This past fall, I got the opportunity to hike on Knob Lake trail in the Jackson-Washington State Forest.
The forest encompasses nearly 18,000 acres in Jackson and Washington counties in the heart of Southern Indiana. The majority of the land that now makes up this beautiful forest was purchased by the state in the 1930s and 1950s.
This part of the state contains unique topography know as the “knobs.”
The region provides scenic views and offers some breathtaking hiking opportunities.
The Knob Lake Trail is no exception.
The trail combines three trails to make a loop and is 4.3 miles in total length. It’s considered rugged in ease of hiking mostly due to the knobs one must climb. The trail provides beautiful views of Knob Lake.
It was a late fall day when I hiked at this state forest. Temperatures were hovering right around 70 degrees and the sky overhead was sunny. Indian summer was hanging around and I was taking advantage of the warm days.
I started my hike by walking along the edge of Knob Lake and taking some photos. The lake was in rare form on this day. The surface of the water sparkled like little jewels from the reflection of the bright sunshine overhead.
I walked across the lake dam and crossed a small bridge to get to the main trail. From there I intersected with trail 3, which was part of the loop.
I climbed a steep hill and arrived on top of a ridge, which in reality was a “knob.”
What a climb. It was nearly a hundred feet up and just a little bit steep.
The late summer landscape around me was beautiful. Shades of yellow were bright and colorful in the foliage and in the trees. Some trees were prematurely dropping their leaves from the recent lack of rain in parts of Indiana.
This was a reminder that the winter weather would be arriving soon.
Up ahead of me, the trail began a descent down to a youth camp area.
From there it turned left to follow a gravel road and then a left onto trail 2. The trail is well marked; there were no worries about getting lost.
The path continued up a ravine as it followed a small stream and then traversed the stream several times.
The toughest part came next: a 250 foot climb over a half mile to a high knob.
I had hiked the Pinnacle trail before, which is Trail 1. So now I had intersected with the Pinnacle trail.
When I came to the old Tower Site, I had the choice to continue on to Pinnacle Peak or return down a steep hill to arrive at a playground not to far from the lake. I chose the latter. My legs had gotten a good workout and the colors of fall in the woods made it all worthwhile.
I finally arrived back at my car.
I made one more stop on my way out at the very scenic “Cypress” pond. It was a great way to end a great hike.
To get to this place: From Brownstown, take SR 250 East for approximately 2 miles. Turn left at the State Forest sign. Knob Lake will be approximately 1 mile on right.
A quote for your week: “A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable”. — William Wordsworth, English poetUntil the next trail,Susan
This article originally appeared on Evening World: Hiker shares experience on Knob Lake trail in Southern Indiana