- 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.
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.