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Hoosier National Forest

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General Information

Description - With rolling hills and backed against the Ohio River to the south, the boundaries of the Hoosier National Forest contain 644,163 acres. National Forest lands within that boundary now total over 192,000 acres, but most of the land within the Forest boundary is still private. The patchwork effect of small farms, pastures, cross road communities, and Forest give the Hoosier an interesting rural flavor.

The Hoosier National Forest has some unique features. The Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest is an old growth forest with 200 year old walnut and oak trees. At the Hemlock Cliffs, you will find a forested canyon with a waterfall and a large rockshelter. At Lost River Karst, a 20 mile stretch of underground river features karst topography such as sinkholes and boil holes.

Great scenic views are offered at Hardin Ridge, with a view of Lake Monroe, Buzzard Roost, which overlooks the Ohio River, and the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower, in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness.

The Hardin Ridge Recreation Area has a boat ramp, swimming beach, fishing, boating and hiking. Mano Point, east of Cannelton provides boat access to the Ohio River for boaters and anglers. Other water based recreation areas on the Forest include Celina, Indian, Saddle, German Ridge, Tipsaw and Springs Valley Lakes. The Little Blue River and parts of the Lost River are canoeable. Many other ponds, lakes and streams are fishable.

The Hoosier has one designated Wilderness area, the 13,000 acre Charles C. Deam Wilderness. It is the only Wilderness in Indiana and has a trail network which provides the opportunity for a remote experience.

Recreation - Recreation opportunities on the Hoosier include camping in campgrounds and dispersed areas, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, picnicking, nature study, and scenic driving.

Climate - Winters in this area are cool and sometimes cold with occasional snow. Spring and autumn are transitional periods, with normally mild temperatures but occasional seasonal fluctuations. Summers bring warm to hot and often humid days.

Location - The Hoosier National Forest is located in southern Indiana. The southern end of the Forest borders the Ohio River. The Forest Headquarters is located in Bedford, with Forest Offices also in Brownstown and Tell City, Indiana. The Hoosier is within a two hour drive of Indianapolis, Evansville, and Terre Haute, Indiana; Owensboro and Louisville, Kentucky; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Brendan O'Sullivan-Hale (Indianapolis, IN)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Deam Wilderness 7/16-17/2004: backpacked in with a friend, starting on the Grubb Ridge trail, connecting to the Penninsula trail, and set up camp on the shore of Lake Monroe. It was about 5 miles in. The campsite was right at the end of the trail--a grassy spot with a well-built fire ring, and a nice view of the lake. Didn't see a soul till we hiked out the next morning. The hike out is a little tougher than the hike in, but it's not bad either way. The trail gets very muddy at points due to horses.

Filed By: Kimm cinti horsemans club (cinti, OH)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Bedford area; +50 miles horse trails: favorite place to ride/moderate difficulty/not crowded/3 hrs. travel time from Cinti/state and private camps(best: Circle S Camp)/well marked trails with map plaques at several trail crossings/several small creeks/wooded and pine forests/varying dirt path terrain/ride to Hickory Grove Church(tie rails w/ vault toilet)/please stay on marked trails/bridle tag fee

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Hiking in the far southern part of the Hoosier is the most rugged but also the most scenic. Lots of wild life and old world trees. Water is available along the trails as well as some fixed campsites. Best seen in the fall when leaves turn. You must be in shape to do more than a day hike!

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We parked at the fire tower and hiked to Terrell Cemetery, then 4mi into the heart of the forest. Only saw two 4 other hikers and this was on a weekend. Great place to get away.---JMoon

More Information

Contact Information:
Hoosier National Forest, 811 Constitution Avenue , Bedford, IN, 47241, Phone: 812-275-5987

Additional Information:
Indiana - Indiana lies in the heart of the U.S. Midwest. It is characterized by industry in the northwest, cornfields and car racing in the state center and rolling hills and open spaces in the south.

Hoosier National Forest - Official agency website.


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