German Ridge Trail is a 17.1 mile loop trail located near Rome, Indiana that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, horses, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The German Ridge Trail is affiliated with the German Ridge Recreation Area. It is designated for use by horseback riders, mountain bike riders, and hikers. The trail winds through sandstone rock outcrops, rolling hills of hardwood forests and includes views of the Ohio River.
I'm only leaving this review because my son just did a boyscout trip to this trail system. He came home with over 30 ticks on himself with 20 or so under his shorts area just a heads up.
The trail is in great condition, for the the most part. My only reservation would be the few areas that have been completely blown out from horse traffic. However, I believe this to be in large part do to the timing of my most recent visit, right at the end of winter. I suspect this will improve as warmer weather comes and dries things up a bit. Otherwise, a few downed trees across the trail will likely be taken care of in due time. As far as trash goes, there really wasn’t any.
This is a great trail and I especially recommend it for beginning backpackers who are looking to get some miles under their feet. It makes for a fantastic overnight excursion. While the trail is constantly up and down hill, it is mostly very gradual with an occasional steep climb or descent. Instead of up and over all the ridges, it winds and twists through the forest, along and around them, making for a very pleasant hike.
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I backpacked the German Ridge Trail for the first time in September 2015. As a backpacker, I really loved this trail and am glad that I did it. It was well-marked, easy to follow, scenic, and in very good condition. The hills are steep and long, but the trail is located so as to follow the easiest possible route on the way up. I avoided this trail for many years because I assumed it was in poor condition due to horse traffic. I could not have been more wrong. Turning to the issue of water, it has been dry for the last month and there was virtually no water on the trail. All I found was two puddles where I used my filter. I did not cache water but wish that I had done so. I walked at a leisurely pace and my trip took two days and one night. I will definitely backpack this trail again.
I backpacked the entire 20 mile loop in early august and didn't know what to expect because there's not a lot of reviews.
I stashed water at the north end at carter bottoms trail head. Then drove to the main entrance at the south end and began the hike going clock wise.
The trail was in good shape and is the best I've seen for having been used heavily by horses. I didn't get my feet wet the whole trip . There were surprisingly no ticks out either.
I started the hike at 8am and was done by 630pm. There was plenty of water and there was a couple good places to camp by the creeks but I did not see any sign of people camping here.
Hiked the top loop of the ladder-style trail on July 3, 2014. This section is very easy hiking with a few uphill areas that might be considered moderate, but that would be a stretch.
The trail is marked very well, with periodic signage showing a map of the trail, and at what location along the trail you are located. It would be pretty difficult to get lost. There were also plenty of paper maps at the Carter Bottom trail head, where there's a large parking area.
There are lots of areas where the trail is difficult to maneuver due to horse hoof damage, but that's to be expected of this multiple-use trail. There also didn't seem to have been any trail maintenance performed recently as the weeds were high and wildflowers growing in the center of the trail.
I expect this is a sparsely-populated trail, at least after a mile or two in. After hiking about two miles there were suddenly many, many huge cobwebs spun across the trail with lots of critters caught in them, so no one had been here, lately.
There's one area at the beginning of this trail (and end, if you're just hiking a loop) that is a mowed meadow and the trail runs along the tree line. That area had just been mowed and was easy to follow. But there are no signs along that path so, if the grass is high, it may be hard to follow.
There are lots and lots of (more than I have ever seen, hiking) ticks. The tiny ticks and the big ticks. I'm not exaggerating. They are everywhere.
I'll probably only hike this trail in the winter, from now on, but I'll absolutely hike the rest of it.
This is a fairly strenuous hike,especially beginning at the trail head. Make sure to bring plenty of bug and insect repellant. I really enjoy the scenery and the flora and fauna that was found along the trail. A few places along the trail to camp as well.