Backpacking combines hiking and camping, two of the most popular outdoor recreation activities. Indiana has a few scenic trails for backpacking. Other states may have longer and more popular backpacking trails, but Indiana’s trails satisfy many backpackers’ need for adventure and solitude. These trails can be perfect for a beginner’s first trek, as preparation for a longer backpacking trip, or for providing seasoned veterans with a backcountry escape.
Know before you go
Hiking organizations and clubs
- American Discovery Trail
- American Hiking Society
- American Volkssport Association
- Bedford Hiking Club
- Central Indiana Wilderness Club
- Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club
- Hoosier Hikers Council
- Indianapolis Hiking Club
- Knobstone Hiking Trail Association, Inc.
Where to go
Where to Backpack
This interactive map showcases backpacking trails in Indiana and their amenities. It includes backpacking trails, noting whether they allow dispersed (i.e., back-country) camping and their designated campsites, campgrounds, shelters, trailheads, and parking. This map is for planning purposes, not for on-the-ground navigation.
Be aware that many backpacking trails allow mountain biking, horseback riding, and/or other recreations. Practice proper multi-use trail etiquette and share the trail.
Different trails have different managing entities and policies. Please refer to property/trail websites for contacts, rules, regulations, and restrictions on dispersed camping, sign-in protocols, registrations, and fees, as well as for any trail closures or re-routes.View map
Below you will find a listing of trails in Indiana that are at least 10 miles long, have a natural surface, and have a least one camping option along or near the trail. Camping options may include backcountry camping, camping shelters, designated primitive camp sites, or access to a campground. Some of the trails are multi-use so hikers may encounter mountain bikers or horses. All the trails listed below are managed by either Indiana State Parks, Indiana Division of Forestry, or the Hoosier National Forest. Each agencies policies may differ, so be sure to research their rules and regulations before hitting the trail. Also please note that some properties in this listing have a gate and/or camping fees.
2. Adena Trace Loop
3. Bloodroot Trail
4. Knobstone Trail
Jackson-Washington and Clark State Forests
5. Low Gap Trail
Morgan-Monroe State Forest
7. Three Lakes Trail
Morgan-Monroe State Forest
Hoosier National Forest Trails
8. Birdseye Trail, 11.6 Miles
9. Charles C. Deam Wilderness, 36 total miles
10. German Ridge Trail, 24 miles
11. Hickory Ridge Trail, 48.7 miles
12. Mogan Ridge Trails,* 19 miles
13. Oriole Trails,* 13.7 miles
14. Shirley Creek Trail, 17 miles
15. Spring Valley Trail, 12 miles
16. Two Lakes Loop Trail, 15.7 miles
17. Young’s Creek Trail, 11.6 miles
*Includes both East and West Trails
Hoosier National Forest