Brown County State Park - IMBA Epic

 99 votes

27.9 Miles 44.9 Kilometers



2,432' 741 m


-2,431' -741 m


1,048' 320 m


653' 199 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (7°)

Bad / Closed

2 hours agoUpdate

A tour of most of the best of Brown County State Park's MTB trails.

Nate Hawkins


Please don't ride the trails when they're wet.
Riding hours are from 7:00am until 11:00pm.
Yield to hikers and uphill riders.
This ride has flow and tons of it. Beginning at the North Gate Trailhead, this ride covers most of the beginner and intermediate trails at the northern end of the trail system. These trails have intermediate elevation changes and abound with flowy downhill sections that are nothing if not loads of fun.

Once you reach the bottom of the Hesitation Point Connector, the work begins. You might want to take a breather at the small rest area near the frog pond. There's even a tree with a branch that serves as a convenient makeshift workstand for many riders in need of an adjustment.

You'll have the monster climb up to the top of Hesitation Point, followed by Walnut Trail. As an expert option, you can hit Schooner on your way out. You'll get a bit of a break on Limekiln with some smoother trail and more flow, and then you'll be back to work on Walnut climbing back to Hesitation Point. Most of the work is done by this point, and you can enjoy the descent off Hesitation Point and the most direct route back to the North Gate Trailhead.

Need to Know

This ride will push the limits of your endurance and technical skill. Make sure your bike is in tip top shape, and pack plenty of water and some food. In the heat of summer, it's a good idea to carry some electrolytes, too.

Enjoy the experience while you're here. After your ride, pay a visit to one of the many wineries or breweries. There are at least 10 wineries, many of which are included in the Indiana Uplands Wine Trail. The list of breweries is equally long, and getting longer. The nearest is Big Woods Brewery in Nashville. Also of note is Upland Brewing in Bloomington, famous for its fruit lambics. There are other breweries in Bloomington and Columbus, so check up with who's new on the scene when you visit. Nashville is also home to a great shopping district with many arts and crafts.


Intersections on this trail system are numbered, and the route for this ride can be followed simply by connecting the numbers. Starting at the North Gate Trailhead, follow Pine Loop for a warmup to Intersection 1 at the North Gate Connector.

Head South on North Gate and enjoy the flow to Intersection 2 with North Tower Loop.

Head clockwise (that would be a left turn) on North Tower and lose yourself in the swoopy, twisty trail to Intersection 4 and then continue to Intersection 3 with the Green Valley Trail.

Follow Green Valley and reach Intersection 6 with Aynes Loop. Green Valley steps up the technicality and climbing a notch, so be ready.

Head clockwise on Aynes Loop to Intersection 5, turn right, and follow Aynes to Intersection 7. Before you start climbing, enjoy the rest stop at the old CCC shelter ruins. You also might want to take advantage of the rest stops at the tops of the big climbs on Aynes.

Here, head South on the Hesitation Point Connector to Intersection 8 at the top of Hesitation Point Trail and the intersection with Walnut Trail. This climb will probably take you a good 45 minutes. It's quite a grinder, so be prepared. If your bike needs some tweaking, use the "repair stand" and your multitool to make the necessary adjustments because the big challenge begins here. Taking a breather at the top of Hesitation Point and enjoying one of the best views in the state is probably a good idea before setting out on Walnut.

Follow Walnut Trail to Intersection 9, then Intersection 10, then to Intersection 11 with Limekiln Trail. Walnut will test your skills and fitness, so be ready for it. The trail starts to get quite rocky here. It's not as gnarly as Schooner, though, which is an option for riders with balls of titanium.

Follow Limekiln Trail to the Rally Camp Parking lot, and then backtrack. Limekiln will give you a much-needed breather after riding the more technical parts of the trail, and help get you ready for the climb up Walnut.

To return to the parking lot, simply count down the intersection numbers in order. Reach intersection 11 with Walnut, pass Intersection 10, 9, 8, and 7 with Aynes Loop. Follow Aynes clockwise to Intersection 6 and then Intersection 5. At Intersection 5, turn left and reach Intersection 4 with North Tower Loop. Follow North Tower clockwise and pass Intersection 3. At intersection 2, turn onto the North Gate Connector and pass Intersection 1 to return to the North Gate Parking lot. The return route isn't too tough, which is a good thing because you're probably pretty wiped from riding the more difficult trails in the park.

After your ride, find something fun to do outside the park in Nashville, Bloomington, or Columbus.

History & Background

This park has a lot of evidence of Civilian Conservation Corps activity. Keep your eyes peeled and take some photos of the old structures.


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4.7 from 99 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Jun 16, 2017
Raúl Gross
Rode Bobcat on the way back instead of Walnut/Hesitation.
Jun 11, 2017
Fred Johnson
May 30, 2017
GARY Skrzycki
Apr 14, 2017
Robyn Lauritsen
Mar 18, 2017
Ann Raiho
Pretty fun! Super smooth 27mi
Nov 17, 2016
Scott Payne
Great ride today, trails in great shape. 28.5mi
Nov 15, 2016
John McGee
Nov 3, 2016
Tom Vail
Best set of trails in South Indiana and Kentucky. Week worth the drive from Louisville. Well marked, maintained, with long loops. Such a great workout

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  4.7 from 99 votes


  4.7 from 99 votes
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Bad / Closed 2 hours ago

Getting forecast...

Brown County has it all. Great trails. Great camping and lodging very close to the trails. Great restaurants in Nashville (and Bloomington and Columbus), even a good micro brewery. I've been to Moab and I've been to Brown County - I'll take Brown County. Jan 6, 2016

These ratings are silly. I haven't ridden here but it's always intrigued me that a place in Indiana makes it to #1 on a MTB website. Then along comes a guy who rates it one star, ONE star after everyone else rates it 4-5 stars consistently for years. On top of that, he claims to have rode it in January? What kind of rocket scientist doesn't know the ground will be frozen (or worse) in January in Indiana? Personally, I don't think he even rode here. Look at all his other ratings and they are in Moab. I think he wanted to dump on Brown County to move The Whoel Enchilada up in the ratings... Mar 21, 2016

An unfortunate disinsentive for those contemplating a B.C. M.B. ride: Apr 24, 2016

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