Explore the most popular 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.

One of my absolute favorites. Couple of hidden gem camp sites/ places to take a rester.

hiking
2 months ago

A nice trail through the woods, by the lake, and across a few streams. Not particularly well marked signage-wise but the trail itself is packed down and easy to follow. There are a lot of birds out there so it would be a great place for birdwatching if you're into that sort of thing. I wouldn't describe the trail as hard - not technical at all, but it's a fairly constant up and down, so it gets your legs towards the end. Moderate would fit better.

thoroughly enjoyed this hike and want to try it on a wintery day.
I chose to go clockwise on the loop with the goal of visiting the Terrill cemetery...it is Halloween season so had to investigate.
Very creepy place and didn't stick around long. I doubled back and hiked the rest of the loop. The sections of the trail that are covered in pine needles were a treat to walk on!
I hadn't hiked since late winter so the length was perfect and I wasn't too tired after 9 miles.

backpacking
4 months ago

1st ever backpacking trip was here

Great views, not crowded!

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

backpacking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 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.

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

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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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
8 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.

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.

Great trail!

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

11 months ago

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.

hiking
11 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.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

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...

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

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

hiking
Wednesday, November 22, 2017

An excellent hike with a good layout and multiple distance options. The views of the ridge lines and lake were great this fall. Thanks to whomever was kind enough to scratch in the “you are here” marks on the sign posts.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Great hike, good elevation but good trail pattern to ease the climb. Somewhat a low gap trail ‘little brother’. Fairly low traffic and great scenery. Perfect Sunday morning excursion.

backpacking
Saturday, October 07, 2017

The hike was enjoyable, albeit a bit arduous at times. There are some great places to rest near the lake. Be wary going off trail, most of everything you see belongs to giant spooky spiders who know how tall you are, and primarily make webs at that height.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

This was a very nice and quiet trail when I hiked it at 8:30am on a Saturday in September. I would suggest stopping a little before halfway when you get near the lake. Hop off the trail to take a peek. The downside is that the trail was covered with spider webs. I literally walked into 50 of them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Excellent trail. Very heavy canopy so that undergrowth isn't heavy, which is great for reducing bugs and brambles. Lots of hollows and nice stop at the lake for picnicking.
We'll go back for sure.

hiking
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Went to do the loop for the first this morning- arrived at 8:30 and the spider webs were TERRIBLE. I am a regular hiker and am not phased by bugs, webs, etc., but there were SO many at the beginning of the loop- the first mile and a half- that you couldn't walk 10 yards without running straight into another one. They were large webs and large spiders, so it really made it tough to just relax, zone out, or enhoy the scenery because I was so on edge looking out for the next web. I finally turned around and came back because I was so anxious from it. I don't know enough about the type of spiders they were, or if they cut their webs down (so maybe going later in the day would be better?) but it was really unpleasant. I will have to try again in early Fall!

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

I loved that the trail was an actual trail and no fire road to travel. Beatiful trail and I didn't think it was especially difficult or hard. Definitely not as hard as Low Gap. The markers along the trail were nice but it was hard to locate the "you are here" arrow to track your progress. We started at the north trail head and just stayed right on the outter loop. Ultimately we had to use GPS to determine our location as the sun was setting and we had already passed mile 6 on the fit bit. This entire loop is actually a little over 8 miles!! Still a good trail and I would do it again.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Took about a half mile in and back of the Whitetail Trail with my 4-year-old and toddler. Beautiful and very green! Also pretty hilly, and a little tough for little ones at times because of fallen trees. They did well, though. We saw LOTS of spiders and spider webs, a deer, and a small frog. They loved it!

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