Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Big trees at Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest

This 88 acre tract south of Paoli is the last old growth forest of it's size in Indiana. The site has been left virtually undisturbed since before it was purchased by Joseph Cox in 1816. After being protected by the Cox family for 124 years, when a descendent died in 1940, the land was put up for sale. It was saved from being cut by a timber company due to a community effort and the US Forest Service purchasing the land back from the company. Later in 1944 the tract was designated a Research Natural Area by the Forest Service. Along with a 165-acre buffer, the area is managed to protect its unique qualities. There is a 1.3 mile trail between SR 37 and a rock wall commemorating the Pioneer Mothers Forest at the bottom of the hill where a day use picnic area once stood. In the bottomland area was also a prehistoric Native American village site. Extensive excavations have been done to study this prehistoric village which is thought to date to A.D. 1380.

Click here to download a flier with a map and more information.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Open year round. The road off US 150 is gated but visitors are welcome to walk in.
Fees none
Permit Info: none
Open Season: Year-round
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Since this area is a Research Natural Area no hunting, camping, target- shooting, or plant collecting is allowed. Horses and bikes are also prohibited in this area.
Closest Towns: Paoli, IN
Water: none
Restroom: none
Operated By: USFS, Tell City Ranger District, 248 15th Street, Tell City, IN 47586; Phone: 812-547-7051

General Information

Directions: The Research Natural Area can be reached from State Route 37 just on the south side of Paoli at the top of the hill above town. The other access is off US 150 east of Paoli.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Hiking

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Day Hiking

A one mile trail winds through this 88-acre tract south of Paoli which is the last old growth forest of it's size in Indiana. The one mile is one way so you can hike back up the trail or meander cross country through the big trees. The site has been left virtually undisturbed since before it was purchased by Joseph Cox in 1816. After being protected by the Cox family for 124 years, when a descendent died in 1940, the land was put up for sale. It was saved from being cut by a timber company due to a community effort and the US Forest Service purchasing the land back from the company. Later in 1944 the tract was designated a Research Natural Area by the Forest Service. Along with a 165-acre buffer, the area is managed to protect its unique qualities. There is a 1.3 mile trail between SR 37 and a rock wall commemorating the Pioneer Mothers Forest at the bottom of the hill where a day use picnic area once stood. In the bottomland area was also a prehistoric Native American village site. Extensive excavations have been done to study this prehistoric village which is thought to date to between 1000 and 1500 AD.

Fire Informationnone

Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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Areas & Activities

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Location

 
  Area/Length : 
1.3 mile

  Latitude : 
38.536

  Longitude : 
-86.459

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=41586&actid=50