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Pike State Forest

pike state forest
Managed by Ferdinand State Forest
6583 E. SR 264
Ferdinand, IN 47532
Location Address: 5994 E SR 364
Winslow, IN 47598
Fax: 812-367-2846

Pike State Forest advisories

  • None at this time.
  • Description

    Pike State Forest consists of 4,444 acres in southwestern Indiana. Acquisition of the land that makes up the forest began in the 1930s continuing through the 1950s. Most of the property buildings were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) using material cut from local timber stands.

    Topography at Pike State Forest varies from hilly uplands to the low bottomlands of the Patoka River. Because of the diversity of sites, a wide variety of plant and animal life make their homes at Pike. Several recreational opportunities are available at Pike State Forest, including hunting, horseback riding, picnicking, bird watching, and hiking.

  • Activities


    Primitive camping is available for a fee. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Self-registration is required. Pit toilets and seasonal drinking water are available. There is a picnic table and grill located on each site. Eleven sites are available in the family camping area and 25 sites are located in the Horseman's Campground.


    The Patoka River is accessible for fishing. A valid Indiana fishing license is required.


    Whitetail deer, turkey, squirrel, fox, and raccoon. A valid hunting license is required.


    Picnic areas with picnic tables and grills are available for day use. A picnic shelter and playground are also available.

  • Trails

    Hiking/Horse Trails

    Hiking is available on the forest property's firelanes and bridle trails. All horses brought, driven, or ridden onto the state forest must have a valid annual horse use tag. Hikers and horseback riders are advised to wear hunter orange or other bright clothing while on trails during hunting season.

    Hog Branch Trail:  Easy – Medium, 3.0 miles

    This trail takes you along stream bottoms and uplands and contains a mix of terrain. It traverses old pine plantations and old field areas that were in agriculture before the land became State Forest. There are some flat and some hilly areas, but there is typically no flooding along this trail. You will get your feet wet crossing Hog Branch after a rain.

    Lookout Trail:  Easy – Medium, 2.9 miles

    This trail traverses some of the most scenic parts of the forest, offering good views of the hilly terrain characteristic of pre-mining Pike County topography. Encounter unique plants more typical of the Southern states at the northern extent of their range. The trail takes you through a mix of upland and bottomland ecosystems, including some steep hills, while flat areas of the trail near the river can flood seasonally.

    River Trail:  Easy – Medium, 2.6 miles

    This trail winds through upland forest then runs along the Patoka River through a floodplain forest of mixed bottomland hardwoods, offering good views of the river and bottomland ecosystems. It passes through some large pine openings that were conducted as part of a timber harvest in 2015. These young forest areas provide good early successional habitat for wildlife such as woodcock and whip-poor-wills. Flat areas of the trail near the river can flood seasonally.

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