Hiking To Magnificent Monroe Lake
One of my favorite hikes while we were camping in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness of the Hoosier National Forest of Indiana was a day hike to the shores of the beautiful Monroe Lake.
We spent almost 2 weeks at Blackwell Horsecamp relaxing and enjoying all the miles of amazing hiking in the area. There were multiple horse and hiking trails right from camp and even more within minutes of us. The most memorable one though was the one that brought us to some primitive camping sites on the water’s edge of Monroe Lake.
You could access the trail from the Blackwell Horsecamp, but it makes it a much longer hike more ideal if your planning for an overnight stay. This is actually a popular trail for backpackers because there are multiple designated primitive campsites on the trail to hunker down for the night. Many of these campsites are located right on the shore of the lake.
For a day hike though you can start this almost 11 mile out and back hike at the Grub Ridge Trailhead off of Tower Ridge Road. I know 11 miles seems like a lot, but the trail is pretty easy to walk. Plus once you get to the lake I’m sure you will take a long break and be well rested for the trek back to the parking lot.
From the trail head take the Grub Ridge Trail then the Peninsula Trail that ends at the lake. I’m gonna provide links below to maps. There is also an informational board at the trailhead with a map. I suggest taking a picture with your phone so you can refer to it while on your hike so you can lessen your chances of getting lost (which we seem to do more often than not while hiking lol).
The hike there is nice, but the true payoff is your reward at the end. Monroe Lake is the largest in Indiana with 10,750 acres and it is gorgeous! We spent an hour sitting on the shore, playing in the water and just enjoying the magnificent views. Dexter hates swimming, but loves playing at the water’s edge. As soon as water hits those big ‘ole ears of his though he scurries back to shore.
This was one of the first hikes we took Everest on since we had rescued him. I don’t think we was even 3 months old yet. He was experiencing being carried in his backpack for the first time and being on leash. He had a BLAST! He wouldn’t get in the water, but kept running really close to the edge and climbing any rocks he could find. I must say both my boys took some great pics that day.
We have added this spot to our list of places to return to in the future. We have done a lot of hiking in our day and our favorite spots are somewhere very high with epic views or close enough to the water we can dip our toes in. I without a question want to spend a couple nights at one of the campsites on the edge of the lake. Spending a weekend hiking to a gorgeous spot, taking a swim in the afternoon heat and sitting around a campfire for the night sounds pretty close to perfect to me.
Links to the trail maps I promised below 🙂