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Indiana State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern Region
Pike State Forest
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334 Lapperell Rd
Latham, Indiana   45646-9722
(lat:39.1097 lon:-83.2676) map location

Phone: (740) 493-2441
Pike State Forest was placed under the management of Ferdinand State Forest in July 1997. The PikeState Forest consists of 2,939 acres in southwestern Indiana. Acquisition of the land that makes up PikeState Forest began in the 1930s, and continued through the 1950s. Most of the buildings on the propertywere constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) using material cut from local timberstands.

Land acquisition for Pike State Forest began in 1924, with the objective of returning abused hill farms and fire-damaged timber lands to productive forests. Most of the reforestation work was completed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Division of Forestry. Pike State Forest now covers 12,084 acres in western Pike County and eastern Highland County. State ownership is broken up into 13 separate, irregular tracts, which make it difficult to manage for continuous recreational facilities, as well as the management and patrol of the forest resource.

The forest offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Located off of State Route 124 is the Pike State Forest APV area. The facility has 10 miles of trail open to motorcycles and off road all-terrain vehicles. The trails wind through the hollows and ridge tops, offering the visitor a challenging ride as well as some beautiful scenery and breathtaking views. Parking, latrines, and a novice area are all provided on the site. Note: The AVP area is open from April 1 through November 30.

For the equestrian there are 33 miles of bridle trail located on the forest.

Hiking is available on the Buckeye Trail which runs through the forest. Hiking is also permitted on the 33 miles of bridle trails.

For those who want to stay on the beaten path, there are numerous county and township roads that pass through the forest.

Pike State Forest is open to public hunting and fishing in season. Fishing is available at several ponds located in the forest. Anderson Lake off of Dry Bone Road is a popular spot that offers quiet seclusion among the hills and trees.
History of the Area
Pike State Forest is a state forest located in the southwestern part of Indiana, United States. It covers an area of approximately 4,000 acres and is managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The history of Pike State Forest dates back to the early 20th century when the state of Indiana recognized the need to preserve natural forests for future generations. In 1921, the state legislature passed the Forestry Act, which authorized the creation of state forests. The primary objective was to acquire and manage lands for timber production, watershed protection, and recreational purposes.

Pike State Forest was established in 1932 as one of the first state forests in Indiana. The initial land acquisition for the forest was made possible through the donation of 1,700 acres by the Stout family. Over the years, additional lands were added to the forest, expanding its size and resources.

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was involved in a restoration and development project in Pike State Forest. The CCC, a New Deal program, provided employment to young men and focused on the conservation and development of natural resources. They constructed roads, trails, picnic areas, and various infrastructure within the forest, leaving behind a lasting legacy.

Pike State Forest has served as a multi-use forest, allowing for various recreational activities. It offers opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation. Over time, the forest's management practices have evolved to strike a balance between timber production, wildlife habitat preservation, and public recreation.

Pike State Forest continues to be an important natural resource in Indiana. It provides a diverse mix of hardwood forests, riparian corridors, and open fields, supporting a rich variety of wildlife and plant species. Visitors can enjoy the serenity and natural beauty of the forest while engaging in outdoor activities. The forest is an example of the state's commitment to managing and conserving its natural resources for the benefit of both present and future generations.
GeneralLand, acres2,914
 Hiking Trailyes
 Picnic Shelters, #1
 Bridle Trailsyes
CampingPrimitive, #11
 Horsemen Campsites, #25
Primitive camping is available for a fee. Campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Self-registration is required. Pit toilets and seasonal drinking water are available. There is a picnic table and grill located on each site. Eleven sites are available in the family camping area and 25 sites are located in the Horseman's Campground.
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Picnic areas with picnic tables and grills are available for day use. A picnic shelter and playground are alsoavailable.
Hiking is available on the forest property's firelanes and bridle trails. All horses brought, driven or riddenonto the State Forest must have a valid annual horse use tag. Hikers and horseback riders are advised towear hunter orange or other bright clothing while on trails during hunting season.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 17 Horseback Rider by Lost but Trashless Rider
park review stars; one to five I agree that there was alot of trash left behind on the trails!! Very sad!!!! I follow the rule what you bring in you take out!! That means everything!!!! Also it would have been very helpful if the trail markers were alittle more detailed!! The map we got at the office was really confusing! We had to use the GPS on one of our riders I-phone. Thank God for technology!!
March 14 been going there for years. by Toeped
park review stars; one to five A nice place but the horse riders litter up the horse trails real bad. Beer and soda cans and food containers all over the place. Also ATV users ride unchecked on foot traffic only areas to reach outer lying areas for hunting. Both of these things need to be stopped. Great camping areas with a playground and running water. A nice place.
January 30 Clean, lotts of fishing, and hunting. by J. Thornton
park review stars; one to five Fishing great, hunting is going down, cutting a lot of trees down in the forest.Hope it will pick up next 2 or 3 years.
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1. Start by heading south on I:69.
2. Take exit 41 for IN:64 toward Oakland City/Francisco.
3. Turn left onto IN:64 E and continue driving eastward.
4. After approximately 10 miles, turn right onto County Rd 350 S/County Line Road (you will see signs indicating the entrance to Pike State Forest).
5. Continue straight on this road for about a mile until you reach the forest's main entrance.

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Indiana State Parks