Best Hikes in Hoosier National Forest (IN)

Hoosier National Forest Overview

Hoosier National Forest is located in the hills of south central Indiana and is comprised of four separate sections. This area provides the best hiking trails and nature experiences for Indianapolis or Louisville, KY residents. There are 27 different trail systems to choose from with the best hikes in Hoosier National Forest listed below.

Nearest Metro AreaLouisville, KY
Area Size202,814 acres
EstablishedOctober 1, 1961
Hiking Trails266 miles

Click here for more National Park or National Forest hikes!
You can also view some of our most popular Gear Recommendations here!

Trailhead Traveler’s Best Recommended Hikes in Hoosier National Forest

(*** = Best hikes in Hoosier National Forest)

Hemlock Cliffs*** – 1.4 mile loop
Hemlock Cliffs on the Hoosier
Hemlock Cliffs on the Hoosier, Photo by Forest Service, Eastern Region

A box canyon with sandstone rock formations and season waterfalls. The trailhead is a few miles drive off IN 37.

Pate Hollow Trail – 7.7 mile loop
FS-Hoosier-ML-001_PateHollow_USDA Forest Service photo by Michael_Lawrence.
Pate Hollow Camping, Photo by Forest Service, Eastern Region

Hike through mixed hardwoods with views of Lake Monroe. The trailhead can be found within the Paynetown State Recreation Area.

Sycamore Loop – 4.7 mile loop
Sycamore Trail
Sycamore Trail, Photo by Aaron Rosenberg

Follows the Sycamore Branch of Salt Creek. The Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower marks a good starting point.

Featured Image: Hoosier National Forest, Photo by AndrewKPepper

Don’t forget to stock up on the essentials before you plan your next hiking or camping trip! We have recommendations on: