“A challenging and fun trail through the hills and hollows of southern Indiana!”
— Marc Shotts
Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Park at either the main lot or at the smaller Tincher Ridge parking lot 50 yards west. Hike for about one mile down Tincher Ridge before falling off into the Rock Shelter Hollow. See many rock outcropping and a large "rock shelter" before climbing out to a high ridge. The trail follows mostly ridges until it drops and crosses Low Gap Loop Road.
Cross the road and enter the Backcountry Area of Morgan-Monroe State Forest. There is a camping area located near the road. Cross a couple of nice bridges before climbing to the top of Gourley Ridge. Drop again into an isolated valley filled with creeks and pine forest. Depending on the season, wildflowers, wildlife, birds and fungi can be observed.
Climb out of this hollow and head along a fringe of trees with a logging road. Turn left for Low Gap Loop (Tecumseh Trail turns right) and follow the logging trail to Low Gap Road. Cross the road and continue down/up the gravel road which turns back into another logging trail.
Follow this trail past Indiana University Hardwood Ecosystem study (look for the tubing and buckets) until it turns to the left. From there, the trail runs just south of the main forest road back to the parking area. Look for pileated woodpeckers on this section.
Overall, this is a very nice trail with some isolation, especially in the backcountry area.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, squirrel, turtles, birds, woodpeckers, frogs. Typical southern Indiana forest with mostly hardwoods.