Explore the most popular hiking trails in Morgan Monroe 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.

I took my dog down on Wednesday of last week. We parked at Cherry Lake and went clockwise. The trail is poorly marked in a couple spots. At the end, we ended up at the park headquarters but were able to get back to our car. Total mileage was 10.85. I loved Bryant Creek Lake. We stopped and had a snack there & enjoyed the view. We only came across 4 people all day. Would definitely recommend.

A beautiful and scenic route that offers alot of challenges if you are trail running. It will be a part of my regular routine training for knob stone trail.

hiking
17 days ago

As other reviewers have pointed out, there are only two lakes. Generally well marked, we got lost at a couple spots and ended up on service roads, but were able to get back on track pretty quickly. Bryant lake is quite wonderful!

backpacking
1 month ago

backpacked this weekend from Indian hills to low gap backcountry area. I planned to retrace my route tomorrow back to my car but the total disruption to the trail experience by the multiple timber harvests made me change my mind. instead getting a ride in the morning back to my car.
The actual trail is good and well marked but the reroutes leave you bushwacking or road walking for miles on end.
Lutheran Hills and the Foxes Den Shelter area are supposed to be closed based on signage but it wasnt on trail site so I went anyways and regretted it. It seems the lumber company used the trail and blocked it more than any other area.
Kudos to the volunteers who have cleared the trails and blazed them - great work!! I really wanted to love this trail but I was left wanting a less unstable trail. I am really disappointed in how Yellowwood Forest has been pillaged.

hiking
1 month ago

NIce hike, but the name is a lie. There are only two lakes.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail for central Indiana. The biggest negative would be the good chunk that was on a gravel road. We ran into maybe 5 other groups on the trail on a Sunday, so it's reasonably secluded. The spring vegetation was beautiful. Others suggest going clockwise, but we went counter clockwise and were happy we did. The most beautiful section was at the beginning for us, when we weren't tired. If we had seen the best part after 8 miles, we probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much.

2 months ago

I very much enjoyed my hike on this trail. Beautiful woods landscape with in and out routing across various creek beds. I found Bryant Creek Lake to be exceptionally pretty today. There were some confusing spots of where the trail was but overall the markings were well done. I will be visiting this trail again!

Hikers need to be aware that there have been some changes to the trail. Check the Hoosier Hikers Council website for a more recent map.

hiking
2 months ago

Plenty of birds and wild life to look at. Saw some wild turkeys. Good incline hike. Bring good shoes for there is water crossings.

Absolutely love this trail. I've used this trail as my training trail for the Appalachian trail, Continental Divide trail and Pacific Crest Trail. Definitely my favorite in Indiana.

Nice scenic trail, rock shelter definitely looks better in person , the trail is not too hard , my father and I did it in just over 2 hours taking our time and stopping anytime we wanted to see anything . like most I would recommend going clockwise. All in all a nice fun trail, definitely worth it .

hiking
3 months ago

Good fun trail, some nice elevation changes to burn the legs . Trail is marked fairly well,I would highly recommend this for a good dayhike.

hiking
3 months ago

I’d go again to do the whole trail. Last fall it was probably 2/3 blocked off by logging.

hiking
3 months ago

It was a bit tricky getting to this trail due to all the closed roads on SR37. About a dozen other friendly hikers were able to find the trail today too. The dog and I started at Bryant Creek Lake and hiked counterclockwise. Despite the fact that the leaves were not out yet, it is still a beautiful trail that is well maintained. There were a few climbs here and there but it seemed like most of the hiking was flat either up on a ridge or in a valley along a steam. There was a reroute near Cherry Lake due to logging or "forest management". The signs were clear where not to go but I couldn't find the reroute trail. I think it would be better if they let the beavers manage the forest again.

hiking
3 months ago

Easily accessible trail for a day trip from Indianapolis. I completed the 10 mile loop at a quick pace and saw a handful of other hikers. Quite a bit of elevation variation which was fun. The campsites for backpackers are well marked and near streams.

Others mentioned hiking clockwise. I did not, but would agree with the recommendation if you want to get the “ugly” gravel road section out of the way earlier. To go clockwise do NOT start at the trailhead that says “trail begins here”. Go down the steps on the side of the parking lot where the cars are facing.

backpacking
3 months ago

Enjoy this trail immensely, there are a few small climbs that offer a bit of a challenge and a portion of the trail runs along a creek, which is always nice. The trail offers clean and somewhat secluded backpacking sites for overnight trips.

My one knock of this trial would be that a portion of the trail runs along private property and is on gravel road.

3 months ago

Hiked with our two middle school sons.. it rained for two days nonstop, However still great trail and the boys did great. Went counter clockwise but only made have the hike due to severe weather. Cut halfway by using lower gap road. We will be back and try it again next year.

backpacking
4 months ago

It was an enjoyable trail with great scenery and geologic features. But I’m surprised it is rated as rugged. I’m a novice backpacker and I’ve hiked harder “moderates” in Brown County. But I’ll hike it again for the scenery!

hiking
4 months ago

This is my favorite trail. I am not in super great shape, so there are 5 hills that make me huff and puff. I start at the Cherry Lake Shelter and hike back that way.

There may be some re-routes due to logging. For those that may not be familiar with State Forests in Indiana, the logging pays for the upkeep of the park.

I am also a diabetic, so there are two things that are pluses for me. One, you can typically get a cell signal, and two, you are never too far from a paved forest road. Yet, you can at least get the feeling of being in a wilderness.

i have hiked this one and Low Gap Trail after dark. There is a sizable coyote population in the area. They can be quite spooky to hear howling, especially when they are getting close to you! I have my best times after dark, there!!!

hiking
5 months ago

Low gap is my go to trail for anywhere near Bloomington Indiana. The 10mi loop trail averages the same elevation change per mile as the Appalachian trail and has a two mile extension in the rock shelter if you're interested in traveling further or wish to see something slightly different from the rest of the trail. I will note that the parking lot on low gap rd is probably best situated for hiking the best this trail offers. I will note that there are dozens of deer that bed inside of this trail, I've seen a puffball mushroom twice the size of my head, and I've seen a jack-o-lantern mushroom bigger than an ice cooler at the rock shelter extension trail head.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this trail with a friend on December 16, 2017. We started at Cherry Lake and took the loop clockwise. There was a bit of confusion as we got to the road, just past the Stepp cemetery. The original trail (the one still shown on the map) crosses the road to the west of the cemetery lane. However, it has been rerouted to follow the forest road to the east for a hundred yards or so. (The blazes say follow the road, so get off of your phone and follow it!) The reroute is well marked, as is the rest of the trail. There is another reroute, closer to the end of the clockwise loop, that avoids a timber harvest area. It stays down in the creek bottom instead of climbing back up into the hills. There was no active timber harvesting at the time of our visit. Hope this is helpful. Happy trails!

hiking
6 months ago

Did it as a long day hike. Challenging with lots of up and downs. Look forward to backpacking it. No wildlife sightings. Most of trail easy to follow, although there were a few tricky areas.

Nice easy hike that took my girlfriend and I about an hour. We went out on a warm day in late November and conditions were dry. There are a few hills but definitely nothing too extreme and we had the trail to ourselves.

Nice trail. I went clockwise like the reviewer below. This saved the best part of the trail for last.

Great trail to take a the boys on a Webelos hike.

hiking
7 months ago

Great Hike! First time hiking this trail, and I had a blast. I went clockwise from the Forest HQ, and enjoyed keeping rock shelter for later in the hike. It was a great spot to take a break, on a beautiful day. Really enjoyed it, and looking forward to hiking it again.

hiking
8 months ago

Is there anywhere near the trail to set up a pop-up camper to boon-dock?

Great trail!

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail, well kept. like the addition of the log book.

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