Just because summer’s fading doesn’t mean you can’t continue exploring the beautiful outdoors in Indiana. As any Hoosier will likely admit, fall is usually a great time for outdoor exploration since the humidity and temperatures lower to a much more comfortable level. In case you haven’t spent as much time outside as you would like, or even if you just can’t get enough of the great outdoors, here are 11 of the state’s best trails to hike at least once in your life.
1. Knobstone Trail
Knobstone Trial is the longest and arguably most famous trail in all of Indiana. This 58 mile trail is quite a feat to accomplish, yet makes for a great camping trip. This trail begins in Dream Lake Recreation Park and ends in Delaney Creek Park, and spans Clark, Scott, and Washington counties. Of course, you don't have to hike this trail in its entirety, but you should experience at least part of this stunning trail, at least once.
2. The 3 Dunes Challenge
The 3 Dunes Challenge is only a 1.5 mile hike (Trail 8 at the Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton), but is an absolute must for any Hoosier to complete. What's so unique about this hike is that it climbs over the three tallest dunes in the park, which is quite an amazing accomplishment.
3. The Monon Trail
This is actually two trails in one, since the northern part of this trail (4.4 miles) spans from Munster to Hammond and the central part (18.1 miles) covers Indianapolis through Westfield. While most famously known as a biking trail, this awesome rail trail is a perfect trail for hiking as well. The central trail also a great way to explore the city.
4. Trail 3 @ Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park in Marshall is one of the best places to go hiking in Indiana. While all of their trails have some amazing sights to offer, Trail 3 is particularly popular. This trail is 1.7 miles and is pretty rugged. It follows the cliffs located around Sugar Creek. It also cuts through cliffs and ridgetops and takes you to the amazing Punch Bowl. The Punch Bowl is a huge hole that was created through glacial erratics. It's truly impressive!
5. Adventure Hiking Trail
Located in the stunning O'Bannon Woods State Park in Corydon is the Adventure Hiking Trail. This trail is a 23 mile hike through gorgeous ravines, forest, river bluffs, caves, and even sinkholes. This trail is the second longest in Indiana and offers some truly incredible sightseeing.
6. Clifty Falls State Park Trails - Madison
This charming state park offers trails that loop through the park's canyon. These trails total 7 miles and offer amazing hikes through the park's main attraction: their waterfalls.
7. Low Gap Trail
This amazing 10 mile trail can be found in Martinsville as part of the Morgan-Monroe State Forest. If you love the beauty of Indiana's rural land, you'll absolutely love hiking along creeks, ridges, and forest here.
8. Pearl Ravine Trail
This 1.3 mile trail is located in one of Indiana's hidden gems, Shades State Park in Waveland. Visit this trail for an incredible, intimate hike and stunning sights of nature.
9. Morgan Ridge East Trail
This heavily wooded 5.5 mile trail is in Derby, Indiana, located within the Hoosier National Forest. It's a great hike any time of year, especially for slightly more seasoned hikers.
10. Chain O'Lakes Trail
Located in Albion, this popular 1.5 mile trail offers amazing access to wildlife and bird watching. If you're feeling adventurous, try out all of the trails in the Chain O'Lakes State Park and camp overnight. Bonus: this place is lovely in the fall!
11. Fox Island Park Trail
The trail in this lovely state park in Fort Wayne is a must visit for any Hoosier. The entire span of trails form a 3.4 mile loop around the park and is great for hikers of any skill level. Get there soon, since this trail closes in November!
Are you ready to stake out these 11 amazing trails in Indiana? For more outdoor fun, check out
these amazing places to go for an adventure!