Brown County State Park is Indiana's largest state park
Near Historic Artists Colony of Nashville, Indiana
Indiana's favorite Playground
Brown County Indiana State Park
Brown County State Park is Indiana's most popular state park located close to the historic artists colony of Nashville, Indiana
Hike Brown County Indiana State Park
Hiking is great family fun. Some of the following information
may help you enjoy the footpaths
winding through scenic Brown County State Park
and surrounding areas of Indiana.
Detailed maps of Indiana's long distance footpaths are available
from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
General information about the Indiana Department
of Natural Resources properties is provided in the
Department's annual Recreation Guide.
Information about federal recreation lands in the
state, including Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,
Lincoln Boyhood and George Rogers Clark national memorials,
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge,
and Hoosier NationalForest
can be obtained directly from the appropriate management office.
Brown County Indiana has lots of overnight lodging options, from tents to romantic country inns.
Trail 8 at Brown County State Park is through the remote ravines of the park. It is the longest marked trail in the park at 3.5 miles.
Trail 8 has a lot of character. When starting at Ogle Lake, hiking the trail in a clockwise direction, you begin with a steady uphill section for about half a mile. At the top of the first climb there is a trail junction with the Tulip Tree Shelter connector trail. This connector trail cuts about a mile off of the hike. Continuing on Trail 8 you descend into a very scenic valley that is frequented by deer. Climbing out of the valley is another steady uphill trek for about a half mile until you reach the top of a ridge. Along the top of the ridge the trail parallels one of the park roads for about a mile and a quarter with many short ups and downs. About half way along this section you pass the upper end of the connector trail mentioned earlier. When you reach Hesitation Point, a very popular vista, you will have hiked more than two thirds of the trail and will begin a short downhill trek. After a couple hundred yards of easy descent, you will come to a very long set of steps. This bears repeating. You come to a very long set of steps. This is why I hike this trail in the clockwise direction, to avoid climbing these steps.
From the bottom of the steps you finish your hike with a very easy and pleasant walk along side a stream.
The hike ends back at Ogle Lake.
You might want to extend your hike by walking counter-clockwise half way around the lake on Trail 7.
Take Trail 4 up to the Rally Campgrounds, cross the parking lot and take Trail 5 down to Ogle Hollow.
In the hollow connect back up to the lower section of Trail 4 and then around the north side of the lake on Trail 7 and back to the Ogle Lake parking lot.
A very nice hike adding two and one half miles to your walk.
Stay on designated footpaths whenever possible,
and do not trespass on private property.
You are responsible for helping maintain good relations
between hikers and private property owners.
PLAN YOUR TRIPS
Before starting out, study maps of the area and learn
the terrain. Be sure you are familiar with all the options
of time, alternate routes, and weather. Do not forget the
shorter daylight hours during late fall andwinter.
Be sure to travel with a first aid kit, map and compass,
and know how to use them. Remember to register at the
nearest property office or gatehouse;
for your safety, someone needs to know where you are.
WEAR BRIGHT COLORS ONLY WHEN YOU NEED TO BE SEEN
Wearing bright colors during hunting season,
particularly deer season, is a good idea.
In fact, it may prevent injury or death.
However, during other times of the year, bright reds,
oranges and yellows may actually"shrink"
the outdoors by visually intruding into the wide spaces
and solitude which are part of the outdoor experience.
When drab colors (browns, blues, and greens) are used for
clothing and tents, more people can use the same
general area without knowing
of each other's presence.
PROTECT THE WATER SUPPLY
Always wash your dishes a few feet
away from the edge of a lake or stream.
This way the soil acts as a filter,
preventing soap suds and scraps of food from
polluting the water. After washing your dishes,
rinse them a safe distance from the bank.
A few feet can make a big difference.
Sources of water in many areas are often limited and
can fail during dry periods-plan ahead! Remember to treat
your drinking and cooking water by boiling for several
minutes or with a commercial water filter.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF LITTER
Burying trash and garbage was once the ethical way to
dispose of litter outdoors. However, animals and frost action
usually undo these efforts.
Today, the problem is compounded by the high number of people
using the same areas. The best policy is to carryout what
you carry in (or at least, whatever you cannot burn if fires
are allowed). You might consider going one step
further and carry out anything others may have left behind.
KEEP PETS OFF THE TRAILS
Most of us love "man's best friend,"
but even on a leash a pet's presence may disturb the outdoor
experience. Native wildlife often shies away from areas
which dogs use, thus preventing the close observation
many hikers desire. Barking also often disturbs other hikers,
and sanitation within camping zones can become a problem.
BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE
To reduce the possibility of a forest fire,
we suggest that
you use a portable backpacking stove rather than a campfire for cooking.
A portable stove cooks your meal long before a fire is ready.
Another advantage is that it helps prevent fire-blackened rocks
in areas where people camp.
If you want a campfire,
make sure it is permitted. Different properties may have
different rules regarding campfires. Even those that generally
allow campfires may ban them on a temporary basis because of dry
conditions, fire danger, etc. Remember the old rule when building
a campfire-use only dead and down wood where permitted.
Do not break or cut tree limbs or trees, even dead ones;
dead trees provide habitat for many birds and animals.
One more tip on firewood-do not stockpile wood.
While this was once considered a friendly gesture in remote areas,
today it is one more thing which reduces the spirit of solitude and
independence which people seek.
Any campfire in a backcountry
area should be in a pit 12 inches or less in diameter,
and a three-foot diameter area should be cleared to mineralsoil
around the fire. Prior to leaving an area where a campfire was built,
mix ashes with the soil, fill the pit, and cover the cleared area
with the humus layer which was originally removed.
BE CONSCIENTIOUS WITH HUMAN WASTE
In areas where restrooms are not provided, use areas at least
200 feet from any water supply and camping zone to eliminate waste.
To promote decomposition and sanitary conditions, dig a small hole
approximately eight inches deep, which can then be covered with
loose soil and leaf litter.
HIKING OPPORTUNITIES IN DNR PROPERTIES
Department of Natural Resources' Properties are managed
by one of the landholding divisions: Fish and Wildlife, Forestry,
Museum and Historic Sites, State Parks and Reservoirs, and
Nature Preserves. Each division has its own role to play in the
conservation of Indiana's natural resources,
and the management practices followed by each division on their
properties differ. To some extent, hiking opportunities are provided
at most department properties.
State Fish and Wildlife Areas are managed for maximum fish and
wildlife populations. Hunting, fishing, and access to public waters
are provided. Hiking (no marked trails) and camping are sometimes
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
State Forests are managed for timber
production, watershed protection, wildlife habitat,
and outdoor recreation. Three State Recreation Areas
(similar to State Parks), three Backcountry Areas
(providing for primitive & backpack camping),
and several campgrounds have been established within the forests.
Many trails have also been developed in the forests,
Division of Forestry
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
State Historic Sites are sites with historical significance
managed to preserve and reflect the state's heritage. A few short
footpaths have been developed at some historic sites. Camping and
fires are not permitted.
Division of State Museum and Historic Sites
of Natural Resources
State Parks are areas preserving unique natural or
cultural resources and providing outdoor recreation
opportunities. Many footpaths have been developed in the parks;
in addition campgrounds, cabins, and inns are available. Primitive
backpack campsites have been established in Shades State Park.
Reservoir Properties are made up of State Recreation Areas
(similar to State Parks), wildlife management areas, and water areas.
These areas provide a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities.
All reservoir properties, except one, are centered around U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers flood control reservoirs;
Hardy Lake is state-owned. Several trails have been developed
on reservoir properties. Several campgrounds are also available,
and a backpackcamping area has been established in the Patoka
Division of State Parks and Reservoirs
Indiana Department of
Nature Preserves are areas with natural character
and unusual flora, fauna, or biotic, geologic, scenic,
or paleontologic features of scientific value.
Many preserves have been dedicated within other department properties
and are managed by the division which manages the larger property.
Footpaths have been developed in some of the preserves.
Camping, fires, and pets are not permitted.
Division of Nature Preserves
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
HIKING OPPORTUNITIES IN OTHER AREAS of Indiana
Park and recreation agencies throughout the state are
developing trails within their communities.
The two major federal resource properties in
the state (Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and
Hoosier National Forest) also provide hiking opportunities.
Descriptions of some of the longer hiking opportunities follow.
The Rivergreenway in Fort Wayne currently includes a 12-mile
Fort Wayne Parks and
The City of Anderson's White River Corridor
project includes a 6-mileloop riverwalk.
Anderson Parks and Recreation
The Wabash Heritage Trail in Tippecanoe County is
currently a 7.5-mile trail along the Wabash River. Contact:
Tippecanoe County Parks and Recreation
Indianapolis offers 3 miles of hiking along its
Fall Creek Parkway.Contact:
Indianapolis Dept. of Parks and Recreation
The White River Gorge Trail is a 3.5-mile
trail in Richmond. Contact:
Richmond Parks and Recreation
The two major federal resource properties in the state,
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Hoosier National Forest,
provide hiking opportunities. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
contains approximately 11,900 acres in Lake, Porter,
and LaPorte counties. Topography and habitat in the lakeshore
include sand dunes, various types of woodlands, wetlands,
and bogs. Footpaths have been developed in most of these areas.
Campgrounds are available. Information can be obtained from:
Superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
The Mississinewa Riverway currently includes
a 3-mile walkway in Marion.Contact:
Marion Parks and Recreation
The Hoosier National Forest encompasses almost
200,000 acres in southern Indiana and offers a variety
of recreation opportunities. The Forest has 21 trail
systems totaling approximately 200 miles, and hikers are also
free to explore off-trail in most areas. Camping opportunities
range from developed campgrounds to backpack camping.
Most of the trail systems on the Hoosier National Forest
are open to use by hikers, mountain bikers,and horse riders.
Information is available from:
INDIANA'S LONG DISTANCE HIKING TRAILS
Indiana has many excellent footpaths for a short walk or a day
hike in the fresh air. The following long distance footpaths are
recommended as the ones in the best condition for the more
adventurous who want an enjoyable, overnight trail experience.
These foot paths can be quite challenging, depending upon the
weather and other conditions. Some
segments of these footpaths can also be conveniently used for
The Knobstone Trail
is Indiana's longest footpath-a 58-mile trail following the
Knobstone escarpment, the state's most prominent geologic feature,
through Clark State Forest, Elk Creek Public Fishing Area, and
Jackson-Washington State Forest. These state resource properties
contain nearly 40,000 acres of rugged, forested knobs in Clark,
Scott, and Washington counties. The trail presently extends
northward from near the Deam Lake State Recreation Area,
just north of S.R. 60 in Clark County, to Washington County's
DelaneyPark, just east of S.R. 135 in
northern Washington County.
Two loop trails,one six miles and the other eight miles,
have been developed at the northern end of the Knobstone Trail.
Potential extension of the Knobstone Trail
northward through the Hoosier National Forest,
and the Department of Natural Resources' properties in Brown,
Monroe, and Morgan counties could create over 100 miles of footpath.
Backpack camping is permitted in the two Backcountry Areas the
trail crosses, as well as along the rest of the trail within
certain guidelines. Campgrounds are available near each end
of the trail. A detailed Knobstone Trail Map is available
from IDNR Map Sales. The map may also be available at the
property offices of Clark and Jackson-Washington state forests.
ADVENTURE HIKING TRAIL
The 25-mile Adventure Hiking Trail is a loop trail
located in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest/Wyandotte
Woods State Recreation Area Complex. Much of the trail
follows the natural escarpments overlooking the Ohio and
Blue rivers and Indian Creek. Backpack camping is permitted
in designated areas along the trail, and overnight shelters
are available. For more information on the Adventure Hiking Trail,
The Salamonie Trail is a 22-mile
loop connecting the Lost Bridge and Mount Etna state recreation
areas along the south side of Salamonie Reservoir
(in Wabash and Huntington counties).
The trail is open for hiking April through November.
The trail is also open for horseback riding west of Lost Bridge
West State Recreation Area. When snow conditions are adequate December
through March, the trail is open only for snowmobiling.
Camping is available at campgrounds in the recreation areas.
Maps are available from the Salamonie Reservoir property office.
HOOSIER NATIONAL FOREST LONG DISTANCE TRAILS
Two trail systems in the Hoosier National Forest offer
the opportunity for hikes in excess of 20 miles.
These trails are composed of loop systems
so a hiker may choose from a range of distances.
The Hickory Ridge Trail system offers approximately 43 miles of trail
through scenic hardwoods and remote areas of the Forest.
The German Ridge Trail is a 23-mile system featuring the chance to
view sandstone outcroppings. More information on these trails
is available from the Hoosier National Forest.
Other long trails which can be completed in a day,
may also provide an enjoyable overnight experience.
The Ten O'Clock Line Trail (about one-fourth on roadways)
connects Brown County State Park and Yellowwood State Forest.
The 10-mile Three Lakes Trail and the 10-mile Low Gap Trail
(passing through a backcountry area) loop through Morgan-Monroe
State Forest. The 6-mile Main Trail loops through the Patoka
Reservoir property's roadless area; a spur trail leads to the
primitive, backpack camping area. Contact the appropriate
property office for up-to-date information on trail conditions
Up to date information on all Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR) properties is available on the state website.
All Indiana State Parks and Facilities have fees
Please be advised: All information on any website is subject to change!