Hickory Ridge Trail is a 7.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Norman, Indiana that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.9 miles
849 feet

dogs on leash




horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


Hickory Ridge Trails offers users 46.7 miles of loops, lines, and connecting routes penetrating deeply through both cool dense forests of hardwood trees and open meadows with scenic beauty at every view. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Etiquette and Rules Horse riders and mountain bikers (age 17 years and older) are required to have a permit and stay on trails designated for that type of use. Permits are available from our offices and local vendors. Observe the following trail courtesy: Mountain bikers yield to horse riders and hikers. Make your approach known in advance. Hikers yield to horse riders. Horse riders control your horse. Pack out your trash. Motorized travel is not permitted. Safety Use caution during hunting seasons. Blaze orange clothing is recommended (do not wear white) during deer season. If a parking lot is not available where you wish access, be sure your vehicle is well off the road. Many trails intersect roadways. If you choose to use a road as part of your trip, be mindful of traffic. Ticks and chiggers are prevalent in southern Indiana. Take necessary precautions including avoiding tall grass and thick brushy areas. Loose limbs and hazard trees can fall on the trail at anytime, especially on windy days. Emergencies Nearest public phone is located in Heltonville, IN The nearest hospital is located in Bedford, IN Lawrence County Sheriff: 812-275-3316 or 911. Indiana Conservation Officers: 812-837-9536.

27 days ago

From the north parking lot, I hiked CCW around trails 18-4-2-3-10-4-18.

The good: Trails are well-marked at intersections and easy to follow in-between even though there aren't many blazes. The forest is beautiful - mostly hardwoods with the occasional clearing, pond, or stand of pine trees. Birds were plentiful, and I saw lots of small mammals. There's enough elevation to make it interesting, but there's plenty of easy ridge-walking and overall not too strenuous. Because they are horse trails, they're comfortably wide and there's no bush-whacking, overgrown trails, or surprise spider webs in your face.

The bad: Because they are horse trails, there are a lot of spots that get churned up into pudding. Most spots are small - just 5 or 10 yards - and easy enough to avoid or pick your way across if you step carefully. Some have walk-around trails, but a lot of those are also being utilized by riders and churned up as well. A few were a real pain to navigate around or through. There's also a lot of manure if that bothers you.

The ugly: There's a real garbage problem on the trail. Horseback riders apparently have no compunction about discarding their empties wherever they please. The area around the horse camp had a ridiculous amount of trailside trash - mostly empty beer containers. (Yes, I know it's the riders and not hikers because it was all Bud Light and Busch. Hikers who drink on trail carry hard liquor because beer is too heavy.)

Other: I found a few small streams, but we've had a pretty wet fall, so they're probably unreliable sources. I would like to have gotten over to the East side of the trail system, but there's no way to get from one side to the other without a significant amount of road walking, but its likely the horse and rider problems would be reduced further from the horse camp.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Many different variations of backpacking available. Spend a few nights backpacking, or spend a few hours. I stayed out there two nights, and I did not walk the trails. There were quite a few horse riders, one biker, and no other backpackers. There is a horse campground that is pretty central, if you want to be near some other people, or there are many different private campsites with more privacy than any I have seen in Indiana. Just go out to the area and drive around until you find the perfect area, then find one of the parking sites along the road that are marked/numbered, and then start backpacking or stay and camp there on site.
I just parked my car in the center of the horse camp area, so that I did not take any spots from those whom have horses may need. From there I hiked North, with intention to camp for a few days on the southeast side of Lake Monroe. On the way, we decided to check out Lake Tarzian, which is just southeast of Lake Monroe. There is moderate vegetation if you plan to walk off trail to avoid other people and riders, but there is lots of change in elevation. You make pick to avoid this vegetation, but now you must trek up and down multiple ridges that are >50 degree angles up and down. We only ran into one hunter, but he waved and was friendly.
Upon arriving at Lake Tarzian, we popped out of the woods after two killer ridge climbs. Where we popped out of on the southeast edge of the lake, and it was beautiful. Check out my pictures to see the sunset I captured. Just before the sunset, Ed and Anne drove there Gator of to our camp site, which was hidden under overhanging trees in the distance. These two own the property and take very good care of it. Very clean water and beautiful landscaping. It was like walking into paradise after a 10 mile hike through stickers and over ridges. They asked us to leave, but were kind enough to let us stay after some nice conversation. If you want to stay here, check out my pictures, then call ahead and make it your destination by their approval. It is gorgeous.
My only dislike was the overwhelming number of trails, and not having much description of any of them via the maps. This is why we went of trail, not using the map, and ended up on private property. Check out the fire tower, watch a sunset, and enjoy all of rolling hills of Hoosier National Forest.

3 months ago

horseback riding
3 months ago

6 months ago

9 months ago

Saturday, September 30, 2017

recorded Hickery Ridge trail #18 & #4

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Saturday, November 17, 2012