Outdoor Safety and Ethics

Trail Safety

If a parking lot is not available, ensure your vehicle is parked well off the road where you wish to access. Many of our forest roads are very narrow with blind curves. Park in a straight stretch, off the roadbed, and do not block other roads or trails.

Many trails intersect roadways and a few may follow a road for a short period. Always be mindful of traffic.

Loose limbs and hazard trees can fall on the trail at anytime, be especially careful on windy days. We make an effort to remove hazard trees when we are aware of them, but we need your help. Please report any hazard trees or large limbs across the trail to one of the Hoosier National Forest at 812-275-5987 or 812-547-7051 or you can email us.

If you stop when hiking to camp, ensure you have a fire ring (this may be made by rocks) around your fire and 10 feet of cleared space.

Hunting on the Forest

Be aware of hunting seasons. Do not assume hunters will hear you coming even if you're riding a horse. Blaze orange colored clothing is recommended during all major firearm seasons. Outer clothing easily seen such as a hat, coat, or vest are best. We recommend wearing orange for firearm deer hunting season, muzzle-loading seasons, and turkey seasons. Do not wear white clothing as it may be mistaken for a deer's tail. Blues and reds can be mistaken for the color of a turkey's head in the spring firearm season. For more information on hunting seasons see the Indiana Department of Natural Resources webpage.

Trail Etiquette

In addition to vehicles, on trails, visitors must share the trail with other types of user groups.

Observe the following trail courtesy:


  • Mountain bikers yield to horse riders and hikers. Make your approach known well in advance.
  • Hikers yield to horse riders.
  • Horse riders control your horse.

If you are a hiker/backpacker and there is a boot brush station at the trailhead. Please use the boot brushes to dirt off your shoes before hiking the trail. The  mud on your shoes may include seeds from invasive plants that would have invade these natural areas.