Brown County is the Indiana meca of mountain biking. Hoosier National Forest has plenty of trails of varying quality. For example, Hickory Ridge is mostly horse trails while Nebo Ridge is singetrack. Everything is very "flowy" and portions of Brown County are very technical. The majority of my pictures are from Brown County if you'd like to get a visual of the riding.
I lived in IN about 12 years ago. The HNF was some great riding with friendly trail users (bikers and hikers). Nebo Ridge was one of my favorite trails. Lots of good trails with a combination of double and singletrack.
It's not Colorado but it's not western Kansas either.
Ive rode Tsali/Pisgah, a few weeks after Brown County actually.
Take the flowing highspeed Bench cuts at Tsali and use them endlessly, use some midwest bluegroove dirt,with some rollers here and there, BAM brown county state park.
Its not rocky like pisgah, but its got flow better than tsali or pisgah. all trails were cut just for mtn bikes, and flow that way too.
On nebo ridge i found a Timber Rattlesnake, i was super stoked being a long time snake keeper. they are threatend/endangered in indiana also,double bonus. i actually was going downhill and hoped the 4-5 foot beauty, it was one of my top 5 fav things of 2008,stopped to take a ton of pics.it was a really really nice one too! amazing.sorry to get so excited about snakes on a bike forum,ive been keeping them longer than bikes actually.
Hoosiers National's policy is multi use. Hike/Bike/Horse. This on paper provides over 200 miles of trail open to mountain bikes. But, since the trails were not build by mountain bikers and get a lot of horse traffic, many of them are just not very fun.
Local riders do find some isolated segments of trail that are ok, and in the late summer and fall (when the trails are dry - wet horse trails are not fun), hard core riders will venture into the National Forest Trails. Do to horse traffic and trail design, the segments of trail that are good seem to change from year to year and season to season.
The only trail in the system that we recommend is Nebo Ridge. It is part of the Hickory Trail system and is technically open to horses. But it is pretty far from the horse camp and isolated enough that few horse riders would trailer to it. This is the granddaddy of Indiana mountain bike trails, as 10 years ago this was the must ride trail in central Indiana.
Riding on Hoosier National trails does require a pass and the passes are sold at local stores. It some times is a challenge to find them.
If you are visiting, I would suggest trying some of the trails at State Parks. We have fantastic purpose built mtb trails at Versailles and Brown County State Park, and may have the Harmonie State Park trail (Evansville) open in by the time you visit.
Hand of Midas- Very common sightings on Nebo. I've spotted multiple Timbers out on Nebo. We really have a huge turnout on night rides as they're all out huntin. Come on down for a peek this summer.
Sjanes- very familiar with your backyard, as I've been riding PNF for 10+ years, hundreds of rides all over the area.
BCSP is the best trail system we have, HNF is the biggest and Nebo is within the HNF and is the best section to ride. Versailes SP also offers some more MTB built trails similar to BCSP here in Indiana.
The Danial Boone NF in Kentucky could also be hit up on your way in or out to Ashevegas. It offers more elevation change than our stuff here in Indiana with rugged singletrack tougher than Tsali, but a couple notches below PNF.
All really depends on what part of Indiana your headin to and what the trail conditions are when ya roll through. Just Holla when your headin this way.
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