If you're looking for a fun activity to do this summer - either by yourself or with family and friends - you may want to consider backpacking. Indiana is not considered one of America's great backpacking destinations - no one is suggesting it can compete with places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Great Smokey Mountains - but backpacking in Indiana does offer a unique experience that shouldn't be overlooked.

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Don't Underestimate Indiana

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wants to remind us that Indiana has over 400 miles of scenic areas for backpackers to enjoy through Indiana State Parks, Indiana State Forests, and the Hoosier National Forest, including several here in Southern Indiana. The DNR makes a pretty compelling case for giving backpacking a try in Indiana...

Other states may have longer and more popular backpacking trails, but Indiana’s trails satisfy many backpackers’ need for adventure and solitude. These trails can be perfect for a beginner’s first trek, as preparation for a longer backpacking trip, or for providing seasoned veterans with a backcountry escape.
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From Backpacking Beginner to Hiking Hero

The Indiana DNR is a great resource of information for anyone interested in doing some backpacking, including safety tips and etiquette (who knew there was backpacking etiquette?), and information about more than 10 hiking organizations and clubs for those that want to get involved. And if you are ready to hit the trail, but don't know where to begin (literally), the DNR has a map that shows you all of the different places throughout the state to hike.

Hiking Safety Tips

Before you head off on your hike, let's go over a few tips to help keep you safe. It's best to be overprepared than underprepared, especially when it comes to your safety.

Hiking Trail Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

We have countless, wonderful hiking and walking trails within easy reach of town. But being a Montanan means caring for your surroundings, AND others. Keep in mind these trail basics while enjoying the outdoors. Safe hikers are happy hikers!

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