O’Bannon Woods State Park

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Overview

Winter and early Spring riding may be limited due to surface water run-off. Do NOT ride when the trails are wet and muddy.

OBannon Woods State Park, located in Southern Indiana, is approximately 45 minutes west of downtown Louisville, KY or seven miles west of Corydon, Indiana on State Road 62. The 3,000 acre park is surrounded by the 26,000 acre Harrison-Crawford State Forest and borders the Ohio and Blue Rivers. Unique features such as steep hills and deep ravines, limestone bluffs, caves and waterfalls can be found along the trails or within the park boundary.

With its rugged, rocky terrain, the trails in O’Bannon Woods can be more difficult than many trails in other Indiana state parks. For beginner and intermediate riders, segments of the trails may be challenging and will provide a great opportunity to improve and test riding skills.

Need To Know

This ride combines all the MTB trails at O’Bannon Woods; Fire Tower Trail, Rocky Ridge Loop, Breeden Ridge Trail, Potato Run Trail and the Wyandotte Group Camp Trail, along with a short segment of the Adventure Trail.

A short ride along the roads through the campground connects the trails to create a modified figure-eight loop. Some trails are ridden in both directions, to enjoy the thrill of the flowing descents.

The ride also crosses a number of horse trails. Use caution while approaching the horse trails, and yield to horseback riders, if present.

While there are a number of parking lots available, and a number of different ways the trails can be ridden, for this ride, the starting point is at the campground trailhead. Parking is located to the right of the campground gatehouse, near the wood shed.

From the parking lot, a short ride down the road to the right, past the playground and restroom leads to the trail entrance marked Rocky Ridge.

Description

Pass under the entrance gate and follow the trail a short distance. At the intersection, take a left turn onto Rocky Ridge Loop. Cross the wooden bridge and continue approximately mile.

Take the left fork onto Breeden Ridge Trail. which begins with a short, hand-built segment with rocky sections. Past the rock garden, the machine-built trail begins, climbing to the top of Breeden Ridge, to a small woodland pond–the highest point on the trail. From there, a series of turns lead into a number of exciting features, before reaching a horse trail crossing.

Past the horse crossing, the trail descends toward Potato Run Trail, crossing the Adventure Trail a short distance down from the horse trail. Rollers, table-tops and twisting berms abound, as it drops down into the valley. The “Toilet Bowl” leads into a set of tabletops before a rocky creek crossing. A twisting climb up the other side of the creek is followed by more rollers before the Potato Run Trail intersection. Avoid turning down the berm.

Take a left turn onto Potato Run Trail. Ride up the twisting switchbacks and cross another horse trail before climbing to the campground, exiting just across from the parking lot. Turn right on the campground road and follow the road back toward the electric horsemens campground, approximately mile.

On the right, near the entrance to the horsemens campground, a gravel trail provides access to the Adventure Trail. A multi-use trail, it is shared by hikers and horseback riders. Proceed with caution and yield as necessary. Ride approximately mile and after a short hill climb, the entrance to the Adventure Trail is on the left. Proceed down to the intersection with the Breeden Ridge Trail.

Turn right to ride Breeden Ridge backwards, crossing the horse trail again, climbing back up to the woodland pond. Ridden in this direction, Breeden Ridge Trail has a number of berms and tabletops, along with challenging rock features. Proceed down Breeden Ridge Trail, and make the climb back up toward Rocky Ridge.

Follow the berm turn left, downhill to Rocky Ridge Loop, and ride the flow down into a rock-strewn segment along the ravine. Continue up the other side, over more rocks and roots, to the intersection with Fire Tower Trail.

Taking a right turn, follow Fire Tower Trail back to the campground, winding through the gaps in the limestone. Climb back to the campground by taking the left fork at the Rocky Ridge intersection. At the campground, follow the road back to Potato Run Trail, across from the parking lot.

Head down Potato Run Trail, off to the right past the big rock, and descend into the valley, past the spice bush, down into the twisting turns. Pass the intersection with Breeden Ridge Trail and follow along the edge of Potato Run Creek for a while. A short climb up from the creek leads to a gravel access road. Cross it and continue up the trail to Group Camp Trail, just across the main road.

The climb up Group Camp Trail begins with some gentle terrain. Further along, the trail follows a steep, rocky ravine with a number of technical features. After a long climb, the trail levels out somewhat after yet another horse trail, eventually wrapping around the back of the park maintenance facilities, before meeting the main entrance road, near the gatehouse.

Cross the main road to the Fire Tower parking lot. The entrance for Fire Tower Trail is on the right, near the edge of the parking lot. Flowing downhill, with many creek crossings, the trail twists and turns before coming to steep bluffs that overlook the Blue River. After a gradual climb to Iron Bridge Road, the trail continues until it meets up again with Rocky Ridge Loop. Making a left turn, Fire Tower Trail continues back to the campground to complete the ride.

For riders looking for more adventure and less “deja vu”, a right turn descends back into Rocky Ridge Loop. Follow it back up to the campground for a change of scenery instead.

History & Background

Parts of existing hiking trails, some built during the Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, were incorporated into the mountain biking trails.

Additional MTB trails are planned and volunteers are always needed to help maintain the current trails. For additional information, check out HMBA.org

The park was formerly known as Wyandotte Woods State Recreation Area.

Additional activities available in the park include camping, hiking and canoeing. A family aquatic center is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. A reconstructed historic pioneer village and Nature Center offer many programs and there are hiking trails along the scenic bluffs overlooking the Ohio River

The Adventure Trail, a demanding 20+-mile loop around the State Park and State Forest, is also open to mountain biking. For more information, contact the park office.

State Parks and Forestry’s fees

Daily Fees:

Entrance fee is $7/day per vehicle for residents and $9/day per vehicle for non-residents. If riding in, the entrance fee is $2/day per bike. The Off-Road Cycling Permit is $5/day and is required for all mountain bike trails EXCEPT for those rated as beginner or “less difficult” on DNR property. 

Annual Fees:

More frequent riders at DNR Properties may consider purchasing an Annual Entrance Permit and/or Off-Road Cycling Permit. The annual entrance permit is $50/year for residents and $70/year for non-residents. It is accepted at all Indiana State Parks and Forests that charge an entrance fee. The annual off-road cycling permit is $20/year. It is valid at all mountain bikes trails on DNR property.

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Length

17.4

Cost

Permit Needed

Type

st

Night Riding

yes

Ascent

1,268 ft

Descent

-1,265 ft