Brown County State Park, located in Indiana, is a great place to be outdoors and enjoy nature.  But what makes it so great?!

 

Mountain Biking

I’ll start with the most obvious.  Mountain biking is the main reason Brown County State Park is so popular. With some of the top ranked trails in the state, and one ranked in the top 25 in the country, they pull in hundreds of people every year.  To accommodate this many people, they are constantly evolving, building new trails, and updating old ones, all thanks to the HMBA.   (Hoosier Mountain Biking Association).  The HMBA sends out volunteers to build and maintain the trails throughout Indiana.  Brown County state park is one of their top priorities.

There are over 27 miles of trails, primarily singletrack, and feature a wide range of skill levels, from beginner to freakishly expert.  There are two main trails heads, one at Hesitation Point, and one at the North Gate. The North Gate starts out with easier trails, and Hesitation Point gives way to more high-speed, advanced runs.  Whatever you prefer, there are plenty of trails to choose from.  I prefer to try them all.

The Hobbes Hollow trail was definitely the best one there, with 2 flow sections and a bit of climb, too.  It was a blast to ride, and I’ll do it again when I get a shot.  For a simpler, easy ride, Limekiln Trail and the North Gate trail are available for all ages, and they’re not too long, either, at around 2.5 miles each.

Every year, the park hosts two events, which attract mountain bikers from all over the country to compete.  The SRAM D.IN.O series holds a race on the first Sunday in June, and the 20-mile race through the trails is always a big hit.  This event was going on while we were there, and it got packed. Plus, there are different lengths of races, including youth races, so all skill levels can compete.

More notably, Brown County State Park holds their Brown County Epic MTB Festival in October.  Being the prime season for mountain biking here, there are demos and plenty of cycling opportunities.  The festival also includes raffles, camping, live music, group rides and food.  As an added bonus, all proceeds go to the HMBA, which means more great trails across Indiana.

There are also 150 miles of MTB trails within 50 miles of Brown County State Park, so there’s never a shortage of new trails to try.

 

Camping

For mountain bikers, hikers and horseman alike, there’s a camping spot for all of them. There are over 500 sites, split between three different areas.  Buffalo Ridge is located 1 mile from the entrance, followed by Raccoon Ridge at 2 miles, and Taylor Ridge at 3.  The sites include 50 amp hookups, heated comfort stations and over 70 miles of horseman’s trails.

The campground includes plenty of amenities, including canoeing, hiking, swimming, and picnicking.  For those who love horses, there are horse rides available at 30 minutes and 1 hour sessions.

The Abe Martin lodge is also available for rent for a weekend retreat.  However, the hills are pretty long and steep, so it’s not accessible for large trucks or bikes (unless you enjoy biking up insanely steep hills).

 

Verdict

Overall, we were really impressed by Brown County State Park.  With over 16,000 acres of forests, hiking and biking trails, it was the perfect spot for anyone who enjoys outdoor activity.  It’s definitely one of the best state parks in Indiana, and possibly in the country.  We’ll be back, Brown County!

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