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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am driving to Indiana next month for the International Trombone Association convention at Ball State. I would like to spend a day riding at Brown County State park or whatever other location in that area has some good trails. What would be a good 20 - 30 mile ride for a visitor that would be not overly technical and easy to navigate? Thanks!
 

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I am driving to Indiana next month for the International Trombone Association convention at Ball State. I would like to spend a day riding at Brown County State park or whatever other location in that area has some good trails. What would be a good 20 - 30 mile ride for a visitor that would be not overly technical and easy to navigate? Thanks!
Compared to what's available in Pisgah & Dupont, I'd probably put Brown County as similar in technicality to Dupont for the most part. If you want to avoid overly technical, just avoid Schooner Trace at BCSP.

That said, the "easy to navigate" part is kinda relative. The park is easy to navigate from the standpoint that things are well signed, but not so easy to navigate in the sense that it's a network of trails with lots of intersections.

This route fits into your criteria pretty well.

https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/1002206/brown-county-state-park

It's an older route, so it misses newer trails like Bobcat (it's technical because it's narrow, very tight turns in spots, and some significant exposure in spots, but isn't too chunky) and Hobbs Hollow. But with your 20-30mi criteria, you'll have to make some decisions about what to ride and what to skip.
 

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Thanks. I had looked at that and it seems like a good day out on the trail.

Also, it sounds like they have had some bad flooding around that area lately. I was also thinking of hitting Big South Fork either on the way up or back.
That's a nice route, though I generally prefer riding Green Valley the opposite direction than is posted on that route. I'd also rather do Pine either direction than to take the very last bit of North Gate either direction (unless the goal is to finish ASAP), then a North Gate finish is faster. Choosing between descending Hesitation Point vs. Hobbs/Shelley is tough. They're both fun. HP is two-way singletrack, so you've gotta pay attention for climbing riders, so there's that. But it's got a mix of fast/flow as well as some rock gardens. Hobbs is flow trail with big berms and rollable jumps and is downhill-only so you can let loose a bit more.

They have had some rough weather. Looks like everything's opened back up except for Bobcat right now, though. I would bet that Bobcat gets opened back up by the time you do your trip, unless there's something major that requires equipment to repair, or requires rerouting around. I'm sure a current local would have better info on that.

The question then becomes whether conditions remain reasonable or whether they get pounded again.

Multiple alternates is probably a good idea, though, so you have some flexibility built into your riding plans. I've not ridden Big South Fork yet, but I'd really like to. Everything I've read makes it look like it'd be a good time, and it seems like the sort of place my wife would also enjoy riding.
 

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Harold - Is Brown Mtn. pretty hard tail friendly? I was planning on taking the HT as there is a paved bike trail in Muncie that I will have access to while I am up there for 3 days.
You mean brown county state park? There actually is a place nearby called brown mtn, btw.

Yes, it is pretty hardtail friendly.

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Thanks. I had looked at that and it seems like a good day out on the trail.

Also, it sounds like they have had some bad flooding around that area lately. I was also thinking of hitting Big South Fork either on the way up or back.
I just got back from riding BCSP this weekend overall it's in great shape. The trail crew did an excellent job cleaning up after the storms!

Hobbs was fun but a little rough. It needs some TLC and tires to smooth it back out, and there is a pretty major washout about half way down the first section that is walkable but I wouldn't ride it.
 

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Thanks. I had looked at that and it seems like a good day out on the trail.

Also, it sounds like they have had some bad flooding around that area lately. I was also thinking of hitting Big South Fork either on the way up or back.
I drive between WNC and Southern Indiana regularly and always stop somewhere in KY for a ride. I would recommended either part of the BSF epic (Grand Gap Loop) or section 26 of the Sheltowee Trace, an out and back on Laurel Lake. There's also a 45 mile gravel grinder that has 15 miles of trail, 15 miles of paved, and 15 miles of gravel I did the last time through the area that was pretty awesome even on a 27.5+.
https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7046963/the-forty-5

I would avoid Section 27 of the Sheltowee Trace. An 18 mile trials course. Only trail I've ever bailed on.

On a side note, KY bugs are for real. Chiggers and biting flies especially. Recommended a good Picardin lotion on the legs and arms.

As far as Brown County, I like Nebo Ridge. It's an 18 mile out and back but you can add some gravel and horse trails with this:

https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7007675/hoosier-national-forest-loops

Check on condition though. There's a FB group that might be helpful:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1843109832448263/
 

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Nebo is a great ride. That trail is probably older than I am, and in most spots, it's really hard to tell. It's largely in great shape (though the northern couple of miles that's on an old gravel road bed are often gross) and is one of the first trails to dry out after rain because it's mostly up on the ridgeline.

That mtbproject loop is kinda nice in general. If you want to avoid the horsiest trails (they can be pretty bad near the horse camp), you can bypass some of the trails on gravel. I'm the one who listed that ride, and the main goal of the extra lollipop loop is to make a loop that gets you onto Trail 18, which is nice. Some of those other horse trails can be pretty meh, and downright suck during wetter periods. You can also just backtrack on Nebo instead of riding Combs if you want to reduce the amount of gravel.

That FB group amuses me. I remember when it got created. The admin of the local ride/social page was getting irritated by all of the trail conditions questions and spun that group off.
 

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Nebo is a great ride. That trail is probably older than I am, and in most spots, it's really hard to tell. It's largely in great shape (though the northern couple of miles that's on an old gravel road bed are often gross) and is one of the first trails to dry out after rain because it's mostly up on the ridgeline.

That mtbproject loop is kinda nice in general. If you want to avoid the horsiest trails (they can be pretty bad near the horse camp), you can bypass some of the trails on gravel. I'm the one who listed that ride, and the main goal of the extra lollipop loop is to make a loop that gets you onto Trail 18, which is nice. Some of those other horse trails can be pretty meh, and downright suck during wetter periods. You can also just backtrack on Nebo instead of riding Combs if you want to reduce the amount of gravel.

That FB group amuses me. I remember when it got created. The admin of the local ride/social page was getting irritated by all of the trail conditions questions and spun that group off.
I met up with that crew for one of their Thursday night rides last year. Great bunch of folk and Nashville has some GREAT apres velo nosh spots.
 

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I met up with that crew for one of their Thursday night rides last year. Great bunch of folk and Nashville has some GREAT apres velo nosh spots.
They're a good crew. Mt bikers in Indiana are a pretty tight community that I haven't really encountered anywhere else. I consider most of them friends, even though living in Indy, making it down there on a weeknight was a bit of a stretch for me most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did my Brown County ride on Weds. I only got about 17 miles as Indiana was doing its best impression of SC heat and humidity that day. But those were some really fun trails. Yesterday I rode the Rangeline trail in Anderson, which was surprisingly technical and hard for a little trail in the middle of Indiana. I did a lot of get offs at that one. I think I will just hit the bike path today.
 
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