backpacking
16 days ago

My wife and i starting at Rock Creek Trail head and moving counterclockwise. we cached two gallons water one at Pioneer Picnic Shelter and one where the trail crosses Cold Friday Road,we Hiked approximately 17 Miles(counting the reroute) the first day and camped at Homestead Overnight Shelter on Day two we hiked 11.4 miles to are car we did get a pretty hard rain storm early the morning of the last day we where there but the creeks where steal dry. We complete the trail in two days and one night. The trail is pretty challenging with lots of ups and downs. There is a reroute at Pioneer Picnic Shelter that includes a road walk and an incredibly muddy and poorly marked horse trail that was pretty terrible. The overgrown parts of the trail has a very high Deer & Wood Tick presence. Water is very scarce on this trail as well, with lots of dry creek-beds witch we new that why you shoud cache water along the trail all in all we did have a OK time but will not becoming back any time soon this trail would be good to hike in early spring or late fall when the ticks are not so bad.

This was a very challenging hike. The amount switchbacks were surprising. I have gone on plenty of other hikes, but the bugs on this one was too much. Nats, big spiders, plenty of mosquitos. On the second day of the hike the trail came to a fork in the road, with no sign as which way to go. That added more time to the trip. We ended up having to hitch hike back to the car.

trail and hike was great BUT like the good State of IN. no notices of logging, closures and detours. We hiked within .25mi of night shelter and was met with closures and detour. Sleeping out is great except when one has planned for a shelter for the night.
Other than the unannounced closures and Detours the trail is good the hike was great.

backpacking
1 month ago

Our plan was to complete the trail in two days and one night. The trail is pretty challenging with lots of ups and downs. There is a reroute on the Southwest edge of the trail that includes a road walk and an incredibly muddy horse trail that was pretty terrible. Can't speak for the East side of the trail (see story below) but the West half was very overgrown in parts and has a very high Deer & Wood Tick presence. We pulled about 2 dozen off my legs alone after our first day despite Permethrin treated clothing and Picaridin bug spray application. Water is very scarce on this trail as well, with lots of dry creekbeds. Most of the water sources that we found were contaminated with horse excrement due to the high volume of horseback riders.

Hiked approximately 15 miles the first day (counting the reroute) starting at Rock Creek Trailhead and moving counterclockwise. Before we started hiking we cached two gallons water where the trail crosses Cold Friday Road, by the time we got to the cache the following evening, someone had taken every drop of our water. This left us exhausted, with very little water, and the sun just off the horizon. Ended up having to cut our trip short and road walk out the next morning. Thankfully we were able hitchhike on a local's tailgate back to our car. My suggestion would be to hide and label your water if you decide to cache water. Hopefully someone isn't as inconsiderate to your adventure as they were to ours.

Very challenging trial, marked ok, but no water sources, creeks are always dry, Mid-May we were constantly pulling ticks off.

backpacking
1 month ago

I hiked most of this trail this past weekend with some scouts who were prepping for Philmont. The trail was challenging and pushed all of us

We started at Old Forest Road, traveled clockwise, and finished by exiting the gravel road that runs from the Old Iron Bridge (OIB) to the entrance of the horse camp. The trail was nice and well marked, even through the small reroute on the southern end. The trail was slick in many places due to moisture. Water was non-existent existent. The portion on the trail in the reroute that is shared with horses, was destroyed and muddy as heck but, it was pretty short. While the hike was nice, there weren't many views because of the foliage.

One note as you are planning your water caches. The park map shows that water is available near the trail, at the end of the horse camp. This is not accessible for hikers becuase of the steep hillside between the trail and marked water. Even the walk from the trail, up the OIB access road, through the horse camp, isnt reasonable. This source was marked for the horse camp.

We dropped water where the trail crossed Cold Friday Road and again at the Pioneer Picnic Shelter. A third drop near the OIB would be nice if you didn't want to try filtering from the river but, I'm not sure how that would done.

Have fun and be safe.

backpacking
1 month ago

I hated this trail. It was marked fine but terrain that could have easily been done with switchbacks was straight up and down. We did most of it in two days, but ended up hitching it out at our second water drop because the second shelter was closed due to logging. We didn't find out until we got to the first shelter.

I was able to walk it in a day but I started at 6 A.M. and finished at 8:30 P.M. It is a challenging trail with plenty of hills to climb. I would recommend taking at least 2 days to hike it if you have time. Also pay close attention at the detour to stay on the right trail. I didn't rate it very high because the woods are logged and there's not much to see. I would rather hike in old growth forests where you don't have to worry about getting sunburnt, but if your looking for a challenge this is the place to go.

This trail is amazing for Southern Indiana. I backpacked the trail in about 31 hours by myself at a higher-moderate pace. Plan on bringing about 3-4 gallons depending on your length of stay. There are great places to plant water along the route as well as a couple of maps online to plan ahead. During spring, the river portion of the trail was extremely muddy and the trail became more of a guess and check mentality. Certain routes at about the halfway point were closed down due to forestry efforts in the area, but the re-route wasn't bad at all. Definitely would recommend

backpacking
2 months ago

Difficult trail from ascent/descent to water availability to navigation.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was a challenging, but fun, trail. We started out last Friday and finished Sunday. I must say, the Southern part of the trail is much more difficult than the Northern. At one point West of the Old Iron Bridge, there is no trail. Only thick mud so it was difficult to follow anything and very slow going for about a mile and a half. Friday we hammock camped at the Pioneer shelter and woke up to a downpour. From there, hiking counter clockwise, we hit the detour which includes a road hike for about a mile or so. Once back on the trail it was decent for the rest of the detour. Although. it does take you on a horse trail, which in the rain, is a muddy mess. Night 2 we stayed at the Indian Creek shelter, again in our hammocks and the rain came again. The 9 mile hike out the next day was a breeze. Overall this is a very nice trail with some challenging climbs. Especially in the rain. We didn't need our water drops either day because there was water EVERYWHERE. I will caution you, when we got there Friday morning, everything was dry. So, if you're going and there is not a 100% chance of rain, drop off water.

Pretty fun trail! A lot more up and down than expected. Be sure to pack lots of water and drop off water at one of the shelters along the trail.

The area west of the Old Iron Bridge along the river becomes a thick muddy swamp for 1.5 miles. It's slow going and can be hard to follow the trail.

backpacking
4 months ago

I started the Trail on saturday at the trailhead off of SR 462. I went clockwise. The Trail was very muddy in spots. Plenty of water flowing in the creeks (I didn't end up needing my cached water at Cold Friday Road crossing). My first day, I hiked approximately 10 miles to the Chimney Shelter. Next day I hiked out 15-16 miles and finished the trail. There was logging taking place at the Ohio River Shelter. Some notably tougher spots were the climbs after Cold Friday Road. The trail was pure mud around the old iron bridge. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty decent backpacking trip. If your going to backpack it, I'd recommend allowing at least two nights / three days. It was pretty difficult to get it done with one night, which is obviously do'able but you can't really enjoy the trail much having to rush.

backpacking
4 months ago

Had a great time on this trail in Feb.
Had a little trouble with some of the markers but there were quite a few changes because of timber harvest.
Take this trail seriously, it is tough but very pretty

We did some trail running yesterday. Obviously, the ground is super saturated at the moment but it was still great to get out and experience this trail.

The trail is rated hard and it is Hard but well worth it. Spent two nights out. The first night we camped just off trail, since we hiked the first 6 miles in the dark. It was cold and wet considering it had snowed earlier in the day and that changed to rain. The next day was perfect at 57 degrees and sunny. Spent that night at the Indian Creek Shelter. From there it was on to the car which was parked at the Trail Head.

The trailhead is not marked as the Trailhead to the AHT. We walked the entire trail counterclockwise. There are several areas of the trail, Northwest side, that are not marked well at all. But from then on it was no problem.

Some of the Trail was detoured due to flooding and some tree harvesting going on. Emerald Ash Borer has reeked havoc on the forest. At times we had to deviate from the trail because of flooding in the low ground around mile 8.

Do this Trail. It is well worth the experience. We plan on going back once all of the AHT is open. The shelters we saw were great. Very comfortable.

backpacking
7 months ago

Started Friday evening and finished Sunday afternoon. Was a challenging trip but definitely beautiful. Trail was marked very well, we only had to rely on GPS on a couple of logged areas. Can’t wait to come back and do again!

mountain biking
8 months ago

Trail is in great condition right now. Our team of mountain bikers have put in 300+hours trimming and sawing again this year. This trail is difficult but the experience and views are well worth it.

Went to this are for a backpack hike and camp for 3 days and two nights. Beautiful camped out where the blue river meets the Ohio river great spot! Only downside harassed by DNR trying to leave the park. Not "approved" camping area where we were.

backpacking
8 months ago

backpacking
9 months ago

great trail. very scenic.

backpacking
10 months ago

Post-Harvey monsoon got us off to a late start, did not think we'd get to hike as much as we did. Trail was passable even when wet, awesome once dry after 24 hours. There are scattered areas of overgrowth, particularly on the northwest side. Downloading GPX file is highly recommended to stay on track through those few sketchy sections. We all ended up with chigger bites, and the itching has been a steady reminder over the last week of how good of a time we had. I'll plan on spending more time here Fall/early Spring to avoid the infestation.

backpacking
10 months ago

This trail is horribly overgrown, mostly with brambles. There were times when you couldn't even see the trail. While traipsing through the overgrowth, twice we passed through a lone star tick larvae nest. I have hundreds of bites on my feet and legs. My wife just spent an hour searching to make sure we got all the ones that were still burrowed in my skin. I had to walk with branches in front of me to keep from getting spider webs in my face every five feet or so. I have it two stars because where the trail was nice, it was very fun. Very challenging trail.

Nice trail for speed hiking. It intersects with some horse trails and the horse riders seem to get confused and are constantly going on the hiker only part of the trail. Watch your step for horse poop. My dog likes to roll in it and smell the car up on the way home. Besides that annoying part, enjoyable trail.

backpacking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This is a fantastic trail. Very challenging but, well worth it. My experience was that it was marked fairly well but, you have to watch for the correct blazes. Occasionally, the trail crosses through clear cuts and picking it up on the other side might take a second. Additionally, as previously mentioned, make sure you cache water and plenty of it as the water sources along the trail are not reliable. On the map, to me it looked like a portion of the trail was very near the Ohio River. In reality it isn't close enough to use as a water source because it's pretty steep and not really very close.

Our first evening we parked at the Old Forest Road trailhead, just past Kintner Road, and hiked to the Homestead Overnight Shelter. It was approximately 7.5 miles and I was physically spent by the time we got to camp. The campsite was very nice with lots of room to spread out.

The second day we finished the trail with the exception of the final 2 mile section north of Old Forest Road, opting to walk the road back to the trailhead. Our route did not include the 1.6 miles trail from SR 462 to Rendezvous Point.

During our early June hike, the temperatures were in the upper 80's with high humidity...which tried to suck all of the fun of the hike. We however went slow, took plenty of breaks and stayed hydrated. Some of the hills on this portion of the trail seemed to go on forever. The views were pretty awesome though.

Overall, we had a great time and saw a handful of other hikers. I would love to do this trail again when the leaves are off the trees. I suspect there are spots where you can see for miles.


Regarding water. We started off carrying 4L each. We cached water at the parking spot on Cold Friday Road, 1.4 miles past the Homestead Overnight Shelter which allowed us to hydrate and fill back back up early on day two. Our second cache was at the Pioneer Picnic Shelter. This was a good choice though the two of us could have use 3 gallons here. On the map it shows water available near the Old Iron Bridge. We didn't not see it close to the trail and assume it was in the campground. If you are heading clockwise, you might want to take the effort to locate this source and top off. By the time I made it back to SR 462 I was nearly out of water and really needed more. The intersection at SR 462 might be a place to cache some more so you can top off before finishing the last few miles.

We tried to cache water near a shelter inside of the park, near the Hog Barn Primitive Site. The shelter appears to be close to the trail however, there would have been a significant climb from the trail to shelter to get the water. We left it there and never were able to see the shelter from the trail. I would not recommend this.

I hope this helps someone. Have fun and enjoy the trail. Oh...if the foliage is out and you can't decide between wearing shorts and pants, wear pants and make sure everything is sprayed for ticks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Awesome Hike thru the woods back country be sure you have working GPS map though there are many trails thru and you could get lost easy with a paper map do not try alone take plenty of water and trail mix. Be prepared for everything...

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This is a challenging trail. With all the rain this spring, the trail was very muddy in many places and several trees were blocking the trail. The trail is marked well. We didn't have any trouble finding water to filter (there has been plenty of rain), but the creek beds were all dry.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This loop is not for the novice. You must be fit because switchbacks, there's no such thing here. My wife and I saw a bobcat and 2 kittens. There are a handful of shelters along the route. Places to drop water (necessary). Plan accordingly.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

We (4 women) hiked May 17 - 19. Only saw two other hikers the whole time. Well marked except watch trail crossings because the more obvious trail is probably a horse trail. Also needed some better markings where lumber activity. Be sure to cache water - streams were dry even with all the May rain. Plenty of ticks and poison ivy but still a nice rugged trail in a loop which is very hard to find. Maps given out at the state park have no mileage and no names of the various features so download a map ahead of time.

backpacking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Five of us started planning around Christmas to backpack the AHT. We arrived at Obannon State Park around 9:00am Friday morning, we cached water on Cold Friday Road and checked in at the park office. We started hiking by taking the interpretive trail by the fire tower to the fire trail to the old iron bridge. We then picked up the AHT, going counter clockwise, only to lose it when it turned left and we kept on the horse trail. Unfortunately we went way to far out of the way before back tracking and finding it. Once on the trail it is marked very well. If you lose the green/white markers go back because you lost the trail and got on another trail (which there are a lot of). We hiked to the Ohio River Shelter, which was about 9.5 mile day. The shelter was awesome, it stormed all night and the shelter was great. We shared the shelter with 2 other hikers and there was plenty of room for 7 of us. We started day 2 and had a great experience, foraged multiple creeks, saw a lot of great wildlife and loved it. Unfortunately one of our group fell ill and we found an awesome fellow who drove us from our water cache at Cold Friday Road back to the park (5 miles)! We will definitely be going back to hike some more of the AHT!

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