This is a classic Yellowwood State Forest hike through Southern Indiana hardwood forests. Sustained climbs up long narrow ridge lines add a physical challenge, and hikes through deep hollows give a sense of true wilderness. The pinnacle of the hike is the summit of High King Hill, where excellent views of Yellowwood Lake await.
Start this hike from the boat ramp parking just past the Horseman's Camp off Yellowwood Road. Initially, follow the Lake Trail
(wave blazes) west of the parking lot. After crossing the creek below the spillway, hike across the gravel parking lot (parking is also available here for a slightly shorter hike) and follow the sign for Scarce O'Fat Trail
. From here, you'll climb steadily along Bill Jack Ridge.
Eventually the trail merges with a fire road for awhile, marked clearly by state forest trail blazes. The trail branches left off the fire road, returning to singletrack as you descend into a beautiful, deep, remote hollow. Here the trail follows and frequently crosses an intermittent stream. This stretch of the hike is also part of the long-distance Tecumseh Trail
Climb out of the hollow for the highlight of the hike—the ascent of High King Hill, where fantastic views of Yellowwood Lake and surroundings await, especially in the winter. The descent of High King Hill is the most difficult stretch, featuring several steep switchbacks. At the bottom of High King Hill, turn left on the gravel road until you reach the dam, and retrace your path to the parking lot.