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Topic: Indiana hiking, It's so flat - is there any good hiking?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 8:45 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife and I are moving to Indianapolis this summer and I'm wondering if there's any good hiking... scratch that... backpacking in the state?  I've heard people talk about Brown County but I don't want some commercialized hiking trails where you're waiting in line to walk past an old tree.  I'm talking about wild areas.  

Any suggestions?  We've lived in Kentucky and there are some good spots around here but Indiana is pretty much farms from what I can tell...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 9:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Can't answer your question, but wanted to say that I checked out your website and read your write-up on the Land Between the Lakes hike --- always wanted to do that trip.  I've camped only at the Hillman Ferry campgrounds -- many times as I'm driving through the area to/from Florida/Wisconsin and have done a number of day hikes.  The wilderness/backcountry camping sounds like the way to go.  Hope to find enough time to that one of these days.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 19 2013, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well close to you is Charles Deam Wilderness. Plus down in Southern Indiana it gets pretty darn hilly. Try the Knobstone Trail. See link:

http://www.in.gov/dnr/outdoor/4224.htm
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 8:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WiscoHiker @ Jan. 19 2013, 9:21 am)
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Can't answer your question, but wanted to say that I checked out your website and read your write-up on the Land Between the Lakes hike --- always wanted to do that trip.  I've camped only at the Hillman Ferry campgrounds -- many times as I'm driving through the area to/from Florida/Wisconsin and have done a number of day hikes.  The wilderness/backcountry camping sounds like the way to go.  Hope to find enough time to that one of these days.

LBL is a great spot!  When we went we hardly saw another person on the trail.  I think everyone in this area flocks to Mammoth Cave or to Daniel Boone NF in eastern Kentucky and totally misses the N/S trail.  You'll see more boaters out on the lakes while hiking than you'll see hikers.

Thanks QC Hiker!  I've heard about the Knobstone... but haven't actually hiked it.  May be a good thru-hike opportunity!

Stu
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2013, 5:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Indiana can be a little disappointing if you've lived somewhere with great hiking.  It's not without it's bright spots, however, especially in Central and Southern Indiana.  Shades, Turkey Run and Clifty Falls State Parks all offer some fantastic days hikes.  In late fall and winter, Shades is only open as a day park but you will definitely find some solitude.  It has a backpack campground that is nice but it's only a 2.5 mile hike to the campground.  A friend and I camped in it a couple days this past October and were the only ones in the whole camp area.  We hiked most of the park and the adjacent nature preserve and only saw 2 other people, one of which was a park ranger.

For longer backpack hikes, in addition to the Knobstone Trail, there is the Adventure Hiking Trail.  I backpacked part of it a few years ago and would like to go back and do the whole thing.  I didn't find it as scenic as some of the state park trails but it wasn't terrible and definitely had hills.   I'll give you a link to a description of the trail.

http://www.backpackcamp.com/Harrison.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 5:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Knobstone is a stout hike by any standards. The hills aren't all that high with a couple of exceptions but the trail is one steep ascent/descent after another and the feel is very isolated -especially late fall - early spring.

Close to Indy, for backpacking check out the Low Gap/Tecumseh Trial in the Morgan-Monroe State forest. The photo below was taken there last night.

The real bonus to living in Indy compared to KY is that you are several hours closer to northern WI and Upper MI. If you haven't spent time in the North Woods, you are definitely missing out. The Trap Hills and the Porkies are not flat.

Anyway, when you get to Indy, if you want to check out the Morgan-Monroe, Let me know and I'll show you around. It is more or less in my back yard.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wild areas, eh? That pretty much limits you to the Hoosier NF and some of the state forests (not all allow backcountry camping). The only state PARK you can backpack in AFAIK is Shades, which as others have said has great day hiking trails and scenery (be sure to visit the Nature Preserve portion!). So Brown County is out for backpacking. Another DNR property that you can BP (though it's not officially endorsed) is Brookville Lake SRA. I haven't done that one yet but have seen a few reports. There is also the Pioneer and Tecumseh trails on either end of the Knobstone for a 140 mile through hike though some is not officially mapped out yet and some is on private land.

You can watch some of my reports of the Deam Wilderness, Shades and Adventure Hiking Trial.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 3:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just moved back to Indy over the holidays after living out of state for the past several years.  I haven't done any of the backpack trips described here, but they've all been on my radar for sure.

I have done part of the Manistee River Trail in MI, however.  totally worth the trip.  

Right now, Fort Harrison State Park is practically right in my backyard.  No backpacking there, but there is some nice dayhiking and mountain biking, with the trails passing by some very cool historic military sites/ruins dating back to the Civil War.

I am looking forward to getting my canoe wet this year, also.

Maybe I'll run into some of you guys on the trails.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 1:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A couple of things here...I split time between Indianapolis and Lexington right now. Indy is far better than Lexington for availability of good dayhikes. Lexington is marginally better for longer trips due to proximity to places like Big South Fork. Living within the city limits of Indianpolis, I encourage you to look for places near either Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park on the East side or Eagle Creek on the West. Neither has any really wild places, but you can have more than ten miles of single track in your back yard. Most of the better trails around the city are maintained as mountain bike trails by HMBA, but they're all multiuse. There is a pretty big trail running community as well.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you get on Google Earth or something similar and look a little ways south of Indy you'll see a pretty large expanse of forest.  This is the Brown County Hills region of Indiana and in places it's about about as rugged as anything else you'll find in the Midwest.  A majority of it is public land, including Hoosier National Forest, Yellowwood and Morgan-Monroe State Forests, and Brown County State Park.  The state park can be pretty crowded at times, but in most spots you certainly won't get a "commercialized" feel.  

As for backpacking, as other posters have said there's backpacking in HNF and parts of Morgan-Monroe.  There are plenty of trails that you can connect to make a multi-day hike, but honestly going off-trail is more rewarding.    The SE portion of this area is my favorite, where HNF, Brown County SP, and Yellowwood meet.  The Deam "Wilderness" is good too.  I'd recommend getting the topo maps and checking it out.  

The Hoosier Hikers Council website is a pretty good resource for the southern Indiana stuff.  I haven't done any of the longer trails but I've heard good things.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 11 2013, 11:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've got lot's of ideas, but I'm a long ways from home right now. Maybe we should plan a meetup for area hikers this spring. I live near the Monroe/Morgan/Brown county borders; where it's forest, hills and hollows in all directions. Lot's of places to canoe, hike, and camp. There is a good trail system, check out the Tecumseh Trail, as well as the Deam Wilderness. The state forests and Hoosier National Forest have a lot of gems that you just need to sniff out. I would say the skiing is marginal, but I'm not finding much better in Minnesota this winter.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 12 2013, 7:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd be down for a get-together.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 10:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd be in for a get together as well.  For really good terrain, travel down I74 to I75 (about 4 hrs drive) to Red RIver Gorge.  The Indiana locations are as good as IN gets, but ify you want hilly, go to RRG!

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2013, 6:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All roads lead away from Indianapolis. Draw some circles on the map, with Indy in the center, and you will see that in all directions there is quality adventure to be found, with the rewards directly proportionate to how far you drive. The state parks are pretty good, and the nature preserves are worth seeking out for day hikes Indiana Nature Preserves.  I think there is a better link for canoeing, but this is what I found in a quick search Indiana Canoe Trails.

I have been working on a Google Earth Atlas & Gazetteer  for Indiana, but it has been on the back burner for a while.

Let's pick a date for sometime soon. I have a place where a dozen of us can camp stream side and venture out for day hikes or canoeing that is close to Bloomington. There are campgrounds in the National Forrest where we could manage a bigger get together with a little more planning. I kind of like simple, but would like to hook up with some of you for future for future outings.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2013, 9:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My spring weekends have quickly filled. My only possible openings are May 11-12, 24-27 (might hike the open parts of the Knobstone) & June 1-2.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 09 2013, 9:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Turkey Run and Shades are a nice car camping/dayhike weekend.

I've driven down and hiked Shades. We camped at Turkey Run that night and then hiked TR all the next day. This was in the mid fall and there were only a half dozen of us at most in the whole camp ground.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2013, 3:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(medicmom @ Jan. 20 2013, 4:53 pm)
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Shades, Turkey Run and Clifty Falls State Parks all offer some fantastic days hikes.

Thumbs up on those parks, and now (after all this rain) would be a good time for Clifty Falls.

I backpacked for 3 days in the Charles Deam Wilderness several years ago, and it was nice but don't expect as much intersesting geology as at the parks mentioned above.


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 12 2013, 7:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

my spring is pretty wacky with an irregular work schedule.  I can usually handle a part weekend thing, but must incorporate weekdays in the mix, usually end of week but it varies a lot.

I am wanting to attend the Simply Music, Simply Mushrooms - Morel Festival (Facebook link) in Brown County on the 20th.  I haven't found anyone to go with me just yet, as my wife has to work the weekend.  Anyone wanting to attend?


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 23 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just took a few Scouts for a nice trip in the Deam Wilderness this past weekend.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2013, 4:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just saw this.  I'd be up for a get together if it falls on the right weekend.  I grew up near Turkey Run, and could practically live in that park.  Plus, an overnighter might get me the opportunity to use my new ENO Hammock.
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