O'Bannon Woods State Park


Until recently, O’Bannon Woods State Park was known as Wyandotte Woods State Recreation Area, though it has long had many of the amenities associated with state parks - campgrounds, pool, nature center, and an extensive trail network. Harrison-Crawford State Forest largely surrounds the park.


Nature Center


Trails

The star hiking attraction in this area is the Adventure Hiking Trail (AHT), a knee-busting 20-mile loop; a few miles pass through the park but most of its tread is in the adjacent state forest.

I’ve only hiked sections of the AHT, but can report that there are periodic shelters, steep quick-draining stream courses that mean water is often quite scarce, and sporadic trail markings. If you decide to thru-hike the trail, plan on caching water and taking two to three days to complete the loop.


Ghost Trail

Shorter but nonetheless interesting options abound. One of Indiana’s few African-American Civilian Conservation Corps companies built the CCC Ghost Trail in the 1930s. The trail is a bit over a mile long and begins near the entrance to the group camp; it generally parallels a small creek bed.

Expect short, stiff climbs and descents and some scrambling, but nothing terribly challenging. Look upstream as you cross the creek for an unusual (if normally dry) waterfall.


Outcrop

The Cliff Dweller Trail begins near the Pioneer Cabin Shelter and shares that trailhead and a portion of its path with the AHT. Follow the orange/red blazes to explore rock formations above a normally dry creek bed, where Native Americans mined rock to make tools.

The Ohio River Bluff Trail begins near the Ohio River and explores both the escarpment overlooking the river and the base of the cliff; it’s only a mile and a half, but tough.


Trail 2

The Rocky Ridge Trail is a two mile loop beginning at campsite 35; it winds through typical southern Indiana woods before approaching a scenic ravine with limestone ledges and other rock formations.


Directions

Harrison County. From the intersection of IN 62 and IN 462 west of Corydon, go south 2.9 miles on IN 462 to the entrance station.

North 38 11.954 West 86 15.906
DeLorme 63:B12


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Facilities

Nature center, campground, showers, water.


Nearby Natural Areas

Leavenworth Barrens Nature Preserve
Post Oak-Cedar Nature Preserve


References

Bloom: Hiking Indiana; Page 125
Goll: Indiana State Parks; Page 256
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 120
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 394
McPherson: Nature Walks in Southern Indiana; Page 306