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Go Take A Hike!

While it is probably rare in this day and age to hear this sentiment expressed so mildly – if you are ever told to "go take a hike!" you should take it as good advice. Though the person making the suggestion may not be intending to, he or she is recommending an activity that will improve your physical and mental well-being. Not only is it a beneficial activity, but if you live in or near Southern Indiana you can surely find a great hiking trail within a short drive.

Whatever your age or fitness level, with the hundreds of trails that can be found throughout Southern Indiana, there is certainly one for you nearby. We at have found several trails that we really enjoy, but we went to someone who has hiked a lot more trails than us in Southern Indiana as well as many other parts of the country. Albert William was raised in Fayette County and currently resides in Hancock County. We asked Albert what he thinks makes a good hiking trail and what are some specific trails that he likes.

For Albert, the most important characteristic of a good trail is for it to have interesting terrain. He likes to find a variety of plant and wild life as well as topographical features. He says, "you can find some good elevation on some trails in Southern Indiana." He also likes to find trails that are "pretty remote;" when the trail goes deep into a forest you have some opportunities to see wildlife. You'll see squirrels and chipmunks on almost any trail, but you mght see a lot more interesting animals if you find the right trail. One of the nice things about hiking in Indiana, Albert says, is "the accessibility." "From Indianapolis", according to Albert, "you can get to almost any trail (in Southern Indiana) in about an hour to an hour-and-a-half."

Knobstone Trail is one of the more famous trails and is the longest trail in Southern Indiana. The Knobstone Trail is sometimes referred to as the "Little Appalachian Trail." At over 50 miles, experienced backpackers will spend several days hiking the entire trail, but if you don't want to make that kind of commitment, you can hike smaller sections of the trail in a day. The Knobstone Trail may be reached from I-65 to Brownstown, Salem or to Deam Lake State Recreation Area.

Albert also said that many of the state parks have some great hiking trails. Some of his favorites are at Shades State Park in Parke, Fountain and Montgomery Counties, Turkey Run State Park in Parke County and the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. You can contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for more information on Indiana State Parks. DNR can be contacted by phone at (317) 232-4124 or toll-free: 1-800-622-4931.

For an excellent and thorough guide to hiking in Southern Indiana get the book, "Nature Walks in Southern Indiana" by Alan McPherson. It is published by Hoosier Chapter/Sierra Club, 6140 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220. Or it can be ordered from