Brown County State Park Advisories
Upcoming Events at Brown County State Park
Nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because of the area’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County encompasses nearly 16,000 acres of rugged hills, ridges and fog-shrouded ravines. Glaciers from the most recent ice ages stopped short of the “hills o’ Brown,” but their meltwaters helped create the narrow ridges, steep slopes and deep gullies of Brown County State Park. Indiana’s largest park is a traditional fall color hot spot, with nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and many scenic vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forestland.
The park’s rustic Abe Martin Lodge offers accommodations that include motel rooms, cabins, dining and conference facilities and an indoor water park. Large campgrounds, hiking and mountain biking trails, interpretive services, a saddle barn for guided horse rides and a separate horseman campground with 70 miles of horse trails are some of the things that make Brown County State Park popular year-round.
During the summer, pool hours may change because of weather and staffing. Please contact the property office for exact times before your visit.
The surrounding county and nearby Indiana town of Nashville are famous for their unique shopping, dining, arts and crafts, history, entertainment, and outdoor adventure opportunities.
Top five things to do
- Climb the 90’ Fire Tower for a breath-taking view of the hills o’ Brown.
- See the rare (and state-endangered) Yellowwood tree on Trail 5.
- Visit the nature center to see the rare, state-endangered timber rattlesnake.
- Jump in the Water Park pool, newly constructed at Abe Martin Lodge.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset from a vista.
- Nature Center / Interpretive Naturalist Services
- Bridle Trails / Saddle Barn, (with escorted rides: (812) 988-8166 )
- Picnic Tables
- Fishing / Ice Fishing
- Hiking Trails
- Mountain Bike Trails
- Brown County Mountain Bike Trails
- "Bike" magazine says Brown County SP trails among best on continent.
- Tennis Courts
- Open Fields
- Playground Equipment
- Swimming / Pool (Policy). Call office for hours.
Camping - See campground maps under MAPS tab
- RVs Use West Gate
- Electric / 401 sites
- Non-Electric / 28 sites
- Rally / 60 sites
- Horsemen's - Entrance off 135 South
- Electric / 118 sites
- Non-Electric / 86 sites
- Youth Tent Areas
- Camp Store
- Dumping Station
- Park Information Sheet
- Cabin Reservations
- Campground Reservations
- Local map
- Local tourism info
- Regional tourism info
Abe Martin Lodge Hike (Download audio tracks to your MP3 player)
Note: For trail locations, view the property map under the MAPS tab.
1. LODGE TRAIL, Moderate, (.9 mile)—Joins with Trail 2 for a short distance to return near lodge. Walk through land wooded with oak, hickory, sassafras, beech and maple.
2. CCC TRAIL, moderate, (2 miles)—CCC-built trail with impressive stone bridges, stairways and retaining walls. Starts and ends behind the lodge. Passes near Lower Shelter and North Lookout Tower.
3. SADDLE BARN LOOP TRAIL, Moderate, (1.25 miles)—Traverses a variety of topography. Passes saddle barn and amphitheater and returns to lodge. Varieties of ferns can be seen in the ravines and on the slopes.
4. RALLY CAMPGROUND TRAIL, Moderate, (1.25 miles)—Starts near the front of the Rally Campground and leads through upland terrain to a deep ravine at the headwaters of Ogle Lake. Joins Trail 7 for a short distance. Meets with Trail 5 at Ogle Hollow Nature Preserve.
5. OGLE HOLLOW NATURE PRESERVE TRAIL, Rugged, (.75 mile)—Self-guided trail starts near the parking lot for Rally Campground and follows a slope wooded with yellowwood trees, loops through the nature preserve and intersects with Trail 4 from Ogle Lake.
6. STRAHL LAKE TRAIL, Easy/Rugged, (.75 mile)—Easy walk around Strahl Lake but challenging .5 mile-spur to the Nature Center.
7. OGLE LAKE TRAIL, Moderate, (1.5 miles)—A hilly, wooded hike along the shores of Ogle Lake.
8. HHC TRAIL, Moderate, (3.5 miles)—Extends east from west lookout, continues to near Hesitation Point, and then southwest to parking area at Ogle Lake and Trail 7. Trail was improved by volunteers from the Hoosier Hikers Council 2002-2007.
9. TAYLOR RIDGE TRAIL, Rugged, (3.0/2.75 miles)—Starts near site 324 in campground. No parking at trailhead. Travels ridge top beyond campground, dropping into adjacent valley to follow stream before looping back to ridge top. A 2.75-mile extension connects to Trail 7 near Ogle Lake.
10. FIRE TOWER TRAIL, Rugged, (2.2 miles)—Follows ridge behind fire tower before looping northward crossing deep ravines and hilltops. Passes CCC shelter.
FRIENDS TRAIL, Easy—Short, easy, paved trail, with benches and vista on flat terrain. Constructed by the Friends of Brown County State Park.
DISCOVERY TRAIL, Moderate, (.5 mile)—Self-guided nature trail. Brochure available at the trailhead at the south end of the Nature Center parking lot.