Evansville, IN: Indian Lake and Lake Celina 

Camp next to forest lakes and rock-hop across clear streams.


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Author: xjlittle
Date: 4 May 2013 2:17:31 PM
Activity: Hiking
State: Indiana (IN)
Distance: Total: 24.24 mi
Active: 23.89 mi
  (Change units)
Average Speed: Overall: 2.6 mph - 0:23:05/mi
Active: 2.6 mph - 0:23:03/mi
Duration: Total: 9:19:51
Active: 9:10:45
Resting: 0:09:06
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 2256 ft
Total Loss: 2074 ft
Net Change: 182 ft
Difficulty: 4 / 10
USGS Topo Map: Breston
Tags: Evansville, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana, St Croix
Rating: Unrated   Rate it

This easygoing 12.4-mile loop through southern Indiana’s hill country is like three trips in one. The scenery morphs from dense deciduous forest to Midwest prairie to alpine-like lakes nestled in the hills.

Begin at the Two Lakes Loop trailhead off CR 501. Hike 2.4 miles to a stand of red pines towering 50 to 70 feet overhead, where the scent of their needles permeates the forest air. Another .1 mile brings you to Tige Creek and the first of two crossings. Plan to wade across the 20-foot-wide stream, which can swell to knee-deep in late winter and spring with snowmelt and heavy rain (generally, it’s ankle deep in November).

Reach the Anderson River in .3 mile, and another ford much like the Tige. Cruise 1.5 miles to reach the American Discovery Trail, a 6,800-mile cross-country route you’ll track along for three miles. Tank up in the small stream below a footbridge. There’s also water at camp .8 mile ahead, but it’s in a low-lying forested area next to 152-acre Indian Lake, whose banks are often murky. To filter from Indian, let the water settle in a container for 30 minutes before pumping. Either way, try your luck casting for largemouth bass, blue gill, or catfish.

Next morning, catch the sunrise coming straight across the lake and look for ducks and cranes skimming over the water. Feeling adventurous? Bushwhack one mile west of Indian Lake to a stream and recently discovered Jason Falls Break camp and head .8 mile to an earthen dam where the trail curves around the lake’s southern tip.

Hike 2.4 miles to blue-hued Celina Lake and the dam at its southern tip, which boasts a view of the entire lake and surrounding wooded hills. In 1.1 miles, hop across a 10-foot-wide rocky tributary that flows into Celina Lake, and fill up for the next 2.1 miles to the Interpretive Trail. This optional one-mile loop meanders around 30-foot-tall limestone outcroppings which rise above the woods like castle walls. Pick up CR 502 .5 mile later and follow it northeast .4 mile to the Two Lakes Loop trailhead and your car.

Permit: $5 per vehicle per day. Drop fee in box if entrance gate is unmanned.

Map: Hoosier National Forest ($12, natgeomaps.com

-Mapped by Stuart Peck

TO TRAILHEAD: From Evansville, take I-164 13.4 miles to I-64. Turn east and drive 49 miles to IN 37. Turn south and go two miles to the Celina Lake Hoosier National Forest entrance.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Two Lakes Loop

Distance: 12.41 mi Points: 1626
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Bushwhack to Jason Falls

Distance: 0.82 mi Points: 16
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi

Track 4

Distance: 4.14 mi Points: 3749 Calories: 0
Total Time: 2:09:42 Speed: 1.9 mph Pace: 31:17 / mi
Active Time: 2:07:14 Speed: 1.9 mph Pace: 31:22 / mi

Track 3

Distance: 6.86 mi Points: 5614 Calories: 0
Total Time: 7:10:09 Speed: 1.0 mph Pace: 1:02:43 / mi
Active Time: 7:03:31 Speed: 0.9 mph Pace: 1:04:09 / mi

Points of Interest

Entrance, $5/car

Location: 38.199035, -86.598745

Parking

Location: 38.198663, -86.612735

Begin Two Lakes Loop

Location: 38.198042, -86.611720
Begin at the Two Lakes Loop trailhead off CR 501. Follow the trail left onto CR 501, and then take a right to continue on trail off road.

Camp Friday

Location: 38.197450, -86.612391

Red Pine Trees

Location: 38.211538, -86.632292
A stand of Red Pine trees towering 50 to 70 feet overhead, where the scent of pine permeates the forest air. Continue west for .1 miles.

Tige Creek, Plan on wading

Location: 38.211012, -86.635088
Tige Creek, at mile 2.5, is the first of two crossings. Plan to wade across the 20-foot-wide stream, which can swell to knee-deep in late winter and spring.

Anderson River, 2nd Creek Crossing, Meet here

Location: 38.212372, -86.639093
Mile 2.8 brings the second crossing: Anderson River. Ford this (usually ankle-deep in November), and continue west on the trail.

American Discovery Trail, stay left, get water

Location: 38.210078, -86.655737
By mile 3.3, you've reached a section of the 6,800-mile American Discovery Trail. Follow the trail left, taking you south to tank up in the small stream below a footbridge.

Campsite

Location: 38.199708, -86.654050
On the western bank of Indian lake, camp provides another opportunity for water.

Bushwhack to Jason Falls

Location: 38.195912, -86.667763

Earthen Dam

Location: 38.190250, -86.655507
Where the trail curves around the lake’s southern tip, you'll find an earthen dam.

View Celina Lake

Location: 38.180298, -86.628492
Stop to admire the views from the dam of blue-hued Celina lake and the surrounding wooded hills. Continue southeast.

Water

Location: 38.175738, -86.617575
Fill up at a 10-foot-wide rocky tributary that flows into Celina Lake.

Interpretive Trail loop, 1 mile, opton

Location: 38.187868, -86.608817
At the Interpretive Trail, you'll have the option to hike a one-mile loop meandering around 30-foot-tall limestone outcroppings. Pick up CR 502 .5 mile later and follow it northeast .4 mile to return to the trailhead.

Parking

Location: 38.197708, -86.611984

Real Friday Night Camp

Location: 38.194172, -86.614351

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Tracks/Routes:
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