CLARK STATE FOREST
Clark State Forest 'Fire Tower'
© Michael E. Ruby
Looking up at the 100 foot tall fire tower
Clark State Forest 'Watching You'
© Copyright Art In Imaging Photography
Clark State Forest 'Drive'
© Michael E. Ruby
A slow drive through the forest with the sunlight filtering through the trees
Clark State Forest 'Looking out'
© Michael E. Ruby
Looking out of the fire tower at the fall colors
Clark State Forest, established in 1903, is the oldest state forest in Indiana. The original appropriations to purchase a 2,000 acre tract took place during the administration of Governor Winfield Durbin. In the ensuing 96 years, additional acquisitions have increased this area to the present 24,000 acres. Much of this land was originally part of Clark's Grant, lands provided by a clause in the Virginia Cession of Claims to the Northwest Territory on December 20, 1783.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Picnic Shelters, #8
Mountain Bike Trails, miles5
Bridle Trails, miles100
Horsemen Campsites, #26
Primitive(class C) camping is available for a fee. Self check-in stations are located at the entrance to each campground. Sites have pit toilets and seasonal drinking water available. There is a picnic table and grill located on each of the campground's 45 sites. The Horseman's Campground offers 26 Class C sites for those visitors who are camping with horses. A dump station is available.
to this park:
Several picnic areas and 8 picnic shelters are available for day use. Picnic areas, with picnic tables and grills, are located throughout the forest. The property also includes seven playgrounds, two baseball fields, tennis court, basketball court, firetower and public gun range.
White Oak Nature Trail - 0.9 mile loop, self-guiding
Resource Trail - 1 mile, self-guiding
Knobstone Trail - 59 miles (backcountry) 32 miles in Clark State Forest 27 miles in Elk Creek and Jackson-Washington State Forest.
Hiking is also permitted on the entire property including firetrails and horse trails. Hikers and horseback riders are advised to wear hunter orange or other bright clothing while on trails during hunting season.
Approximately 100 miles of marked trails and six day ride parking areas.Horseback riding is permitted only on designated bridle trails. All horses brought,driven or ridden onto Clark State Forest must have a valid annual horse use tag.
Wildlife Loop (blue trail marker) - 3.5 miles
Easy. Area has wide trails enhanced by wildlife openings and ponds.
Shaw Lake Loop (green trail marker) - 5.5 miles
Moderately Rugged. Very scenic trail bordering Shaw Lake . High vistas withtwo steep areas.
Horse Camp Loop (blue trail marker) - 5 miles
Moderate. Good scenery. Trail crosses one creek, goes by several vistas,switches back and cuts around camel backs.
Beginner Loop (orange trail marker) - 3 miles
Easy. Wider trails built for beginning horses and riders.
Wilcox Valley Trail (yellow trail marker) - 0.5 mile
Moderately Rugged. Scenic with large trees and winding creeks. Wet in spring.
Bowen Loop (blue & yellow trail marker) - 7 miles
Moderate. Upland trees include chestnut oak and pine; several vistas.
Deam Trail (red trail marker) - 20 miles
Moderately Rugged. Day-long ride with all types of scenery and wildlife. Ends atday ride area on Flower Gap Trail.
Mountain Grove Trail(green trail marker) - 4.9 miles
Moderately Rugged. Trails are wider due to wildlife habitat enhancement work,wildlife food plots and ponds. Some creeks, hills and hardwood trees.
Dry Fork Loop (orange trail marker) - 12 miles
Rugged. Very primitive area with two ever-changing creek crossings. Large treesand steep valleys, creeks and knobs. This trail is one of the most scenic, and hastwo crossover shortcuts (green & yellow).
Trail Difficulty Ratings:
Easy- A wide trail, often short in length and free of obstacles, located near dayuse areas, horse camp facilities and recreation areas where heavy use isexpected. Moderate- A wide, longer trail of moderate grade, traversing varyingtopography and free of obstacles. Moderately Rugged- For the more experienced horse and rider. Trail widthmay vary from 4-6 feet and may accommodate both double and single file riding.Steeper grades, varying topography and changes in trail surface will beencountered. Rugged- Rugged trails are designed for single file riding over extremely steepgrades, dramatic topography, native rock and frequently changing trail surfaces.Obstacles such as rock ledges, fallen trees and creek crossings may beencountered.
Mountain Bike Trails:
Clark S.F./Deam Lake S.R.A. offers 5 miles of mountain bike trails. Mountainbikes are only permitted on those designated trails.
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews