Explore the most popular trails near Martinsville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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on Low Gap Trail

9 days ago

The Low Gap is a great trail for quick overnight backpacking trips. While the trail isn’t overly difficult there are some elevation changes that will get your heart rate up. Also, some creek bed hiking (beware of slick smooth rocks). The scenery in the forest is nice, particularly in the fall. I’ve been here several times and have not seen the sort of litter you see at campsites on other trails, which is nice. There are several established campsites in the backcountry area. Look near Gourley and Shipman ridge for some really good spots. There is one thing about the trail that to me really makes it more of a 3.5 star, the infamous overly long gravel road portion of the trail. The large pieces of sharp gravel can hurt your feet even in decent boots. Even with the gravel this is a worthwhile trail and worth repeat visits.

Completed the loop on October 13. Trail is a nice endurance hike, as we are preparing for Bright Angel in Grand Canyon. Not a lot of stunning scenery, and a lot of gravel road. Trail is poorly marked, so pay attention!

hiking
1 month ago

Quiet trail, nice to put your feet in the water. some colorful fungi and other plants.

hiking
1 month ago

The fire road is lengthy and the less pleasant of the trail but the rest of it is nice. If you like trail running it’s not bad. Still have to keep your eyes open for roots and such. It’s reasonably close to get to from Indy and in general a nice hike. This time of fall with the sudden warmer temps bring a ton of gnats and mosquitoes so be prepared (end of September).

I went on 9/19/18 from 1:20pm-5:30pm. Gnats started to annoy the hell out of me around 1/5 of the trailer and they literally made it horrible for me and I really just wanted to get the hell out of there. Other than the gnats and the cobwebs and spiders I ate and displaced which was about 100 of them it was pretty cool. Saw some chipmunks and some squirrels, and also some frogs. Oh and I saw one guy with a HUGE German Shepherd. Lol thank god he was friendly

backpacking
2 months ago

Enjoyed the trail as this was my first time backpacking.

Awesome trail with a cool reward! Maybe 2-3 miles of gravel. Up, down, repeat!

trail running
3 months ago

This loop is long enough (10+miles) to count as a serious training ground for the mountaineering expedition for which I am in training- a weeklong attempt of Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba. The Low Gap Loop features glorious single track, horse trail, scenic forest canopy, and a stretch of wide gravel service road. There are ponds, stream crossings, interesting rock overhangs and good vertical rise and gain. I do this trail several times per year, and have completed it in pouring rain, intense heat and bitter cold. There’s perhaps no place equal to Low Gap’s combination of challenge and length nearby. Definitely recommended.

backpacking
4 months ago

I’ve hiked parts of this trail more than once. There’s a backcountry camping parking lot if you plan on staying the night. Various campsites along the way, some a little too close to the parking lot in my opinion. But the rock formation is cool once you get out to it. Living in Indianapolis, this might be the “closest” difficult backcountry trail. Plan to hike again!

Bummed. Hiked from cherry lake; followed the markers, then along the creek bed, as there was nowhere else to follow, then dead ended into private property. Followed that to a road, obviously not the trail & had to turn back. Checked with my hiking buddy to see if we missed another branch of the trail. Had not missed any other routes, marked or otherwise. Disappointing to say the least, wish these trails were marked appropriately and/or maps were available at trailhead.

hiking
5 months ago

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
5 months 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!

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months 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.

6 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!

hiking
7 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.

hiking
8 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
8 months ago

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

hiking
8 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
8 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
8 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.

8 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
9 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
9 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
10 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
11 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
11 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.

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