

Cell signal made it easy to follow the map.

hiking
4 months ago

A good choice for us. Good shade from the heat, good variety of up and downhills. Very pretty, but lacking in scenic lookouts since there's no large peaks around. I'm 45 in fair shape and would consider the full loop moderate. Don't let the 'hard' label worry you too much. We spotted several toads, a few turtles, a snake, and some very active fish once we reached the lake.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked this trail yesterday, May 26, in late afternoon on a hot and humid day. On the entry trail, I saw a few hikers and campers, but shortly after taking the right to start the loop, the trail was empty. The initial descent went fast. I did not have any problems with spider webs, although there were some annoying flys that liked dive bombing my head for part of the way. At the bottom of the first descent, I passed a group of husband, wife, kid and the wife was not looking happy and wanted to turn around, presumably because of the kamikaze flys in that area. I pressed on and was soon past the threat.

On one of the ridges up higher, I encountered an area with some open space and very tall trees. Here I spooked a very large bird. On my drive in down the gravel road, I saw an owl, so my first thought was that this too was a large owl, but another flash of it seemed to show a big bushy tail that made me think wild turkey. And then shortly later, i found a hawk feather, so it is still a mystery if i saw a hawk, turkey, or owl, either way it was a huge bird, very impressive.

Later I approached a small stagnant stream where suddenly dozens of frogs, spooked by my approach, began leaping en masse into the water. Then towards the end of the hike, I noticed a 3 foot garter snake slithering away and managed to snap a pic.

Deep towards the final leg of the loop, the trail splits at a really wide portion of trail. I decided to extend my hike a few more miles and take this path less traveled. The trail dead-ended at a random cemetery in the middle of the wilderness. I tried following what looked like a path to regain the trail, but it led me deep into untracked wilderness. I used my phone GPS and the AllTrails app to try to follow where the trail should be, but I ended up just getting cut up by thorn bushes and covered in ticks! Just as I was going to give up and bushwhack back, I noticed the semblance of an old trail, untraveled for several years. It was still hard going, but at least I was able to pick up my pace. I should have looked closer at the map because it did say the trail was (old). I was relieved when I finally made it to the Axiom branch where I promptly removed 3 ticks from my calves and spider webs from my hair. By this point, I just wanted a hot shower and a McDouble, so I double timed it out of there and didn’t look back.

Overall great hike if you ignore my adventurous stupidity made possibly by my overconfidence in gps :)

Very awesome hike with neat views. I took my puppy and ended up going 6 miles for 3 hours total. Two other people had dogs and both were off leash, so that was annoying. One was well trained but the other was obnoxious and got my dog too excited. Also passed by lots of backpackers and runners. Ended up with 4 ticks at the end, so watch out.

edited to add that it definitely wasn't too hard but it was moderate.

5 months ago

SAFETY WARNING: this trail is located 5 miles from birdseye trail in birdseye. This trail has no mile markers and doesnt lisy the distance at the start either. it is 3 times the distance 11.8 miles. Most importantly this trail is not listed in google maps, whereas birdseye trail in birdseye that is 12 miles long and unmarked IS. I dont know what ridiculous oversight allowed this to happen but any experienced hiker knows this is extremely dangerous to a non experienced hiker. the trail being rated as "easy" , this should certainly be noted. This is a disgrace. I almost died as the sun was going down and there are bobcats in the area and i had no extra water or food beyond the 2 bottles i brought and an apple. Found out i can call 911 on satellite.

backpacking
5 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!

Really good trail. You can alter the distance how you would like. I did the full outer loop. It took me and the dog 2.5 hours. Good scenery.

backpacking
5 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.

backpacking
5 months ago

Indian Lake section much better than Celina Lake section but overall decent hike. Several stream crossings that could be tricky if water high. Long ascent/descent getting to Indian Lake from either side. Muddy in sections due to recent rains. Good backcountry camping spots throughout although it was a little busy 4/21. Avoid gravel road shortcut at all costs and stay on loop.

backpacking
5 months ago

Did the loop CW on 4/21 with an overnight on the west shore of Indian Lake. A few fallen trees and a little muddy in spots but overall very good

hiking
5 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails for its variety, length and relative lack of hills. There are multiple water crossings that, depending on the time of year can be thigh deep, bring sandals! Several seasonal waterfalls exist just off the trail. An 1800’s cemetery is included in this trail along with several homestead sites that make this trail something to discover!

hiking
6 months ago

I have had this hike on my to do list for a few years now. The forecast called for the low 70’s and I jumped in my car. A few thoughts.
1) The trail head was easy to find- just a mile or so on the left as you enter the park.
2). There is nothing to not like about this trail. It’s a lot easier than the Adventure Hiking trail down the road in O Bannon Woods State Park.
3). The trail, for the most part, was easy to follow. There were a few places where flooding had washed out small sections of the trail.
4). There is some logging going on during parts of the hike. If you begin going counter clockwise, you will get the worst of it over, early in the hike.
5. If you are backpacking, there are a few really good spots to camp overlooking the lake.
6) i saw a few dear.
7). With two bottles of water and some snacks, I was back at the car in about 4 hours with muddy shoes.
8) if you looking for some solitude, you will find it on this hike.

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