Best Hiking Trails in Brown County State Park, with Maps and Rankings

We’ve compiled the ultimate hiking guide for Brown County State Park in Indiana, complete with interactive maps, detailed trail reports and helpful photos. With 20 miles of dedicated hiking trails, 27 miles of multi-use trails and 70 miles of bridle trails, the biggest state park in Indiana is a Midwest hiker’s dream.

Have you been to Brown County State Park? Don’t forget to rate the trails by clicking on the stars!

 

 Trail 7, Ogle Lake


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 Total: 3 Average: 3.7
Male hiker looking out over a lake surrounded by trees and greenery.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


45 min

 Total Distance


1.5 miles

Hiking map for Trail 7 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

The Trail 7 loop around Ogle Lake at Brown County State Park is a leisurely one and a half mile hike featuring a serene setting nestled among the hills of southern Indiana.

This hiking trail is about as straightforward as you can get with beautiful Lake Ogle in full view at all times. It’s a great place for a bit of exercise or a hike with the kids.


 Trail 8, HHC Trail


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 Total: 2 Average: 5
Man standing on wooden bridge over dry creek bed along Trail 8 hiking trail in Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


2 hours

 Total Distance


4.5 miles

Hiking map for Trail 8 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

This four-and-a-half-mile trek of solitude through the southern Indiana wilderness is the perfect low-key affair for recharging your batteries.

Here you’ll hike to Hesitation Point and the West Lookout Tower – two of the best views in all of Brown County State Park. 


 Trail 2, CCC Trail


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 Total: 2 Average: 4
Woman hiking up stone stairway in the sun-dappled forest on Trail 2, Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


2 hours

 Total Distance


2.4 miles

Hiking map for Trail 2 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Trail 2 at Brown County State Park is one of the most popular hiking destinations on the grounds, passing beautiful family cabins, the North Lookout Tower and the rustic Lower Shelter.

With its quaint stone bridges, retaining walls and stairways, this trail serves as the perfect introduction to Indiana’s largest state park.


 

 Trail 11, Vollmer Trail


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 Total: 2 Average: 3.5
Man hiking on a dirt trail in dense green forest on Trail 11 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


2-3 hours

 Total Distance


2.7 miles one way

Hiking map for Trail 11 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Formerly known simply as the Trail 9 extension, Trail 11 (a.k.a. Vollmer Trail) ascends quickly from the Ogle Lake valley to the Knobstone Escarpment and leads deep into the western section of the park.

Out here you’ll be lucky (or unlucky depending on opinion) to see another soul.


 Trail 6, Strahl Lake


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 Total: 1 Average: 3
Woman hiker overlooking Strahl Lake surrounded by forest.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


1 hour

 Total Distance


2 miles

Hiking map for Trail 6 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

There are two ways to do this hike, but since you’re reading a hiking blog, you’re probably not the type of person who is going to go the easy route.

Being in a more remote section of the park, this area sees less traffic than the larger Ogle Lake, and at 7 acres it is less than half the size.


 Strahl Lake Spur to Horse Trail A


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 Total: 2 Average: 3.5
Man with backpack hiking past small pond cover with lily pads surrounded by autumn foliage at Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Moderate

 Hiking Time


2.5 – 3 hours

 Total Distance


5.5 miles

Hiking map for Strahl Lake spur trail to Horse Trail A at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

At roughly 70 miles of bridle trails, Brown County State Park boasts more horse trails than hiking and mountain biking trails combined in the park’s extensive back country.

If you don’t mind the occasional odd glances and dodging horse apples, the trails are some of the most beautiful in the state.


 Trail D, Co-op


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 Total: 2 Average: 5
Man hiking in autumn forest on Trail D, Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Moderate

 Hiking Time


3 hours

 Total Distance


6.75 miles

Click to view interactive hiking map.

In the fall, Brown County State Park is inundated with leaf peepers who snarl traffic bumper-to-bumper from Nashville to Gnaw Bone and beyond.

At Trail D on the far southwest corner of the park, you’ll avoid it all and find the hiking escape you’re looking for. In fact, you probably won’t see another soul.


 

 Trail 3, Saddle Barn Loop


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 Total: 1 Average: 4
A woman hikes toward the saddle barn along a wooden fence at Brown County State Park in Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


1 hour

 Total Distance


1.25 miles

Hiking map for Trail 3 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Trail 3 is a popular and easy 1.25 mile loop through the northern section of Brown County State Park that holds a couple of interesting surprises.

When paired with the 2-mile-long Trail 2, this hiking trail makes for a perfect day hike through the enchanting forest of south central Indiana.


 Trail 5, Ogle Hollow


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 Total: 1 Average: 4
Male hiker leaning on railing of wooden staircase overlooking dense Indiana forest, hiking Trail 5, Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


30 min

 Total Distance


1 mile

Hiking map for Trail 5 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Ogle Hollow is one of the most beautiful areas in Brown County State Park, and one of the few sites in Indiana where one can find the yellowwood tree.

Because of the yellowwoods and the rich biological diversity of the site, Ogle Hollow was dedicated as a State Nature Preserve in 1970. Follow along with the hiking trail interpretive guide.


 Abe Martin’s Secret Trail


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 Total: 3 Average: 4.3
Woman hiker crossing a fallen tree in a dense autumn forest on Abe Martin's Secret Trail, Brown County, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


2.5 – 3.5 hours

 Total Distance


2.5 miles one way

Hiking map for Abe Martin's Secret Trail at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

You won’t find this trail on any official map of Indiana’s Brown County State Park. Heck, you won’t find it mentioned anywhere period.

Only a few know of its existence, and unless you’re one of those few who do know, you’ll never find it without GPS. In fact, that’s the only way we found it.


 Trail 4, Rally Campground


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 Total: 2 Average: 4
Male hiker crouching on a hiking trail in the forest at Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


1 hour

 Total Distance


1.5 miles

Hiking map for Trail 4 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Trail 4 at Brown County State Park in Indiana is a lesser-known trail that connects with popular Trail 7 (Ogle Lake) and ends at Trail 5 in the Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve.

It begins at Rally Campground and winds through upland terrain to the headwaters of Ogle Lake before turning east to the Trail 5 junction.


 Trail 9, Taylor Ridge


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 Total: 3 Average: 3
Man hiking through forest under a fallen tree on Trail 9, Taylor Ridge, at Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


2 hours

 Total Distance


2.75 miles

Hiking map for Trail 9 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

The first thing you should know about this 2.75 mile lollipop-style hiking trail is that, unless you are camping at Taylor Ridge Campground, there is no parking at the trailhead.

Most day hikers will instead access this trail via Trail 11, Vollmer Trail, which starts at Ogle Lake.


 

 Discovery Trail


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 Total: 3 Average: 3

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


30 min

 Total Distance


.5 miles

Hiking map for the Discovery Trail at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

This self-guided interpretive hiking trail begins at the Nature Center and follows 27 educational stations ranging in topics from Christmas ferns to Devil’s walking sticks.

As you walk along this half mile trail, you will see some young trees mixed in with the undergrowth. Note: Don’t use a Devil’s walking stick as an actual walking stick.


 Trail 10, Fire Tower


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 Total: 3 Average: 1

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


1 hour

 Total Distance


2.25 miles

Hiking map for Trail 10 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Imagine a hike where the coolest feature was at the very beginning of the trail, and everything after that was of decreasing interest.

That’s Trail 10, where the fire tower is as good as it gets. Instead, check out what we call “Abe Martin’s Secret Trail” where the fire tower IS the ultimate trail destination.


 Trail 1, Lodge Trail


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 Total: 3 Average: 2
Woman hiker walking down wooden staircase on Trail 1 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


30 min

 Total Distance


.9 miles

Hiking map for Trail 1 at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

Hike through land wooded with oak, hickory, sassafras, beech and maple on this easy .9 mile trail in the Abe Martin Lodge hiking trail network.

This short trail ties into Trail 2, however it is not seeing its usual traffic because that section of Trail 2 is currently closed.


 Friends Trail


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 Total: 2 Average: 3
Woman hiker looking over edge of railing on boardwalk portion of Friends Trail, Brown County State Park, Indiana.

 Difficulty


Easy

 Hiking Time


15 minutes

 Total Distance


.25 miles

Hiking map for Friends Trail at Brown County State Park, Indiana.
Click to view interactive hiking map.

This accessible quarter mile loop is the perfect introduction to hiking for the little ones as well as it is a route for hikers of all abilities to enjoy.

Many who pass up this trail may not realize that it also contains one of the best views in the park.


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