Morel mushrooms

  Morgan-Monroe State Forest


See pictures we took while hiking.

Morgan-Monroe 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 in 1929.

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.

Cherry Lake

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 shelters.
Other picnic areas, with picnic tables and grills, are located throughout the forest.

Cherry Shelter

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.

Hiking Trails
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.

Fire Tower

More Hiking Trails
Rock Shelter Loop
- 3 miles (moderate)

Scenic trail. Departs from the Low Gap Trail parking area.
Mason 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.
Three Lakes Trail - 10 miles (rugged)
Connects Cherry, Beanblossom and Bryant Creek Lakes. The trailhead is located at the south end of Cherry Lake.
Low 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
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.

Camping/Property Rules and Regulations

Located 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.)

Morgan-Monroe State Forest
6220 Forest Road
Martinsville, IN 46151
(765) 342-4026

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