German Ridge Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Shelterhouse at German Ridge

The German Ridge Recreation Area includes a campground, a 24-mile multiple use trail, a short hiking trail around a scenic lake, a day use area for swimming and picnicking, and several historic buildings. It was established during the Civilian Conservation Corps days and has long been a popular get-away for people in southern Indiana.

At a Glance

Current Conditions:   7/6/21 trail maintenance project begins.  Be aware of heavy equipment.  Areas will be signed.
Operational Hours: Open 24 hours/day, Quiet hours are 10 pm to 6 am
Reservations: No reservations are taken for this area.
Fees There are camping fees of $8/day paid in a self service fee tube, but no day use fees.
Permit Info: Horses and mountain bike riders (age 17 years and older) are required to have a permit and stay on trails designated for that type of use. Permits are available from our offices and local vendors.
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Firewood Restrictions 
  • Any firewood brought onto National Forest System land must meet ONE of the firewood requirements on Hoosier National Forest.
  • Use of on-site firewood must only be from dead, downed material. Standing trees, living or dead, may not be cut or defaced.
A complete list of US Forest Service rules and regulations are posted on bulletin boards in the campground. 
Closest Towns: Cannelton, IN
Water: Water is not potable for human use, but available for horses.
Restroom: Vault toilets, accessible for people with disabilities, are provided
Operated By: USFS, Tell City Ranger District, 248 15th Street, Tell City, IN 47586; Phone: 812-547-7051

General Information


From I-64: Take I-64 to IN 37 south (Exit 79). Take IN 37 south approximately 18 miles to IN 70. Go east on IN 70. In less than 1 mile, turn right where the big "German Ridge Recreation Area" sign indicates. When that road Ts into another, turn right. You are now on Gerald Road. Watch for German Ridge Road on your left. Turn there, and the parking area is 0.9 mile south. Continue south to reach the campground and day use area.From I-66: Take IN 66 east from Tell City, through Cannelton, then watch for Forest Service signs. This will get you to the campground. From there, go north on German Ridge Road. The campground and trailhead is approximately 3/4 of a mile up this road to the left. GPS Coordinates: Lat- 37o 57' 18.427"N, Long- 86o 34' 52.512"W

General Notes:

Additional Resources

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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