Indiana Mountain Biking Trails

Brown Count Mountain Biking
Brown County is the Jewel in the Crown of Indiana Mountain Biking
(Photo courtesy of Brown County Mountain Biking)

This web page goes over some of the mountain biking trails in Indiana outside Marion county (Indianapolis), with a focus on Central Indiana. For information on mountain biking in Marion county, please visit our Indianapolis Mountain Bike Trails page.

Brown County State Park

There are a number of good mountain biking trails, but the number one destination is without a doubt Brown County. Brown County has been recognized by the International Mountain Biking Association as a "Hall of Fame Epic Ride." This is a very selective honor - Only thirty-some trails received this designation. Also, keep in mind that this trail in Indiana, with a max elevation of 1,257' and better known for cornfields than rugged terrain, was competing against trails in the Rockies, Appalachians, Adirondacks, Ozarks, Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges. Kudos to the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association and all those involved in constructing this masterpiece. Here are some of the selection criteria to be an epic ride:
  • True backcountry experience
  • Technically & physically challenging
  • At least 80% singletrack
  • At least 20 miles long

 Here is a breakdown of the trails, which range from easy to quite challenging:

  • Easy
  • Intermediate
    • North Tower Loop (video)
    • Green Valley Loop (video)
    • Hesitation Point Trail (video)
    • North Gate Trail (video)
    • Aynes Loop (video)
  • Difficult

Other Brown County Mountain Biking Locations

There are a couple other good locations for mountain biking in Brown County:
  • eXplore Brown County: Here is their trail map. They have over 30 miles of trails, ranging from easy to difficult, and have 4 downhill trails with optional shuttles. Here is some video footage. You can also go on a zipline when you are done mountain biking. 
  •  Gnaw Bone Camp: In the 1980s when options were extremely limited for mountain bikers, riders from Indianapolis were heading down to ride at Gnaw Bone every Saturday morning. The camp is still open for mountain biking and has 25 miles of trails ranging from intermediate to difficult.

Roger Shaw Memorial Park

Roger Shaw Memorial Park is a 20 acre wooded parcel alongside the Blue River, owned and managed by Shelbyville Parks & Recreation. It's about 5 miles from the intersection of Interstate 74 and Indiana 9. The web page shows a map of its location  and states that it has 6 miles of "rustic mountain bike trails". Rustic generally means they are not particularly well maintained.

Here's what I have gleaned from a few reviews of it on the Internet. It doesn't get much usage - one rider said he has ridden it 25 times and never seen another mountain biker there. It is easy, so advanced riders will probably find it boring, but a good place to learn basic mountain biking skills such as clearing logs. Since it's next to a river, take mosquito repellent.

Washington Township Park

Located in Avon, Washington Township Park has a network of short trails with varying levels of difficulty. The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association built the trails. The area is heavily wooded, so there are a lot of tree roots to deal with. Here is a map and video of the trails.

Hoosier National Forest

The Hoosier National Forest has numerous trails listed here. None of them are exclusively for mountain biking. Those that are listed as "Hike/bike" or "Multiple-use" are open to mountain bikers. To ride the trails you need to buy either a day pass or annual pass, unless you are under 17 years of age. These passes can be purchased at Circle City Bicycles and many other places. Here is a video of mountain biking on Nebo Ridge, which is probably the most popular trail in Hoosier National Forest for mountain biking.

Versailles State Park

Versailles State Park (pronounced "ver-sales" not "ver-sigh") is another popular mountain biking location, with a plethora of trails:

Wapehani Mountain Bike Park

This 46 acre park became Indiana's first mountain bike park when it was created in 1990. It is located in the southwestern portion of Bloomington. There are about five miles of trails ranging from easy to difficult. Click here for a trail map. Here are a couple videos:

Owen-Putnam State Forest

There is a 12 mile trail at this state forest that straddles the Owen and Putnam county line. It is not too far from Spencer. Click here to see it on Google Maps. Reviews on this trail vary. It is a multi-use trail, and it gets a lot of horse riders. Everybody agrees not to ride it if it has rained in the last week. Some say it is okay if it is dry, while others just say stay away.