Adventure Hiking Trail (AHT)

 

The AHT skirts the high bluffs of the Ohio River, offering numerous vistas high above it

The AHT skirts the high bluffs of the Ohio River, offering numerous vistas high above it

True to its name, the Adventure Hiking Trail in southern Indiana is an exciting 25-mile hiking loop that includes interesting cliff formations, sinkholes, ravines, and old pioneer homesteads.   The trail travels through the deep forests of O’Bannon Woods State Park and Harrison-Crawford State Forest, adjacent to the Ohio River.   Some of the best highlights of the trail are the many scenic views from a high bluff above the river’s northern bank.  The trail also offers four shelter houses and some great spots for secluded back country camping.  

 

The trail even offers a bit of pioneer history, passing the remains of old homesteads

The trail even offers a bit of pioneer history, passing the remains of old homesteads

The terrain can be very steep and challenging at times, but this is balanced by stretches of pleasant ridge-walking with scenic vistas.  Because the trail intersects several horse trails, it is important to navigate carefully or it can be easy to take a wrong turn.  It can also be very challenging in some seasons to obtain water along the trail.  For this reason, many backpackers stash water along their route, which is fairly convenient as the trail crosses or meets a road five times along the loop.

Lloyds Cabin comes with shutters, interior decor, and an awesome view from a high bluff of the Ohio River

Lloyd’s Cabin comes with shutters, interior decor, and an awesome view high above the Ohio River

Visit the O’Bannon Woods State Park website for more information, and to contact them for updates on trail conditions and potential closures or re-routes.

Adventure Hiking Trail Maps

Here is the O’Bannon Woods State Park map and brochure, which depicts the AHT:  O’Bannon Woods Map and Brochure

Probably the best topographical map of the trail was created by a fellow Hoosier hiker named Andrew Gustin, of Bloomington, Indiana, who contributed this article, and generously agreed to share his map with all hikers.

Here is a printable 8.5″ x 11″ version:  Andrew Gustin’s AHT Topo Map

And here is a very large, 24 Mb high resolution version:  Andrew Gustin’s High Resolution AHT Topo Map

Here is a link to the Harrison-Crawford State Forest Adventure Hiking Trail brochure and map: http://www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-HCSF_adventure_hiking_map.pdf