Big Walnut Creek Nature Preserve: Tall Timbers Trail

Loop • 1.7 mi • 0 ft

This trail skirts a bluff before looping through a broad, deep ravine.
Download Trail Guide
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Bainbridge
Length: 1.7 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1 hour
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: USGS: Roachdale
Write a Review

My friend and I decided to hike this trail. We were diaapointed that we could not find much information on the trail but did obtain a map from DNR prior to going. All the rewiews that we read advised to cash water and that is what we did because even though we had an inch of rain on friday night all the creeks were dry. That is what you get for hiking in Karst area. So other than that the other complaint we heard was that the trail was not well marked. Either they have done more marking or there have been more people on the trail to make it more defined. We had very little trouble finding the trail. So we started in the state park parked at the camp ground and joind the trail around the Iron Bridge. We hiked counter clock wise because that seems to be the direction that everyone goes and stopped at the SR462 leading in to the park. We stopped becuase it was so hot we could not stay hydrated. I do have to say it was a nice trail though and I would like to hike the rest some time. We hiked just over half. Started on 5 Friday went to the burned out old Ohio River Shelter and were off trail by 4 Saturday. We averaged just around 2 mph. Keep in mind that you go down one ridge just to go up the other side it was very pretty and quit only saw one other couple on the trail. Maps obtained at the park office were use d as fire starter that was all they were good for. I would get the maps for all the horse trails if I go again because it would have been nice to hike in the woods back other than along the road but it was how we knew to get back. But over all weather asside a good hike.


Took a Boy Scout Troop and the older boys did the Eastern half, while the younger boys did the Northwestern area. Trails overall are not well marked. Did not get too far off trail, but it is lightly traveled and could use some maintenance. Overall everybody found it a really good backpacking trip of 2 days/nights. Forced everybody to really pay attention and learn how to read the maps and trails. It was a different kind of challenge since it is not well-maintained or marked. You do need to stash water and you need to plan ahead where to do so. The creeks are all dry this time of year, don't know about the spring. Could not find good maps, but the state park provided enough to get by. The older boys are interested in going back with more time to do the entire loop, and found it a different kind of hike than the Knobstone, Red River, or Smokies.


This was my first trip on the AHT...wish I would have read the suggestions to get the horse trail map too. My suggestion would be to get all three maps ( AHT, horse, and day use) as several sections run together and are not marked well, if at all. The horse trails seem to be marked better than any of the others. One section was completely shut down for logging and required a short detour. Also, make sure you get a current map. I didn't know that I was given an old map until after I was finished. I would rate this trail higher if it was marked better.


I have recently competed the trail and have very valuable info to anyone that needs it. I'm very familiar with the area and have spent a lot of time hiking, biking, camping, caving, rock climbing, repelling,and horseback riding. Please send me an e-mail if you have any questions what so ever. I will even give out my phone # via e-mail to anyone interested. I want everyone complete this beast of a trail and enjoy it, but there are a few things that everyone needs to know before doing so. I would love to shoot the sh** with anyone who has also competed the AHT just for sh*** and giggles.


I recently purchased some new gear and wanted to test it out, so my brother and I chose to complete the AHT over the weekend. After reviewing the guide and topo map we decided that we could do this in two days or less. Roughly calculated we began with 30-35lbs of pack weight each. We started off at 8:40am Sat. at Pioneer Cabin and headed clockwise on the loop, camping somewhere around mile 15. We reached our vehicle around 1:30pm Sunday. The trail was well blazed with only a few spots of downed trees or poor conditions where it met with horse trails. There were also a few areas where ground cover swallowed up the trail – but blazes always seemed to be in sight. It seems that the AHT got some love since past reviews, but isn’t heavily traveled, don’t count on a well worn and easy to follow path. With the exception of the hike up to the Ohio River Lookout most of the elevation changes were mild-to-moderate. The 2.9 mile section of trail between Cold Friday Rd. and Pioneer Cabin is by far the most challenging, but still not intimidating. The woods were beautiful with a few wildlife sightings despite our pace and canine companion. The overlooks were not that impressive due to the amount of trees blocking views from shelter sites. We saw no other hikers on the trail during our trip. That said we completed the entire loop in 1.5 days with around 13.5 hours of actual hiking. We’re both in decent shape but still think that the suggested three day trip either is because of too much gear or aimed at those who prefer to take longer, more frequent periods of downtime. Water filtering was not an option with nothing but dry stream beds, so pack it or cache it. This trail is not for day hikers but easily completed by those with some basic backpacking experience. I’m confident that experienced hikers and trail runners could complete in a single day with ultra light packs and water caching.


Hiked the trail this weekend with a group of Boy Scouts. Very poorly marked and the maps provided are not very good. Ran across many unmarked horse trails. Trail in poor condition. Many downed trees and horse riding on trail has caused deep ruts and turned parts of trail into muddy mess. A lot of elevation changes and pretty. Could be a great trail if the maintenence was better and the maps were improved. Doesn't see much traffic. Park personnel didn't show much interest.


Students and I do the trail each spring. They love the trail, it is not marked or maintained well but thats part of the fun in it. Old Forest Road, and Cold Friday Road are water drop points, you will also be able to fill up inside the park as the trail briefly nears the camp ground. I have never encountered anyone on the trail. Expect large areas of blow down and plan on moving slower than you wish in some areas. Trail head can be difficult to find, From the parking lot walk the lane down over the bridge and it is immediately on the left. Don't count on the maps, The Ohio river shelter burned down a couple of years ago. The Homestead and Indian River Shelters are quite nice. Note that the shelters are not spaced well, they are literally 3-4 hours apart. Don't confuse the rickety shack that stands in a clearing for a shelter, it is not. Some of the locals use it as a water drop though.


Well, if you're looking for an "adventure," you've come to the right place. We had perfect weather (for the first weekend in November) and the trail is beautiful, but we often felt like we were on a scavenger hunt, as we would have to stop every two minutes to locate the next blaze. I wouldn't say that the trail was poorly marked, but its definitely poorly maintained. Its apparent that trees fallen across the trail have been there for awhile and plant growth has creeped onto the pathway-----so it wasn't always obvious which direction to look for the next blaze--but they're there! Keep in mind they change in shape in size. The AHT is marked with a green and/or white blaze at any given spot---sometimes its a 4X4 post w/ green paint, sometimes its a lime green button on a small stake, sometimes its a ribbon tied to a tree, sometimes its just a paint swatch. ----But other than these 'minor obstacles', it was a wonderful trail; plenty of changes in scenery and offered a nice combination of inclines, declines and straight paths. I would definitely recommend this trail to anyone looking for a solid 2-day hike.


Trail was not really a trail at all at times. We began the trail, unwittingly, in counter-clockwise direction. At first, it was O.K. Over time, the markings became less frequent and less indicative of anything. Twice within the first hour, we found ourselves off the trail and had to backtrack to the confluence of the walking and horse trails to try again. Eventually we hiked to a camp/picnic area that overlooked the Ohio River. The trail at this point dissapeared for some time. We eventually found the marker, nothing more than a 4X4 post with a green square on it. This trail is no more than 9 inches wide at some points and has had several felled trees block the way and block any indication of where the trail carries on. There is very little noticeable conservation/construction/maintenance going on. The only thing that keeps this trail passable is the minor ammount of foot travel it gets - we ran into one group of three in four hours ... on a Sunday! It appears that the employees of this State Park care very little about the continued utilization of this trail. You pay $5 (resident) at the gate (supposed to be $2 according to this site) and you never see or sense any controlling park authority has been in these woods at all.




What they say about the trail conditions and trail markers is true. The trial merges with horse trails a lot and a lot of the times the trail was quite muddy even. It is hard to follow in some spots and over marked in others. Water could be a concern in the summer, but was not a problem in the spring. The view of the Ohio River was very cool. I would recommend getting the hiking topo and the horse trail topo. The horse trails are not on the hiking topo and vice versa.


It's a great hike with fantastic campsites both at huts and off trail. I only saw three people backpacking over labor day weekend, lots of horses though. Navigation is a bit challenging due to the constant intersections with the horse trails but I only got off trail once or twice and never for too long. Apparently volunteers did lots of work this summer to better mark the trail. Saw some turkeys and white tail, which is nice. Zero water on the trail so stash some about 1/2 way through. No switchbacks so take a trekking pole for downhills. Also, the views are pretty well obstructed by the full trees so early spring might lend to water being available and some striking views. Oh yeah, watch out for the poison ivy. I'm hoping to go back soon, possibly this fall. It's a solid 2 day hike and an easy 3 day.


This was one of the poorest marked trails I have ever hiked. This trail intersects horse trails and day use trails at many points and often merge with them for substantial lenghts. What I found ironic is that in areas where there are no "other" trails, the AHT is well marked; one could even say excessively. But in other areas these blazes are non-existant. I lost about 45 minutes the first day alone just backtracking to pick up the lost trail. It also seemed to me that this trail had not had any maintenance within the past couple of years. There were MANY fallen trees over the trail; one or two should be expected; but not dozens. If you hike this trail, heed the warnings others have said about lack of water. This is a very dry trail. I doubt that I hike this trail again, but if I do it won't be during the heat of summer.


Two other guys and myself did the AHT this past July. The days that we hiked were the hottest days of the summer. The heat and lack of water on the trail made it a bit more difficult to do. I would suggest hiking the trail in the fall/spring. If you hike it in the summer, the leaves on the trees hide the amazing views of the Ohio River and the combination of the heat and lack of water intensify the trail. Whenver you hike the AHT, bring water! There is a very nice campground off the trail with water and showers. I would suggest starting the trail at a point where this campground is your halfway point. My friends and I would have been hurting had we not found it and it's abundance of water. When you get a map, DNR will give you three options: hiking trail only map, horse trail only map, or horse/hiking trail on one map. I would suggest to get the one that has both the horse and hiking trails. Seeing as how often the trails seem to cross, it helps to see both on one map. The trail was nicely marked with shelters to camp at about every 7-9 miles. Give yourself at least 2-3 days to hike this trail; take it easy and enjoy it. I plan to hike the trail again this fall, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good multi-day hike that offers a bit of a challenge. All in all, it is a nice trail and is maintained well.


I hiked this trail in November 2003, so I'm not real current on it's status. I'll echo the other notes about lack of water and difficulty with trail markings. It was a surprisingly challenging hike, more than I expected from Indiana (I do a lot of hiking on the AT). I'd avoid it in the summer, it would probably make a nice spring hike.


one word can describe my experience at this national forest..dirty. everywhere i went on the trails there were beer bottles and food debri.. wich would explain the only wildlife i saw were racoons and an occasional coyote, although we did have a deer come up to us and ask for a drink of water!! since the only water in the park is an occasional runoff, but thats only if it rains. i think this trail needs some work on managements part.. maybe put some switchbacks in or make some type of view at the shelter houses instead of trying to look through trees.. and some how put water back in all the dried up river beds (irrigation?) we crossed a river of rocks everytime we came straight down a mt. only to go right back up ...this trail sucks for backpackers!!! but if your a load mouth beer drinking redneck who owns a horse and litters are national forests, YOU'VE FOUND A HOME......


Two of us hiked a remote section parallel to the Ohio River, starting at Cold Friday Rd. and camped two nights, bushwacking off main trail. We found a few sections where horse trails intersected, and care to stay on Adventure trail was required, but it was well marked, and fairly obvious, due to all the rain, and subsequently Horse trails were impossible to mistake for Asventure Trail. We packed in drinking water, as usually it is dry, however, this time of year there was plenty of running water, for filtering and boiling. We ID'd near 20 kinds of wildflowers, some not in National fieldguides, as well as mushrooms. We saw very little trash, accept near gravel road, and from backflow up creek from floodstage Ohio River. There is a lot of relief, so lightweight packing is best. Saw: very few biting bugs,(smokey fire dispelled gnats & no-see-ums); little to none poison Ivy in back woods(some near gravel road) and one large non-venemous black snake; and white-tailed deer. All and all a lovely 3 days/2 nights seeing no other hikers.


The Adventure Trail is a 23 mile loop trail through the rolling hills of southern Indiana's Harrison-Crawford State Forest. Located about half an hour west of Louisville, KY, the trail is easily accessible from I-64. It is near Corydon, Indiana's first state capital and site of the only Civil War battle fought on Indiana soil. Also nearby is the Wyandotte Woods SRA, the Wyandotte Caves SRA, and several other caving attractions. Topographical maps of the trail are available at the park office and also from the Indiana DNR. Camping is allowed anywhere along the trail, provided that the campsite is at least one mile from any road and 100 yards off the trail. Sunday, 10/28 My 11 year old son and I hiked the Adventure Trail in late October 2001. We arrived at the park Sunday evening, parked along the road near a shelter house, and set off along the trail. It didn't take long for us to encounter our first hill as we were faced with a steep incline, followed by a series of rolling ups and downs. Dusk fell as we made our way along. We walked about half an hour in darkness, finding our way along by the green blazes with our mini-Maglites. We set up camp, dug a pit, lit a fire, and enjoyed some ice-cold McDonald's that we had picked up on the way to the park. That night was crisp and cold, getting down into the mid-30s. The forest was alive with sounds, animal and otherwise, that kept us awake and alert. Monday, 10/29 After a restless night that featured coyote calls, deer crashing through the underbrush, and an owl, we fixed breakfast, broke camp, and hit the trail around 9:00. The trail presented a challenging set of hills before we emerged along a ridge top overlooking the Ohio River. We passed one of the three overnight shelters, all of which proved to be well-constructed wood buildings. The trail followed along the ridge for a couple of miles, offering somewhat obscured views of the Ohio River from several hundred feet up, then dipped away from the river into another series of challenging ups and downs that lasted for several miles. This area of the trail was not particularly well-marked, and several times we had to scout around for the next green blaze or piece of green ribbon. We sighted a few deer, and signs of many more, as well as numerous birds and squirrels. We also came across the ruins of a house formerly occupied by an early Hoosier settler. As the day progressed, I began to be concerned about our water supply. On the Adventure Trail water is scarce, at least in the fall months. We crossed several streambeds, all of which were either dry or filled with an inch or two of stagnant water full of decaying leaves. Those planning to hike this trail should either cache water at one of the several road access points, or make sure to carry an ample supply. As we emerged from the trees to cross a road, a local resident saw us and stopped to talk. He ended up giving us an ice cold Pepsi that really hit the spot. Crossing the road, we plunged downhill several hundred feet. Again, the trail was not particularly well-marked in this section, but we were able pick our way along as the sun set. After traversing three sets of ups and downs, we stopped, set up our tent, and built a small fire. As we did we were again blessed to hear coyotes singing in the distance. Tuesday, 10/30 After a much more restful night, we started off again at 7:30. We heard scattered shots in the distance--probably squirrel hunters. About 45 minutes down the trail, we came to a beautiful sight--a spring of cold, clear water. We drank the water we had remaining, then filled all of our water bottles and canteens with this delicious lifesaver, taking care to purify it before drinking. Finding this bonanza--unmarked on the map--really boosted our spirits, and our pace picked up accordingly. After a few miles of rolling terrain, the trail descended and followed along in the floodplain of the Blue River, an Ohio River tributary. Footing was fine, but I suspect that this section of the trail can get pretty muddy in the wet Spring months. As we approached an old railroad bridge, we came to an opening to the river. My son took advantage of this as he went down to the water's edge and dunked his head in. Shortly the trail climbed and dipped through another series of hills, skirted the edge of the campground (yet did not emerge into it), and then began a gradual descent that lasted a mile or more. As the trail reached a park road and we cleared the woods, we saw our truck, and the it hit us: we had completed the Adventure Trail. Conclusion In thinking back to our hiking experience, a couple of observations are in order. First, there is a multitude of bridle paths in the Harrison-Crawford State Forest, and the Adventure Trail crosses them in numerous places. Only extremely rarely, however, do hikers and riders share the same path. It would be helpful if the hiking trail map showed the bridle trails. Second, it would be helpful if the trail had mile markers on it, so hikers could judge their progress more easily. Third, prospective hikers need to be sure to take along plenty of water, because the trail is dry, especially at the southern end. Finally, the trail is poorly marked in some sections; this may have been aggravated by the fact that fallen leaves had covered the path by late October. Still, Adventure Trail hikers need to know how to use a compass and how to read a topographical map. The Adventure Trail was a good first hike for my son. We enjoyed the challenge of covering its 23 miles, and now anticipate other adventures on other trails.


It was a blast. We only hiked half way ,it was a little muddy but we still had fun and seen a lot.


The ADT is about 23 miles in length. You can hike the whole loop which encoumpasas the whole park or you have a choice of the northern section (which the American Discovery Trail travels along) or the southern section (which is beautiful along the Blue, Ohio and Indian rivers). The Southern section has 3 cabins and 1 lean-to which you can use to camp. The Northern section has 2 cabins. I would reccomend contacting the Harrison-Crawford State Forest to get free trail maps of the ADT & park.


we only hiked 4.1 miles of the trail, because of shovel failure and weather. I enjoyed every mile.

View More