The HHC collaborates with several organizations to build and maintain trails. Below are a few of our valued partners who have collaborated with us to support our work. Please consider visiting these websites to support or learn more about them.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is a very large agency within the state of Indiana, responsible for the management of all natural resources, e.g., state forests, parks, preserves, recreation areas, streams, lakes, trails, fish and wildlife. The DNR has an extensive website which provides a wealth of information on hiking and running trails. For a few examples, there is a page dedicated to the Knobstone Trail, several maps covering the network of trails in Brown County State Park, and maps for the popular 10-mile running loops in Morgan-Monroe State Forest. The DNR is a highly valued partner to the HHC, as they manage much of the land and trails on which we work. We are grateful for their continued support, collaboration, and willingness to assist the HHC in our goal to build and maintain hiking and running trails.
The Nature Conservancy is a global nonprofit organization that works to protect the land and water on which we all depend. TNC has over 50 preserves in Indiana that are open to the public to visit. Each of these offers unique landscapes, natural and sometimes rare flora or fauna. HHC has had the priviledge to help establish trails on a few of these preserves, to allow better public access to these special places. In 2012 the HHC built a scenic and secluded three-mile loop trail in the large Hitz-Rhodehamel Nature Preserve in Brown County. From 2019 through 2021, the HHC rerouted the Green’s Bluff Trail and added a new trail, the Raccoon Woods Trail, to the southern part of the Green’s Bluff property. Other projects with TNC are ongoing.
The Sycamore Land Trust protects land throughout southern Indiana, through ownership or holding of conservation easements to limit uses that might harm the natural heritage value. Founded in 1990, they have protected over 90 properties which consist of about 9,000 acres. The HHC collaborates with the Sycamore Land Trust to help make these properties more accessible to the public, by building and maintaining natural surface trails that highlight their unique natural features. Some examples of joint projects with the HHC include the loop trails at the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill, the Cedar Crest Trail at the Sycamore Land Trust Headquarters in Bloomington, the Tangeman Woods Trail near Columbus, and the trail at the Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve at Lake Monroe.
Beck’s Mill in Salem, Indiana is one place you don’t want to miss! Pioneer farmers had come to this very site since 1807 to grind their corn. The current structure was built in 1864, and has undergone a major restoration effort to make it operational in 2006. Visitors can actually watch the mill as its large grindstone processes the corn, powered from the stream which flows by it. There is a large variety of machines and relics from the past which help visitors better understand pioneer life in Indiana. When you visit, be sure to also check out their trails, built by HHC! These take you to many interesting places, such as several natural springs, an old quarry, a pioneer cemetery, and blankets of wildflowers in the spring!
The Waycross Camp and Conference Center is nestled in the remote hills of Brown County, along Richards Road. Their ground facilities consist of a large meeting hall, swimming pool, bath house, lodge, and cabins. Being adjacent to the DNR property on which the Tecumseh Trail runs, the Waycross has been an important partner and supporter of HHC and the trail. In 2012 Waycross generously allowed HHC to construct on their grounds an alternative route on the Tecumseh Trail. This was necessary to avoid forest operations that otherwise would have resulted in a long road walk for hikers and runners of the trail.
Lutheran Hills is a large secluded camp of 470 acres located in Brown County along Bear Creek Road. On their grounds they have a large meeting hall, cabins, pool, lake, and miles of trails which wander throughout the steep and heavily wooded hills typical of Brown County. They host a large array of youth camps which are focused on specialized topics such as performing arts, guitar, caving, or backpacking. Lutheran Hills has been an important and valued partner of HHC for many years. They donated a key easement which completed the connection between Richards and Carmel Ridge Roads. They donated all supplies, expertise, and labor to construct a shelter along the Tecumseh Trail. The Foxes Den Shelter has become a key stopover and icon for backpackers of the trail.