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Yellowwood State Forest

Belmont, Indiana

Our first visit to Yellowwood State Forest was on Sunday, July 20th, 2003. We opted for this forest since it was only an hour from home, and because it is the second largest state forest in Indiana at just shy of 24,000 acres. Our intent was to begin on the "Scarce O Fat" trail (a 4.2 mile trek), and then finish up on the "High King" trail (a 0.5 mile descent) back to the starting point.

Upon arrival we stopped by the visitor's center to sign in. We found that the office was closed on Sundays, so we picked up a map and headed for the trailhead. Upon parking at the dam, we put on sunblock and insect repellent; it was at this point that the trip began to suck. The insect repellent was still on our kitchen table! I forgot to pack it, DOH!!!

So, despite the recent deluge of rain (causing a massive infestation of m'skeeters); despite the possibility of getting West Nile encephalitis - we went hiking anyway! I thought to myself,"we'll just have to hike faster." Now, this sounded like a good idea until we got about 500 yards into the forest on the "Scarce O Fat" trail. The trail isn't traveled very often, and since the end of the trail we started from borders a slow-moving creek the bugs and plant undergrowth was terrible. We had golfball size welts popping up by the second from insect bites, and the concern for poison ivy was high. We should have been wearing pants, but when it's nearly 100F with humidity out, the last thing you consider when dressing is wearing pantelones.

We decided to turn back to the Jeep and just do the 0.5mi "High King" trail since both trailheads were where we parked. This was a major downer for us both, since Anna wanted to get busy testing out her new Asolo hiking shoes. Anyway...the high king trail was a short stint, taking maybe 8-10 minutes to complete. It was a very steep grade hill for Indiana, reminiscent of many mountains we've hiked out east of in the Rockies. Below are the only three shots I took of the High King trail (note: the left picture shows the trail markers on the trees), they are from the summit and they help demonstrate the rise in elevation. After the summit of the High King trail, we ate a quick lunch at the top and headed back down to the Jeep.

We definitely plan on making several more trips to Yellowwood; it's beautiful, large (for IN), and relatively close to home. Next time we'll follow the Boy Scout Motto, "Be Prepared."

Upon leaving the Yellowwood S.F. trail system, we went for a random drive through the back-country roads. We very shortly came upon the T. C. Steele Historical Site. I don't have much to say, as there was difficulty in locating any staff member at the site for a tour of the main house. We did walk awhile and perused the beautiful hillside garden and the log cabin. The property was very well maintained, there was a gift shop inside the old barn. It was quite relaxing really, and a nice respite from the daily grind. Here are some of the photos I took:

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Page created on 7/21/2003
Last updated on 2/5/2004