The Echo Ranks the Best Hiking Spots in Central Indiana

  1. Brown County State Park  // Brown County, IN

This state park features over 170,000 acres of forested land to adventure around in. Brown County State Park features 11 named trails, ranging from easy to rugged, climbing over steep hills and through creeks. Some trails, like the Fire Tower Trail, takes hikers out to historic landmarks left inside the park like the old fire tower.

Find out more information about Brown County State Park: http://www.browncounty.com/

2. McCloud Nature Park // North Salem, IN

McCloud Nature Park features 232 acres of wooded forests, containing 6.5 miles of easily marked trails for various abilities. McCloud also has various attractions located inside its trails, such as a 101-year-old restored iron truss bridge and rotating art exhibits.

Find out more information about McCloud Nature Park: http://www.hendrickscountyparks.org/mccloudpark

3. Morgan-Monroe State Forest // Martinsville, IN

This state forest features 7 trails dedicated solely to hiking, prohibiting mountain bike riding on the trails. Many advanced, rugged terrain trails are offered at Morgan-Monroe State Forest, climbing up to 10 miles each. Several trails take hikers by scenic Cherry Lake (featured below) and Bryant’s Creek Lake. The Morgan-Monroe State Forest was purchased as an abandoned, eroded piece of land that many individuals had attempted to farm, but were unsuccessful due to the rocky, hilly terrain. The forest is 24,000 acres and features gold panning, camping and hunting (permits on some activites are required).

Find out more information about Morgan-Monroe State Forest: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/4816.htm

4. Eagle Creek Park // Indianapolis, IN

This city park offers many trails, travelling over the Eagle Creek Reservoir, through a bird sanctuary and even skating ponds. And yes, at the bird sanctuary many Bald Eagles have been spotted! Eagle Creek offers much more than hiking; Go Ape! is now offered at this location, allowing individuals to zip-line through the 3,900 acres of forests. The park has varying levels and miles of trails with allocated colors for each and plentiful amounts of signs to keep hikers on track.

For more information on Eagle Creek Park: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPR/ECPark/Pages/default.aspx

5. Hoosier National Forest // Bedford, IN

With over 260 miles of pure hiking trails, the Hoosier National Forest is a must-go spot. Backpacking and day hiking are both available at this location, allowing novice and experienced hikers to each hike at their own levels of expertise. Trail lengths range from .8 miles to 48.7 miles. This forest has over 20 marked trails to venture out onto.

For more information on Hoosier National Forest: http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/hoosier/recreation/hiking

Photos and content by Rachel Moore

 

 

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