It’s a wonderful blessing to have several acres of woods, creeks, and fields on the property to hike whenever I want. It’s even more wonderful to hike and share with family and friends. I would be on a cloud if I could share this with everyone, but it would probably be detrimental to the woods, creek, and fields if I did. So, I will share a few of my favorite public hiking trails in the Inditucky/Kentuckiana area.
Carter Caves State Resort
Although it’s not exactly in the immediate area, the hiking trails of Carter Caves in Olive Hill, Ky are some the most scenic trails in Eastern Kentucky. The mixed hardwood trails range from easy .5 mile to rugged 9 miles for a total of 30 miles of hiking, biking, horseback trails. The Three Bridges Trail is 3.5 miles and is an afternoon of easy to moderate hiking for hikers only. The trail includes three natural bridges and exceptional views from sandstone cliffs. Some of the longer, more rugged hiking trails venture into or around the Tygart State Forest. Camping is allowed but only at designated campsites. It is recommended that hikers wear blazing orange in the area during hunting season.
Knobstone Trail, Indiana
The Knobstone Trail is located in Southern Indiana starting near the Ohio River and winding nearly 60 miles, through three counties, to south of Martinsville, Indiana. This trail winds through nearly 42,000 acres of mixed hardwood state managed forests. The trail is for hikers and backpackers only; no motorized vehicles, bikes, or horseback riding is permitted. It is very rugged, if not difficult in areas, and is not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. There are 8 trail heads, most with available parking, so if you want to do only a portion of the trail, you can make plans based on the locations of the trail heads. Trails are marked with white paint blazes, and occasionally, the trails have to be re-routed. The re-routed trails are marked with double white blazes. Use of a trail map is highly recommended and can be purchased through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Camping is allowed on the trail; although, there are restrictions on where to camp. Some parts of the trail cross paved roads, including state highways, so use caution. Be sure to wear blazing orange during hunting season.
Jefferson Memorial Forest, Louisville, KY
The JMF is actually part of the Metro Parks Dept. in Louisville, KY. JMF offers over 50 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails; 35 miles of trails dedicated to hikers only. The trails range from very easy .13 miles to trails over 6 miles. The Tulip Tree and Welcome Center Trails are specifically designed for those with mobility difficulties. Most of the trails are easy to moderate; although, there are a few strenuous areas on a few of the trails. Camping is permitted at specific campsites. No hunting is allowed in JMF, so hikers needn’t wear orange during hunting season.