Morgan-Monroe State Forest
pictures we took while hiking.
State Forest encompasses more than 24,000 acres in Morgan and Monroe counties
in south central Indiana. The forest land encompasses many steep ridges
and valleys, and is forested with some of the state's finest hardwoods.
The original settlers of the area cleared and attempted to farm the ridges,
but were frustrated by rocky soil unsuitable for agriculture. The state
purchased the eroded, abandoned land to create Morgan-Monroe State Forest
Primitive camping is available for a fee; campers
must register for camping at the forest office. Mason Ridge Campground,
located behind the fire tower north of the forest office, has pit toilets
and seasonal drinking water available. There is a picnic table and grill
located on each of the campground's 21 sites. On busy weekends, overflow
camping is available at Oak Ridge Campground. Oak Ridge has 11 sites and
the same facilities as Mason Ridge.
Scout Ridge Youth Tent Campground is available for scouts or other groups
. Sites in Scout Ridge Campground are larger than regular campground sites
and there are several picnic tables and grills available. Scout Ridge
Nature Preserve is located in this area.
Three forest lakes, Bryant Creek Lake
(9 acres), Cherry Lake (4 acres) and Prather Lake
(4 acres) are all open to fishing; a valid Indiana fishing license
is required. Boat ramps are located on Bryant Creek and Cherry Lakes;
boat motors are limited to electric trolling motors only. Beanblossom
Lake drained when the levee failed after several days of heavy rain
in November 1993. Swimming is not permitted in any of the lakes.
Several picnic areas and picnic shelters
are available for day use. Picnic shelters are located at Cherry
Lake, Beanblossom Lake, Bryant Creek Lake and Scout Ridge Campground.
The Wall Picnic Shelter with a large picnic area and playground
is located at the junction of Main Forest Road and Beanblossom Road.
Use of all shelterhouses is on a first-come, first-served basis;
reservations are not accepted. There is no charge to use the picnic
Other picnic areas, with picnic tables and grills, are located throughout
Whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, turkey, squirrel, fox, and raccoon. A valid
hunting license is required.
Hikers are advised to wear hunter orange or other bright clothing while
on trails during hunting season.
The following trails are near the Forest
Office and Mason Ridge campground.
Scout Ridge Nature Preserve
Trail -.5 mile
Pathfinder Trail - 2/3 mile
Tree Identification - 2/3 mile
Features numbered posts with tree species
identified in a corresponding map available at the park office.
Rock Shelter Loop
- 3 miles (moderate)
Scenic trail. Departs from the Low Gap Trail parking area.
Ridge Loop - 2.7 miles (moderate)
Trail circles the main forest road. Pick up trail at the Orcutt Road parking
area near the Forest Office, or at the Low Gap Trail trailhead.
Lakes Trail - 10 miles (rugged)
Connects Cherry, Beanblossom and Bryant Creek Lakes. The trailhead is
located at the south end of Cherry Lake.
Gap Trail - 10 miles (rugged)
Loops through the Back Country Area where overnight backpack camping is
permitted. The trailhead is located along the Main Forest Road just east
of the turn for Beanblossom Road and the Wall Picnic Shelter. Although
there is no fee for camping, you must register at the forest office before
camping in the Back Country Area. For a detailed map of the back country
area obtain a Morgan-Monroe State Forest trail map or purchase a topographical
map of the Hindustan quad.
Draper Cabin is a primitive, wooden-floored
log cabin that takes visitors 100 years back in time to the days before
electricity, vehicles and modern plumbing. Reservations for the cabin
are accepted for any night from the first weekend in April to the weekend
before Thanksgiving. The Cabin may be rented on a day by basis, depending
on weather conditions, during the winter.
Rules and Regulations
southwest of Indianapolis, 35 miles south from Interstate 465 via State
Road 37 (5 miles south of Martinsville or 16 miles northeast of Bloomington-follow
signs 8 miles east off State Road 37.)
6220 Forest Road
Martinsville, IN 46151