Hike and Boondock in Hoosier National Forest

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I hadn’t really given Indiana a lot of consideration as a hiking destination, but that is where I was wrong. If you like lovely hardwood forests and free camping, check out the Hoosier National Forest. The Charles C. Deam Wilderness is a groovy place to stop over for an evening or a week to hang out in the wilderness and enjoy the beautiful trees. Hike and boondock in the Hoosier National Forest where there are nearly 40 miles of trails.

In south-central Indiana not far from Bloomington, check out the Charles C. Deam Wilderness. I highly recommend boondocking at the Blackwell Horse Camp. This puts you in a good position to get up and go for a hike the next morning. Now, this area can get a little busy, so be prepared to share. There are pit toilets and picnic tables, so you’re not exactly roughing it. The camp is obviously geared toward equestrians, but don’t let that stop you.

The Tower Ridge Road from Blackwell Horse Camp to the Lake Monroe Peninsula Trailhead.
Photo Credit: All Trails

Lake Monroe Peninsula Trail

The next morning, you can easily drive to the trailhead from Blackwell Horse Camp. The roads are well maintained albeit dirt. Drive northeast from the horse camp on Tower Ridge Road and park at the Grubb Ridge Loop/Axsom Branch trailhead parking lot (on the left). From there, you’ll hike on the Grubb Ridge Loop for about 2.7 miles in a northwesterly direction (bearing right) until you turn onto the Lake Monroe Peninsula Trail.

This is a fairly easy hike with very little elevation. It culminates with a nice view of Lake Monroe from the Peninsula shortline. If you enjoy a walk in the woods, this is the hike for you. It is especially nice in the fall.

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Photo Credit: NFS

About Hikerlore

We’re Melony and Travis LaCoss.  Better known on the trail as Stretch and RamboJuice, hiker trash bloggers, photographers, and all-around dirtbags.

A few years ago, we took a giant leap away from our conventional lifestyle to backpack in the United States. After spending 5 months on the Pacific Crest Trail, we started our blog Hikerlore to share stories and provide useful information to backpackers, hikers, and outdoor travelers.

We plan to hike as much as we possibly can.  During that time, we’ll write articles about our experiences and share photographs.  Some of our posts will be narrative in nature, others will review backpacking gear and offer advice to hikers.  Recently, we bought an old service van and converted it into a sweet travel van.

We are adventure seekers who hike national scenic trails, visit national parks, and travel around in a van blogging about outdoor travel.  We have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (2,200 miles), Florida Trail (1,100 miles), and half the Pacific Crest Trail (1,400 miles).  Our adventures have led us to over 50 national parks and monuments.

In 2019, we put over 20,000 miles on VANilla (our sweet travel van that we built ourselves).  Above all, Hikerlore’s articles are a service intended to provide good information and inspire our readers to get outside and have fun!

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