Brown County State Park
Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN, 47448
About Brown County State Park
Indiana's Largest State Park!
Nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because of the area’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County encompasses nearly 16,000 acres of rugged hills, ridges and fog-shrouded ravines. Glaciers from the most recent ice ages stopped short of the “hills o’ Brown,” but their meltwaters helped create the narrow ridges, steep slopes and deep gullies of Brown County State Park. Indiana’s largest park is a traditional fall color hot spot, with nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and many scenic vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forestland.
The park’s rustic Abe Martin Lodge offers accommodations that include hotel rooms, cabins, dining and conference facilities and an indoor water park. Large campgrounds, hiking and mountain biking trails, interpretive services, a saddle barn for guided horse rides and a separate horseman campground with 70 miles of horse trails are some of the things that make Brown County State Park popular year-round.
Trail 1: Lodge Trail, Moderate, (.9 mile)—Joins with Trail 2 for a short distance to return near lodge. Walk through land wooded with oak, hickory, sassafras, beech and maple.
Trail 2: CCC Trail, moderate, (2 miles)—CCC-built trail with impressive stone bridges, stairways and retaining walls. Starts and ends behind the lodge. Passes near Lower Shelter and North Lookout Tower.
Trail 3: Saddle Barn Loop Trail, Moderate, (1.25 miles)—Traverses a variety of topography. Passes saddle barn and amphitheatre and returns to lodge. Varieties of ferns can be seen in the ravines and on the slopes.
Trail 4: Rally Campground Trail, Moderate, (1.25 miles)—Starts near the front of the Rally Campground and leads through upland terrain to a deep ravine at the headwaters of Ogle Lake. Joins Trail 7 for a short distance. Meets with Trail 5 at Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve.
Trail 5: Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve Trail, Rugged, (.75 mile)—Self-guided trail starts near the parking lot for Rally Campground and follows a slope wooded with yellowwood trees, loops through the nature preserve and intersects with Trail 4 from Ogle Lake.
Trail 6: Strahl Lake Trail, Easy/Rugged, (.75 mile)—Easy walk around Strahl Lake but challenging .5 mile-spur to the Nature Center.
Trail 7: Ogle Lake Trail, Moderate, (1.5 miles)—A hilly, wooded hike along the shores of Ogle Lake.
Trail 8: HHC Trail, Moderate, (3.5 miles)—Extends east from west lookout, continues to near Hesitation Point, and then southwest to parking area at Ogle Lake and Trail 7. Trail was improved by volunteers from the Hoosier Hikers Council 2002-2007.
Trail 9: Taylor Ridge Trail, Rugged, (3.0/2.75 miles)—Starts near site 324 in campground. No parking at trailhead. Travels ridge top beyond campground, dropping into adjacent valley to follow stream before looping back to ridge top. A 2.75-mile extension connects to Trail 7 near Ogle Lake.
Trail 10: Fire Tower Trail, Rugged, (2.2 miles)—Follows ridge behind fire tower before looping northward crossing deep ravines and hilltops. Passes CCC shelter.
Friends Trail, Easy—Short, easy, paved trail, with benches and vista on flat terrain. Constructed by the Friends of Brown County State Park.
Discovery Trail, Moderate, (.5 mile)—Self-guided nature trail. Brochure available at the trailhead at the south end of the Nature Center parking lot.
Mountain Bike Trails
Limekiln Trail (~2.2 miles) is a beginner trail and is often described as a roller coaster.
Pine Loop (~1.6 miles) offers moderate terrain and ups and downs. Great for kids and beginners. Intersects with the North Gate trail.
North Gate Trail (~1.1 miles) connects with the North Tower Loop. It has some berms, small rock gardens, stream crossing, light turns and some whoop-de-doos at the end. (This trail is more challenging than Pine Loop but still classified as beginner).
Aynes Loop (~3.4 miles) and North Tower Loop (~3.9 miles) are great for long rides with lengthy climbs and descents – a true Brown County experience.
Green Valley Trail (~5.0 miles) winds through scenic, rolling, green hillsides. A newer trail, one of the most remote trails in the park.
Schooner Trace (~4.1 miles) is a double-black diamond trail with hills, rocks, trees, roots, tight switchbacks and steep climbs. Combine this trail with Walnut Trail (~2.1 miles) for a challenge. Walnut Trail begins at Hesitation Point and covers challenging terrain like rock gardens, tree roots, tight turns and even a log jump. Recommended for advanced riders.
Hesitation Point Trail (~4.8 miles) offers gorgeous views at the top, ridden as an out-and-back or a connector and is one of the most popular trails in the park.
Trail descriptions and information taken from http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2988.htm and http://www.friendsbcsp.org/