Explore the most popular trail running 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.

hiking
19 hours 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.

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
13 days 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
21 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

Great trail!

Worth a visit, but not quite as scenic as other trails in the area.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is great if you can't or don't want to complete the whole trail. You can do a 3-miler which loops back to your car or the same with a 7-miler.

Solid trail and moderate rate if is fair. Food for local workout underutilized 3 times and not even another car parked or hiker in sight

2 months ago

Did west as east seemed to be active with heavy equipment. Part park road not all tra

Nice short trail. Bring repellent. All the insects including chiggers will have a feast

Enjoyed this trail watching lake activities during a good part of back trail. A bit swampy in some areas during wet season.

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

hiking
2 months ago

Not a difficult hike. Crosses with dirt roads. Good to be outdoors.

backpacking
2 months 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

Great hike! Took about 2 hours and 15 mins to do this loop at a pretty quick pace with minimal stops. Beautiful scenic loop passing by Lake Monroe. Hillier than expected, but nonetheless an afternoon well spent. Clean, obvious trails.

backpacking
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun, scenic trail! Great workout too, as there are a lot of very steep hills to climb. Someone scratched in "you are here" markings on the metal signs along the way, which proved to be helpful! We started north, passing the White Tail Trailhead, intending to do the entire outer loop. we missed our first turn to the right and ended up coming back south onto the trail that runs through the middle. But we did continue to head west and did the remainder of the outer loop coming back over the part of trail that we started on. With all the rain we've had, the water was very high and we had difficulty finding a place where we could cross the creek without getting our feet soaked. Otherwise, pretty smooth sailing! I will say the mileage on this map entry is way off. The map the trail provides states the entire loop in 7.7miles, and with the little section we missed, and only retracing one small part of the trail coming back to the entrance, we finished at 6.8miles.

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty flooded with all the rain recently, but that’s to be expected. Very fun trail.

hiking
3 months 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 !

5 months ago

Trail was great, pitched a tent for the night at the only spot by the lake with my 11 year old. Though a spotting the place was hard, it was off trail. This was the only spot with flat ground as the terrain is mostly hilly. Thanks to someone who had made a stone fireplace.
Some rookie mistakes I made :-).
Was overconfident on starting a fire and did not carry a fire starter. Rain had made wood soggy and I ended up loosing my propane tank cooking burner trying to make fire. We succeed after an hour of trying.
I broke my 2.2 lb axe as it caught in a wood splitting position with a dead wood.
Found out I had pitched the tent, by a giant dead wood tree) not that there were many, flat locations away from path of expected rain). Made a makeshift dead wood A-frame to avert being crushed to death. However, my son woke me up at 2:45am scared for his life and asked if we could move the tent (He had actually heard rain water dumping from the rain fly). I had to look for any other options and assure myself things will be fine and fixed the rain fly that took 45 minuets in the biting cold.
Took off for evening walk till the creek but lost our way on the way back as I had forgotten to mark to spot to our site, did catch it quickly and found it in about 10 minuets. My son was terrified.
We heard shot gun shots all day long - we had our hunter orange on and obviously did not get shot :)
There were some friendly trail runners with dogs (off leash). Temperatures were 55F first day to 30F the following morning.
Woke up to a freezing morning with flurries and ice slush. Fire was all out for the rain for last night were out for propane to make oatmeal or warm coco. Packing up to leave in the cold took over an hour. Hiking back was good after about half way, we did not want to take chances and headed the way back we came from. Thanks to someone in the comments here we took the path to climb up (right) and reach the lake view in about 2.5 miles. Overall ours spirits are not broken and survived our first winter hike...
thank you and all the best...

One of the best trails around. Lots of hills and scenic spots.

hiking
5 months ago

Great trail and lots of history here.

hiking
6 months ago

Nice trail. Clean and marked well. Took four kids aged 12, 11, 9, and 6 and everyone had a great time. Beautiful views of the lake.

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