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“Great Mountain Biking and Hiking”

O'Bannon Woods State Park
Ranked #5 of 20 things to do in Corydon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Southern Indiana
Level Contributor
178 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
“Great Mountain Biking and Hiking”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

O'Bannon Woods offers two excellent mountain biking trails, mostly for intermediate and better than intermediate type riders. Also, the Adventure Hiking Trail, a twenty-plus mile loop, features beautiful views of the Ohio River and the ridges and valleys along the way.

Visited March 2013
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1 Thank WanderingPencil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Terre Haute
Level Contributor
58 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Backpacking the Adventure Hiking Trail”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

This review is more for the Adventure Hiking Trail (AHT) than the park in general as a small portion of it's 21-mile loop lies within the park, and you need to enter the park (possible entrance fee if in season) in order to drop a water cache. The AHT is a little-known backpacking gem in the state. Most people think of Indiana as being all flat but that thought will be dispelled as they trek up and down up to 400' changes in elevation. The karst topography of the area is why it's considered a dry trail and also why there are so many caves and sinkholes. There are a few places you can cache water, depending on your start point, planned mileages and carrying capacity: at the intersections with 462, Old Forest Road, Cold Friday Road, near Pioneer Cabin Shelter and the old iron bridge off 62 (assuming you don't have a problem with crossing it's deck-less skeleton to reach it). However, you can also tank up at the restrooms in the horsemen's electric campground (AHT passes within 1/4 mile) except perhaps in winter.

My sons (5 and 14) and I did this the first week of April. We were still having warm weather that had brought 3 weeks straight of record-breaking March temps. The only water we saw on trail was a small trickle a bit east of 462 and another trickle just past the Homestead Shelter (going CW), which is one of 3 non-reservable cabin shelters on the southern-most section of the trail that you can overnight in if space is available. It was really odd crossing the bone dry Potato Run, which clearly had large volumes of water at times.

Our first night we tarped just south of Indian Creek Shelter (the first one) since there was a youth group at the shelter. We were able to stay the second night in the new one overlooking the Ohio that had replaced the original that burned a few years ago (we actually beat the youth group there). You should expect mice roommates as well so protect your food. The AHT map you can get from the park office (not the one on the DNR site) shows a fourth shelter on the west side but it doesn't exist (I searched quite a while out of curiousity). There is a large field in that area you could tent in, but we decided to just hike on out taking a shortcut on a gravel road that cut out a few miles.

Because of the unusually warm weather, the trees were well leafed so views were prettier though not as expansive as they would during a normal early April trip. I was surprised there weren't more flowers though. The ticks were also prevalent so we stopped letting the youngest lead so we could knock them off the vegetation next to the trail. We also saw lots of mating box turtles on or right next to the trail, mostly within the park's boundary. Surprisingly, the trail was not torn up too badly by the horses even though there were spots they had obviously used hiker-only sections. The AHT had been known for being poorly blazed in the past but this seems to be taken care of now. The only issue was following it through a recently logged area between 462 and Old Forest Road and we missed a not so obvious 90 degree turn. The steepest topography is between the first and last shelter so you can make better time before and after those.

This is not a trail you should attempt with youngsters or those out of shape unless you know they can easily do 5 miles going up and down hills. I'd done some easier trips with my sons the previous spring break and was prepared to stay out for 4 nights if needed. Some people choose to do just a section of the AHT and have a shuttle vehicle. You may run into a few people on weekends, but during the week you're likely to have the trail to yourself.

This is the fourth longest single backpacking trail in the state behind the Knobstone, Tecumseh and Pioneer Trails (all point to point). You could also put together a longer trip combining trails in parts of the Hoosier NF.

Visited April 2012
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16 Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corydon, Indiana
Level Contributor
27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Lots of Fun!”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I have been going here for a couple of years, First it started out in a tent and then we upgraded to a pull behind. Kids have always been safe, bathrooms and showers have always been clean. Sometimes depending on what part of the park you stay can get loud but there is never trouble. Lots of fun for the kids, and if you love horses there is also a horse camp, primative or not. The pool is great too. With slides for adults and kids. All I can say is its lots of fun. Hope to see you there.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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