YELLOWWOOD STATE FOREST
Yellowwood State Forest was created in 1940 when federal land was leased to the State of Indiana. Theland was deeded to the state in 1956. Prior to that time, the Civilian Conservation Corps and WorksProject Administration completed three lakes, a shelterhouse and a residence, all presently in use. Othersuch buildings were sawn from the forest in kit form and shipped to other public properties.
Over 2,000 abandonded and eroded acres were planted to pine (red, jack, shortleaf, white and scotch), black locust, black walnut, white and red oak. Red and white pines are the true northern pines and are still in good condition. The other pines are succumbing to insects, disease and extremely cold winters.
Yellowwood Lake was completed in 1939. The 133-acre lake is about 30 feet deep.
Yellowwood State Forest, along with several other state properties, has gained parcels of landthrough the Indiana Heritage Trust Program. In 1994, 30 acres slated for the construction of aradio tower were purchased and became part of Yellowwood State Forest. A 36-acreinholding adjoing a nature preserve was purchased and added to Yellowwood in 1995.
Yellowwood State Forest is located in the state of Indiana in the United States. The history of Yellowwood State Forest dates back to the early 19th century.
In the early 1800s, the land where Yellowwood State Forest now stands was part of the Northwest Territory, a vast area comprising the present-day states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. As settlers moved westward, the area underwent significant changes.
In the mid-1800s, European-American settlers arrived and began clearing the land for agriculture. Much of Yellowwood State Forest's land was used for farming and logging during this time. However, due to poor soil quality and erosion issues, farming in the area became less sustainable.
In response to the deteriorating soil conditions, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established in the 1930s as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program. The CCC played a crucial role in the establishment and development of Yellowwood State Forest.
Beginning in 1939, the CCC worked on reforesting and restoring the degraded land in the area. They planted trees, built roads and trails, constructed fire lookout towers, and created recreational facilities. Many of the stone structures in the park, including picnic shelters and fireplaces, were built by the CCC and remain standing today.
On November 18, 1940, Yellowwood State Forest officially became a state forest reserve. The forest was established to protect and manage the land for future generations, providing recreational opportunities and preserving natural resources.
Since its establishment, Yellowwood State Forest has been managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The forest has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and wildlife observation.
The DNR has continued to manage and maintain the forest, balancing conservation efforts with recreational use. Yellowwood State Forest covers an area of approximately 23,326 acres and is known for its diverse ecosystem, including hardwood forests, ravines, and scenic views.
Yellowwood State Forest stands as a testament to the conservation and restoration efforts of the past, providing visitors with a beautiful natural space to enjoy and explore.
Picnic Shelters, #1
Horsemen Campsites, #10
Primitive (Class C) campsites are centrally located within the forest and around Yellowwood Lake. Seethe fees page for a list of camping fees. There are 80 designated campsites south of the Forest Office anda carry-in tent site area north of the office. Vault toilets and drinking water are available near thecampsites. Two playgrounds are located within the campground area.
A Class C Horsemen's Camp with 10 sites is located south of the primitive campsites, and is convenientto the many miles of horse trails that wander through the forest. Please register for camping at the ForestOffice. Camping reservations are not taken.