The Knobstone Trail
Midwest Backpacking

The Knobstone Trail

One of the most popular hiking trails in Indiana is the “Knobstone Trail.” The Knobstone Trail is a challenging long-distance trail that stretches through southern Indiana, offering hikers a chance to experience rugged terrain, diverse ecosystems, and stunning vistas. This trail is often considered Indiana’s premier long-distance hiking route and is perfect for those looking for a more challenging and immersive hiking experience.

Here are some key features of the Knobstone Trail

  1. Length and Difficulty: The Knobstone Trail spans approximately 58 miles, making it a substantial undertaking for hikers. It’s known for its challenging terrain, including steep ascents and descents, rocky sections, and uneven pathways. This makes it a great option for experienced hikers seeking a physically demanding adventure.
  2. Scenic Views: While the trail’s elevation changes can be demanding, they also provide rewarding panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Hikers will have the chance to enjoy vistas that stretch across rolling hills, dense forests, and the Hoosier National Forest.
  3. Wilderness Experience: The Knobstone Trail takes hikers through some remote and relatively untouched areas of southern Indiana. It offers a sense of solitude and immersion in nature, making it a great escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
  4. Varied Ecosystems: As you traverse the trail, you’ll encounter a range of ecosystems, from hardwood forests to grassy meadows. This diversity of landscapes contributes to a rich and ever-changing hiking experience.
  5. Camping Opportunities: The trail features designated backcountry campsites where hikers can pitch tents and enjoy a night under the stars. These campsites are basic and typically offer amenities like fire rings and pit toilets.
  6. Seasonal Appeal: The Knobstone Trail offers different experiences in each season. Spring and summer bring vibrant foliage and the opportunity to spot various plant and animal species. Fall treats hikers to a symphony of autumn colors, while winter offers a more serene and peaceful atmosphere.
  7. Section Hiking: Given the trail’s length and challenging nature, many hikers opt for section hiking, completing the trail in multiple trips. This allows for more flexibility and the chance to fully appreciate different parts of the trail.

Keep In Mind

Before tackling the Knobstone Trail, it’s important to be well-prepared. Research the trail’s conditions, plan your route, and pack accordingly. Adequate footwear, ample water, navigation tools, and other essentials are crucial. Additionally, make sure to follow Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of the trail for future generations.


The Knobstone Trail offers an exciting and demanding hiking experience in the state of Indiana. Whether you’re an experienced hiker seeking a challenge or a nature enthusiast looking to explore Indiana’s wilderness, this trail provides an opportunity to connect with the natural world and create lasting memories. Just remember to plan ahead, be prepared, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Hoosier State’s landscapes.

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