Hoosier National Forest Park A Family Affair

Filed under : Hotels

The Hoosier National Forest Park is located in the picturesque hills of south central Indiana about 30 miles east of Jasper and 50 miles south of Bloomington. Homewood Suites Hilton at Bloomington is a convenient place to spend an overnight stay both to plan a visit to the park or to reorganize oneself on the way back home.

Several features about the area make it unique. First, it is the largest natural area in Indiana. Second, rather than being one contiguous area, the forest is scattered across several separate areas. Third, it has a multiple use designation; hunting is allowed in season. Fourth, it contains is the only real wilderness in Indiana, the Charles C Deam Wilderness.

It offers 200,000 acres of stunning natural beauty in the form of rolling hills, country trails, dramatic limestone bluffs, discussed gypsum and coal mines, ridges, hollows, waterfalls, creeks, lakes, meadows, knobs, and unique ecosystems. Bucolic rural communities lie on the fringes of the forest. Off-road vehicles are prohibited.

The park offers a wealth of recreational opportunities for adventure enthusiasts of all ages including hiking, horse riding and mountain biking, a bewildering variety of wildlife. The area features dozens of caves highlighted by spectacular karst features. Karst is a jargon term referring to areas where prolific dissolution of rock has caused development of underground streams or rivers, that is, subterranean channels allowing groundwater to flow. These spectacular formations are largely due to the preponderance of limestone composed largely of calcite (CaCO3). Carbonate rocks tend to be relatively soluble in water, being mildly acidified from dissolved carbon dioxide.

The area contains many caves. Some feature underground rivers that make for exciting, albeit cautious, exploration. These formations largely reflect the vast presence of limestone. Being calcite or carbonate in nature, limestone is particularly susceptible to forming interesting configurations over time. The reserve has over 240 miles (almost 400 kilometers) of managed trails within its confines. There are also cleared camping areas. It is also possible to camp at any location within the park, so long as restrictions are not in force.

Spend a day exploring the popular Birdseye Trail, a multiple-use path almost 12 miles long. It is used by hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers. The trail leads enthusiasts through a variety of terrains and scenic hardwood forests. Access points to the trail can be found near the town of Birdsville.

Users of the area should note that mosquitoes and other insects are prolific in the summer. Poisonous snakes are present throughout the forest including the timber rattler (very rare), the copperhead and the cottonmouth. Also, water sources in the wilderness cannot relied on for purity; hikers should take a filter or be prepared to boil all water found wild.

Hoosier National Forest Park is an ecological delight, rich with diversity and full of promising adventure. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy this impressive natural resource. If hotel accommodations are needed, Homewood Suites Hilton at Bloomington is conveniently located and well able to offer guests top quality service.

Planning a trip the the fabulous Hoosier National Forest? Get the low down now in our guide to the best hotels In Bloomington Indiana .

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