One of the best ways to experience the trails of Indiana is in the company of others most familiar with them. There are a variety of hiking or backpacking organizations that host and lead hikes:
This is a very active hiking club offers several hikes most days of the year. They hike throughout the greater Indianpolis areas, but also beyond that, such as in Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Hoosier National Forest, and longer trips throughout the United States.
This organization provides a variety of hiking and other affordable wilderness adventures. Their website has a schedule which shows the many trips offered, including backpacking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, bicycling, rafting, and more! This is a great club if you are new to backpacking and would like to learn tips, techniques, and gear from others.
This organization is dedicated to the regeneration and preservation of old growth forests in Indiana. They also schedule hikes which can be located on their site.
While this group offers hikes for all skill levels, most are geared toward experienced and fit hikers. Check their website for their schedule.
The ITR has over 2000 members, and their website provides a forum for trail runners to share information about upcoming events and other running topics.
This organization has been in existence for over twenty-five years. They host many walking/hiking events for all abilities. Their website includes a calendar showing events scheduled throughout Indiana.
There is a nation-wide Hammock Forum for backpackers to share tips, information, and post trips. In Indiana a group of them get together for an annual “Hoosier Hang”, a trip for those interested in backpacking with a hammock. If you ever had any interest in using a hammock in the wilderness, this would be a great group to check out! Here is a video from the 2013 Hoosier Hang.
This group takes children of all ages out on trails of varying length and difficulty to help foster a life long love of nature and to help new mamas and papas find their new stride as parents. For the most part, all of the hikes are free (unless there is a gate fee). In addition to the chapter in Indianapolis, there are also chapters in Fort Wayne, Evansville, Richmond, and Louisville.
This is a group of backpackers that schedules a variety of backpacking trips for most weekends of the year, and also some longer trips outside of Indiana. They do not have a website, but you can obtain a copy of their trip schedule here: Hoosier Backpacker 2014 Schedule