Hoosier Hikers Library
Below is a compilation of handy resources for Indiana hikers, some of which are out of print or otherwise difficult to locate. Some are provided mostly for historical interest, and trails referenced may be non-existent, unmarked, and/or located on private land. We do not recommend venturing off published, well-marked trails, and especially those on private land should always be avoided.
If you have other non-copyrighted materials that can be shared here, please contact us at HoosierHikersCouncil@gmail.com.
Early Indiana Trails and Surveys
Wilson, George R., C.E., L.L.B. Indiana Historical Society Press. 1919.
This short book describes trails that animals, native Americans, and pioneers used in the earliest days of Indiana. The book also gives a glimpse into the lives of early Hoosiers. The link above opens an online version of the book. To purchase a hard copy, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Historical-Publications-Transactions-American-Philosophical/dp/0871950057.
Tecumseh Trail Guide
Leffelman, Cindy L. 2017
This free on-line Adobe pdf booklet provides navigational, camping, water, parking, and other information on the HHC-built Tecumseh Trail. You can use this guide to plan and assist your hike of the popular Tecumseh Trail in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood State Forests.
Trail Building Guide
Banta, Peter W. 2012
This free on-line Adobe pdf booklet provides a brief summary of basic natural surface trail building techniques. This represents HHC’s current views on best trail building practices that will result in a durable, lasting path.
Morgan-Monroe State Forest in 1959
Author Unknown. Outdoor Indiana. 1959
Enjoy a little history on the Morgan-Monroe State Forest in 1959, during a time when recreational facilities were just being developed in this forest.
Historic Ken Tuxhorn Trails
The late Ken Tuxhorn was a former school teacher and principal who created and maintained a series of trails throughout Brown and Monroe counties starting in 1949. He did this as part of a charity he founded to support Scouts and the hiker community, called the Outdoor Educational Activities Incorporated. The headquarters was a large, old house along Bear Wallow Road in Brown County that still stands to this day.
The HHC provides these documents here for historical purposes only. While they do show these former hiking routes, they should not be, nor are intended to be, used as navigational maps for hiking in the present time. Only a small percent of the former routes is a foot path on publicly accessible forest land. Most of the routes’ miles are along established roads, and a remaining portion traverses private property. While small portions are still accessible, it is a respect for private property and public land manager policies that prevent these routes from being hiked end-to-end in the present day. Please be careful to never trespass on private property, nor hike on routes not approved and published by managers of public lands.
There are portions of the historic Tuxhorn routes that are publicly accessible and approved, e.g., on the TNC Hitz-Rhodehamel Nature Preserve Trail, the “L”-10 O’Clock Line Trail at Brown County State Park, and at Sycamore Landtrust’s Trevlac Bluffs. Pay attention to trail blazes in these areas; if you see painted metal ones, they are generally original Tuxhorn markers, some so old they are partially covered by the growth of the tree trunk. White rectangles are most commonly seen, and triangles of different colors, denoting turns, can also be found on occasion.
Tuxhorn Yellowwood Trace Route, for historical purposes only
Ken Tuxhorn. 1949.
This document shows the historical Yellowwood Trace, starting at Morgan-Monroe State Forest Headquarters and ending at the former Tuxhorn headquarters on Bear Wallow Road in Brown County. Per the note above, in order for us to continue sharing these historical documents, please do not use this to hike on private land, nor on routes unapproved and unpublished by managers of public land.
Tulip Tree Trace
Ken Tuxhorn. Date unknown.
This document shows the historical Tulip Tree Trace, starting at Morgan-Monroe State Forest Headquarters and ending at Yellowwood Lake. Per the note above, in order for us to continue sharing these historical documents, please do not use this to hike on private land, nor on routes unapproved and unpublished by managers of public land.
The Buffalo Trace
The Buffalo Trace, or also called the Vincennes Trace, is a historical route across southern Indiana. It was originally created by buffalo migrating between Kentucky and the prairies of Indiana. They crossed the Ohio River at what is now the Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation area, and continued northwest to the Wabash River near Vincennes.
Here are some interesting resources that provide more information on this historic trace:
Snell, S., Jackson, R., Krieger, A. Date unknown.
This 14-page white paper helps outline resources available for locating historic, lost roads, using the Buffalo Trace as an example. But it also includes the results of those efforts, providing a lot of interesting information related to the Buffalo Trace, or sites along it.
Hoosier National Forest
This is a great webpage that allows you to click on, and learn more about, 47 different historic or cultural sites along the Buffalo Trace.
Hoosier National Forest, April, 2011.
This is a one-page flyer that provides a brief overview and interesting facts about the Buffalo Trace.
Author unknown. Published by Hoosier National Forest. Date unknown.
This 28 page document outlines historical sites still remaining along or in the general area of southern Indiana through which the Buffalo Trace passed.
Hiking Guide to Cultural Artifacts in the Charles Deam Wilderness
This invaluable and historically important booklet was written many years ago by Gary Lane of Indiana University and Stan Newhall, a well-respected and avid hiker of the Charles Deam Wilderness. Both had an intimate knowledge of the pioneer homes, schools, churches, and other structures that once existed in the Deam Wilderness area. Here they provide very detailed instructions and maps to locate clues of what remains of these once vibrant communities.
HHC Bicentennial Challenge
The Hoosier Hikers Council sponsored a hiking challenge in honor of Indiana’s 200th anniversary in 2016. Hikers who completed 200 miles on Indiana natural surface trails received a patch and certificate. More information about the challenge is here: https://www.hoosierhikerscouncil.org/bicentennial-challenge/.