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The name Salamonie was derived from the Native American word "O-sah-mo-nee," which means "yellow paint." Native Americans made yellow paint from the bloodroot plant which grew in great abundance along the winding banks of the river.
Salamonie River State Forest was created as a demonstration riverside forest for the reclamation of eroded land. The state forest was established in the mid 1930's when local people assisted the state in purchasing the hilly land and bluffs along the Salamonie River. Most of the land's topsoil was eroded away, making reclamation of the area a major challenge. To deal with this challenge, a 200-member Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp was created. The CCC designed and planned the forest and recreation facilities and opened a stone quarry. Several hundred acres of land were reforested and many recreation facilities were built, including Hominy Ridge Lake and the large stone shelter house that stands near the lake. Today, the forest encompasses 950 acres offering many recreational opportunities to visitors.
Salamonie River State Forest offers one primitive (class C) campground:
- Family campground with 21 campsites and a horseman's camp with 15 sites.
Campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Please self-register for camping at the campground entrance. Pit toilets and drinking water are available near sites. See the fees page for a list of camping fees.
Hominy Ridge Lake (4 acres) offers largemouth bass, bluegill, redear and catfish; a valid Indiana fishing license is required. A boat launch is located at the east side of the lake; boat motors are limited to electric trolling motors only. The forest also provides access to the Salamonie River, which offers opportunities to catch largemouth bass, bluegill, redear, catfish and walleye pike. Swimming is offered at nearby State Recreation Area beach on Salamonie Lake.
Whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, fox, and raccoon. A valid hunting license is required.
- Path to waterfall -leave from shelterhouse
- Fire Trails - 9 miles total. Trails are open to cross-country skiing.
- Blue Trail (8 miles)
This winding trail varies in topography as it wanders around several ravines and overlooks the Salamonie River in several locations. This trail also provides views of rocky gorges with waterfalls and follows the boundary closely.
- Red Trail (3.3 miles)
A connecting trail which meanders through stands of hardwoods, conifers and open fields.
- Green Trail (1.8 miles)
An alternate trail providing a shorter route back to the horse camp from the blue trail. Views of the pine stands and an oak plantation.
- Yellow Trail (2 miles)
Provides riders from outside the forest access to the trail system and ties into the reservoir trail system. Also a scenic view of a waterfall next to Hominy Ridge Picnic Area.
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