4 Southern Indiana Hikes from Most Accessible to Most Challenging

Check out these southern Indiana hikes, all within 40 minutes (and often much less) from downtown Corydon. In most cases, you could go for a day hike and be back in town for a tasty meal and comfy bed before the day is over. It’s really the best of everything: Great views and fresh air followed by all the modern conveniences.

Some trails are a mile long and have gravel or paved paths, while the Adventure Hiking Trail is a rugged 25.5 miles long! Many of our trails, particularly at O’Bannon Woods State Park, fall somewhere in between, meaning there’s something for every hiker (Or mountain biker or horseback rider!) in Harrison County.

Here are some selected southern Indiana hikes to help you narrow down your next adventure.

Most Accessible: Tulip Valley Trail at O’Bannon Woods State Park

Visit the Nature Center at O’Bannon Woods State Park for a mile-long looped hike on a gently sloping gravel path. Information and viewing stations along the way highlight the plants and animals you may encounter on the trail. Periodically, benches offer a place to rest.

See the O’Bannon Woods State Park Trail map for more information—this trail is marked as “B.”

Closest to Corydon: Indian Creek Trail

This paved trail winds from the YMCA through downtown Corydon to Hayswood Nature Reserve. Walkers, runners, and bikers can immerse themselves in Corydon’s natural beauty with abundant foliage, a variety of wildlife, and scenic views of Indian Creek. You may be surprised by the wildlife you encounter so close to town, including blue heron, deer, and bald eagles.

A printed map is available at our visitor center.

Most Scenic: Hemlock Cliffs at the Hoosier National Forest

Hemlock Cliffs
Photo by Frank Oliver

Hemlock Cliffs is a box canyon of special beauty in southern Indiana. A cool climate, sandstone rock formations, and seasonal waterfalls are responsible for the unique trees and plants that grow here. The area features sandstone rock outcrops, overhangs, cliffs, rock shelters, and ravines.

Archaeological excavations indicate Native American occupation as early as 10,000 years ago. The head of the canyon is a large, semicircular rock shelter, which undoubtedly provided cover and defense to the early occupants of this area.

A one-mile hiking trail leads you down into the canyon under a lush canopy of large trees and past high seasonal waterfalls. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery when wet, so use caution. It could take two leisurely hours to complete the loop.

Most Challenging: Adventure Hiking Trail at O’Bannon Woods State Park

The Adventure Hiking Trail (AHT) is a 25.5-mile rugged backpacking trail designed for the serious outdoor enthusiast. A National Recreation Trail and part of the American Discovery Trail, the AHT is one of Indiana’s longest, scenic, and most interesting backpacking experiences. It normally takes 2½ to 3 days to complete, with five overnight shelters available first-come, first-use. The trail is marked with green and white blazes. Day trips are also possible at several access points. Good physical condition, plenty of water, and proper equipment are necessities. For additional information, contact the park office.

4 Southern Indiana Hikes from Most Accessible to Most Challenging

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