Hoosier National Forest

Quick Facts

Hoosier National Forest

Indiana

(812) 275-5987

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Located in the rolling hills of southern Indiana, lies the Hoosier National Forest. Backed against the Ohio River to the south, this Forest is within a days drive of the metropolitan centers of Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, Evansville, and Indianapolis. The Hoosier National Forest boundary encompasses 644,163 acres, with over 192,000 acres of public land and most of the remaining in private ownership. The patchwork effect of small farms, pastures, cross road communities, and national forest give the Hoosier an interesting rural flavor.

Map of Hoosier Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 38.270202, -86.546653

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Approximately 176 miles of trails are available for mountain biking. Mountain bikers are required to have a trail permit and stay on trails designated for their use. Annual and day-use permits are available from the offices and several local vendors.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    There are scenic drives throughout the Hoosier National Forest. Driving is especially popular during the fall when colors are at their peak, and in spring when dogwood, redbud, and spring wildflowers bring the woods to life. The Ohio River Scenic Byway which follows the Ohio River through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, winds along the river through the southern portion of the Hoosier. Here, the Forest offers scenic panoramic vistas overlooking the river.

    Highway 446 between Bedford and Bloomington is a scenic drive enjoyed by many forest visitors. The highway runs between U.S. 50 and Highway 46 on the east side of both towns. It crosses a long causeway over Lake Monroe and has several rock cuts popular for fossil and rock enthusiasts.

  • Camping

    There are ten campgrounds in the national forest, several of which cater to horses. No drinking water available at some sites. Please do not bring firewood into forest campgrounds as the firewood could transport emerald ash borer. Only local firewood should be used. Facilities vary in their accessibility. Please call the forest offices for up-to-date information on site accessibility.

  • Fishing

    Several water resources on the Hoosier National Forest are managed to provide you with opportunities to fish for largemouth bass and panfish (smaller fish such as bluegill or sunfish). A long-term stocking program in some waters has been established to provide channel catfish and saugeye as well.

    Fishable waters range in size from 1 to 10,000 acres and are scattered throughout the Forest. These may include former farm ponds, wildlife watering holes, or limestone quarry ponds. Some have easy, drive-in access and others are accessed by primitive walk-in trails. Forest maps will help you locate these ponds and lakes.

    Although the Hoosier National Forest manages fishing habitats on the Forest, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife regulates and manages sport fishing throughout the state. Everyone who fishes must have a fishing permit or qualify for an exemption. Please refer to the Indiana DNR webpage for specifics.

  • Hiking

    Approximately 266 miles of trails are available for hiking. The individual trails range in distance from just under one mile to nearly 47 miles. Hikers are advised that several of these trails are multiple use, being also open to horseback riders and mountain bikers.

  • Horseback Riding

    Approximately 266 miles of trails are available for horseback riding. There are also six campgrounds in the forest area that cater to horses. Riders are advised to always keep control of their horses.

  • Hunting

    All Indiana hunting laws are enforced on National Forest land. An array of hunting experiences can be found, from remote walk-in areas to easily accessible lands near roads. All National Forest lands except for designated recreation areas, Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest south of Paoli, and a few posted areas are available for hunting. Hunter are reminded that discharging a firearm (including a bow and arrow) is prohibited in or within 150 yards of a developed recreation site, a residence, or any place where people are likely to be. Shooting across bodies of water is also prohibited. In addition, private land is interspersed with public land and you must obtain written permission from the private landowner to hunt or fish on their property. Use caution to ensure you don't inadvertently stray off public land onto private.

    Wildlife licensing, regulations, harvest limits, and seasons are set by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife. Please refer to their webpage for specifics on any of these subjects.

  • Picnicking

    Picnicking is availible at all forest campgrounds. Please do not bring firewood into forest picnic areas as the firewood could transport emerald ash borer. Only local firewood should be used. Facilities vary in their accessibility. Please call the forest offices for up-to-date information on site accessibility.

  • Water Sports

    Boating is allowed on forest lakes and ponds.

Park Partners

Directions

Driving

From Bedford, the two primary access routes are US highway 50 south and State highway 37 south.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(812) 275-5987

Links