Brown County State Park
Photo courtesy of Sub-9 Productions.
This is flowing singletrack at its best, built in one of the largest contiguous hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River. The trail designers used every bit of the 600 feet of elevation change available to create five independent loops and three connector trails. Difficulty ranges from a beginner-friendly loop to black diamond fare. Expect to drop into valleys and creek crossings before climbing to overlooks with vistas of the surrounding hills. The hardy clay soil allows for sculpted turns and features — get ready to carve, climb and do it again.
Location: The Brown County mountain bike trail system is located in south-central Indiana between Bloomington and Columbus in Nashville.
Lat/Long: 39”11'27.10 / 86”13'5.36
Length: There are currently just over 25 miles of trail.
Elevation: 600 ft.
Climbing: 3000-4000 ft.
Ride Time: 5 hours
Terrain: Eastern hardwood forest, rolling hills, contour trail, natural rock outcroppings, log crossings, creek crossings, and hand-built features. Best of all, this is a 100-percent singletrack trail system.
Season: The trails are open year round, with mid-April to mid-November providing the main riding season where dry conditions are more prevalent.
Driving Directions: Enter the park through the north gate off State Road 46, just east of Nashville. The mountain bike parking is just past the gate house and pool on the right. If you use the north gate entrance, you must go through a covered bridge with a clearance of just nine feet. If your vehicle is too tall, you will need to use the west gate entrance, located west of Nashville on Highway 46.
Highlights: Sweeping vistas, mature hardwood forests, Civilian Conservation Corps structures throughout the park and along the trail, 2-mile descent, a wide variety of plants and animals and home to some of the most popular mountain bike events in the Midwest including the DINO Mountain Bike Race Series, the annual Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic and the Brown County Breakdown HMBA fundraiser.
Trail Maps: Lots of good info online.
Lodging: Within the state park is the Abe Martin Lodge and rustic cabins — reservations should be made well in advance, especially during fall peak tourist season. More info.
Travel & Tourism: Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau
More: The Brown County area is a popular tourist destination for outdoor recreation, music and art. It has been home to a thriving artists’ colony since the early 1900’s and has a rich history and tradition of bluegrass music. Within a 30-minute drive of Brown County State Park you'll find an additional 150 miles of trail in the Hoosier National Forest.