Best Backpacking In Indiana

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in Indiana.

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Knobstone Ridge Trail

Stop. Listen to the leaves of some of the oldest trees in the state chattering in the wind. You’ll need distractions like that to keep your mind off the surprisingly steep climbs along this 58-mile trail following the 100-mile-long Knobstone Escarpment, one of the most rugged geologic formations in the Midwest. The trail, already the longest in the state, could get a significant boost if plans to extend it by 60 more miles succeed.

Contact: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, (317) 232-4070;

Hoosier National Forest

Shady hardwood forests above, caves, sinkholes, and springs below, this 197,000-acre playground is wild through and through. Good hiking abounds on trails like the 16-mile Two Lakes Loop, a national recreation trail with views of Celina and Indian Lakes and frequent sightings of wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and quails.

Contact: Hoosier National Forest, (812) 275-5987;

Charles C. Deam Wilderness

Somewhere, Charles C. Deam is smiling. And he should be. A pioneer forest conservationist and the first state forester in Indiana, Deam is the namesake of this beautiful 13,000-acre wilderness, which offers nearly 36 miles of pleasantly forested trail (some open to horses).

Contact: Hoosier National Forest, (812) 275-5987;