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Hoosier National Forest Loops

 5 votes

Length

29.6 Miles 47.7 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

Elevation

1,822' 555 m

Ascent

-1,821' -555 m

Descent

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

911' 278 m

High

555' 169 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

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A 30-mile sampling of the Hoosier National Forest.

Nate Hawkins

Overview

This ride takes in many of the classics in the Hoosier National Forest. It includes singletrack as well as some gravel. There's a tad bit of pavement, also, to connect some trails. Nebo Ridge Trail and Hickory Ridge Trail 18 are the major highlights, but this ride also takes you through the historic town of Elkinsville, which was effectively closed down as Lake Monroe was developed.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

This trail is in the boonies. You'll pass by some houses, and some of them have signs in the yard about their dogs. Once you start this ride, though, there's not really much opportunity for resupply so go prepared. Post-ride, you can stop at the Story Inn for refreshments, though.

Description

Start this ride at the northern Nebo Ridge Trail trailhead/parking area. Take Nebo south. You'll see the Nebo-Combs Connector a couple of miles in, and you can reverse the Nebo/Combs sections, and cut out the Elkinsville segment if you'd like to modify the route. For this ride, though, stay on Nebo Ridge Trail. Enjoy this section of singletrack. It's flowy and is THE classic Indiana backcountry singletrack trail.

Once you reach the southern trailhead, hang a right onto W. County Rd. 1000 N. into Maumee. You'll take the bridge across the South Fork of Salt Creek. You'll be on pavement here for a little bit. Once across the bridge, keep left onto W. County Rd. 1190 W. Pass the intersection with N. County Rd. 1200 W. The house at this intersection has warning signs about the dogs. You'll see a sign for the Maumee Scout camp. Keep following WW. CR 1190 W. downhill, and then back uphill. Near the top of the climb, you should see the trailhead for Trail 21 to your right. Take it.

Trail 21 will end near the intersection of N. CR 1200 W., N. CR 1290 W., and Horse Camp Rd. Take Horse Camp Rd. to the west. This is a short stretch of gravel. In a little more than half a mile, you'll see Trail 3 on your right. Hop onto that and follow Trail 3 to the West. Near the end of Trail 3, you'll cross the intersection of Hickory Grove Rd. and Horse Camp Rd. Trail 3 follows a very short distance afterward until it intersects with Trail 1 and Trail 10. Take Trail 10 on your right and head west some more.

You'll pass to the south of the Hickory Grove Church and there is a little spur trail leading to the church and its cemetery. After that little spur, you'll intersect with Trail 4 and Trail 2. Take the right-most option, which will set you headed counter-clockwise on Trail 4. In a little over a mile, you'll come to the intersection with Trail 18 on your right. Take it and follow Trail 18. In a little more than 2 miles, you'll cross a gravel county road and continue along Trail 18. When you reach the end of Trail 18, take a right onto Trail 20.

At the southern end of Trail 20, take a left onto N. County Rd. 1200 W. You'll approach the house with the warning signs about dogs again. Take a left here onto N. County Rd. 1190 W into Maumee. Keep right and cross the bridge over the South Fork of Salt Creek. After crossing the bridge, turn left onto N. County Rd. 1200 W. After crossing Combs Creek, it will change to W. CR 1140 N. You'll enter Rayburn Hollow and pass a few houses/cabins on your right. Half a mile after the first buildings, you'll pass the gate signaling the closed portion of Combs Rd. About a mile after Rayburn Hollow, you'll pass an intersection with a road headed uphill to your right. This short section gets some auto traffic because there is private property off of this small road. It looks like the more obvious route. Keep to the left and Combs Rd. will begin looking more like a trail and it will begin getting more rugged as it climbs.

Near the summit of the Combs Rd. climb, you'll see the Nebo-Combs Connector that will take you more directly back to where you began. To see the town of Elkinsville and the memorial, continue on Combs Rd. and it will head downhill and veer to the West. After you pass the gate, you'll see some buildings and pass a small canoe livery on your right.

After the canoe livery, Combs Rd. will end at Elkinsville Rd. Take a right and you'll be in the old town of Elkinsville. It doesn't look like much, but you can stop at the memorial on your left as you pass through. After the memorial, you'll reach an intersection with Elkinsville Cemetery Rd. If you want another steep hill climb, you can ride up that and back down after visiting the cemetery. This route follows Elkinsville Rd. to the right, however.

You'll approach a Y-intersection. Keep right at the Y to stay on Elkinsville Rd. This last stretch is the last climb on the ride. After summiting, descend to the start.

History & Background

The most historically significant portion of this ride is the town of Elkinsville, IN.

Read up on some of the history, before passing through. Here are some links to get you started!

ourbrowncounty.com/0103s2.htm
bloomingpedia.org/wiki/Elki…

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Sep 3, 2017
Sara Harper
Apr 23, 2017
William Ganis

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 5 votes

#1672

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  4.2 from 5 votes
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#23

in Indiana

#1,672

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Did this ride over the weekend and it is really an Epic route. Best 30 mile ride in Southern Indiana. I would not recommend riding trail 3, it is a mud bog end to end. Other than that, great ride. May 17, 2016

 
FWIW, springtime is the worst time of year for horse bogs. They're not nearly as bad when things dry out by summer/fall. May 17, 2016
Rode Combs road for the first time last weekend. Was a bit more technical than I planned for but was in decent shape for the 28 degree temps. I'm hoping to start riding these trails more often. Jan 31, 2017

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