Recreation


Two kayakers paddle in open water as the sun sets behind the trees.

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The Hoosier National Forest is within a 2-hour drive of Cincinnati, Evansville, Indianapolis, and Louisville. The Forest offers people a tranquil setting to explore, fish, hike, hunt and reconnect with nature. There are over 260 miles of trails on the forest for hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding. Trail systems may be open to more than one type of use, so please be courteous to other users.

Please note: To reduce our paper use, printed trail maps will no longer be available at trailhead kiosks when current supplies run out.

Quick Links

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Current Recreation Conditions

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Birdseye Trail Open Open
Charles C. Deam Wilderness Open Open Be aware that Tower Ridge Road is a rough, gravel road that is not maintained in the winter.  A section of Tower Ridge Rd will be CLOSED April 4 through April 8 for public safety during the Total Eclipse.  Hunter Creek Road to the south is a paved road alternative. 
German Ridge Recreation Area Open Open All campsites will be by RESERVATION ONLY from March 29 through April 10 due to the 2024 Eclipse.  The camping fee will be waived but there will be a service fee to make your reservation on www.recreation.gov.  Check our Eclipse page for updates.
Hardin Ridge Recreation Area Open Open Effective Oct 15, 2023 at noon eastern until March 28, 2024 - All cabins and campground loops CLOSED (shower houses closed, no electric available).  Vault toilet available at boat ramp. There will be no day-use fee charged, free access to day-use of the boat ramp and trails.  All cabins and campsites are by RESERVATION ONLY from March 29 through April 10 due to the 2024 Eclipse.  Normal operations resume April 11. 
Hickory Ridge Fire Tower Open Open Parking is limited. Have a plan to visit another site or trail if this site is full. We recommend planning your visit during non-peak times such as mornings, and weekdays. The tower will be CLOSED on April 8, 2024 for public safety.
Hickory Ridge Trail Open Open
  • Trail 16 is closed from the junction of trail 17 on the west to junction with trail 17 on the east.
Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area Open Open Effective Oct. 23, 2023, at noon central time until March 28, 2024 - No day-use fee charged, free access to day-use of the boat ramps, trails, parking, and fishing pier.  All campsites are by RESERVATION ONLY from March 29 through April 10 due to the 2024 Eclipse.  Normal operations resume April 11.
Lick Creek Trail Open Open
Saddle Lake Recreation Area Open Open All campsites will be by RESERVATION ONLY from March 29 through April 10 due to the 2024 Eclipse.  The camping fee will be waived but there will be a service fee to make your reservation on www.recreation.gov.  Check our Eclipse page for updates.
Springs Valley Trail and Boat Launch Open Open
Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area Open Open Effective Oct. 23, 2023, at noon central until March 28, 2024 - Campground and Shower Houses Closed, no day-use fee charged, free access and day-use of the boat ramp, parking, and trails. All campsites will be by RESERVATION ONLY from March 29 through April 10 due to the 2024 Eclipse. Normal operations will resume on April 11. Tipsaw Beach will remain closed until To be Determined, 2024.
Two Lakes Loop Trail Open Open

Spotlights

Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area

Camping at Celina Campground

Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area is located two miles south of Interstate 64 off Indiana 37. It offers​ opportunities for both overnight and day use, with two camping loops and two lakes that offer paddling,​ fishing and boating (electric motors only), and two​ trails for hiking. This area is operated by a​ concessionaire under a special use permit issued by​ the Forest Service from mid-April through late​ October.

Rickenbaugh House

Rickenbaugh House

This sandstone block house was built in 1874 by Jacob Rickenbaugh.  The house has been renovated and is open periodically. Please check our social media events for upcoming programs.

A downloadable flier with information is available - click here.

Hardin Ridge Recreation Area

Hardin Ridge Camper

Hardin Ridge Recreation Area is located on Monroe Lake south of Bloomington, Indiana. This recreation area offers​ six campground loops, two picnic areas and three shelterhouses,​ two of which are available for reservation, a three​ lane boat launch, a swim beach with shelter and showerhouse,​ hiking trails, and two rental cabins on the lake. The​ campground loops offer modern restroom and shower​ facilities. This area is operated by a concessionaire under a​ special use permit issued by the Forest Service from mid-​April through mid to late October.