Indianapolis, IN: Three Lakes Loop

Hike 10 miles in the settlers’ footsteps on the outskirts of Circle City.
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Hike 10 miles in the settlers’ footsteps on the outskirts of Circle City.

Set on 10 miles of easy, well-marked paths traversing high ridges and low bottomlands, the Three Lakes Loop Trail offers an escape from Indianapolis, with deep shade, numerous creeks, and plentiful wildflowers in the 24,000-acre Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Begin at the Bryant Creek Lake Shelter and pick up the blazed trail near Cherry Lake. Follow it clockwise for 3 miles through a moist, fern-lined bottomland, cross a streambed, and ascend to a pioneer-era wagon road before dipping down into the hollow above Beanblossom Lake (now drained). In late spring, look for blue-eyed Marys mixed with white or foxglove beardtongue. Climb 3 miles to a forest road junction near Stepp Cemetary, then traverse a narrow ridge to Cherry Lake. From here, hike 4 miles to a pine grove and, after two more ridge climbs, you’ll cross the road and head back to the trailhead.

Hike provided by the Hoosier Hikers Council. Mapping by average24.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.9

Waypoints

THR001

Location: 39.323722, -86.476461

Bryant Creek Lake

THR002

Location: 39.298061, -86.438149

Beanblossom Lake

THR003

Location: 39.31362, -86.430253

Stepp Cemetery

THR004

Location: 39.322831, -86.423311

Cherry Lake