2020 Hike #44 on September 25th at Raccoon State Recreation Area in Rockville Indiana

52 Hike Challenge

General Info

Raccoon State Recreation Area is located at 826 S Raccoon Pkwy, Rockville, IN.

Native forest and large rock outcrops line the upper part of Big Raccoon Creek. Cecil M. Harden Lake resulted from the damming of the creek for flood control. The lake also provides recreation, wildlife management and economic benefits. A variety of fish, flora and fauna can be viewed at the property. There are several trails within the park. Click here for a map of the park.

Description of Trails

1. MODERATE (1.5 miles)—Starts at the main boat ramp and goes around the south shore of the peninsula to the Payne shelter, past the 1800s Payne Cemetery, Miami Vista, She-Qui-Oh Vista (“Lean Raccoon”) and three scenic overlooks of the lake. The trail returns hikers to near the campground store.

2. EASY (0.8 miles)—ADA Paved Bike Trail—Starts just north of the campground store. Bikers and hikers will see areas of second growth, mature forest and steep ravines before reaching the Hilltop Shelter parking lot.

3. MODERATE (1.1 miles)—Starts on the northern edge of Raccoon Run campground. Trees include maple, oak, poplar and sycamore. Hikers will pass several bank-fishing areas before the trail concludes at the fish-cleaning station.

4. RUGGED (2.1 miles)—Starts near the west edge of the Whitetail campground. Hikers will see deep sandstone cliffs and several open views of the lake while on the rugged terrain.

5. MODERATE (1.4 miles)—Starts near the Bluebird shelter, leads through successional vegetation, second-growth timber and a variety of artificial wildlife homes. Trail loops and returns to shelter.

6. ARCHERY TRAIL—Trail begins at the gatehouse parking lot and leads through the Twin Ponds area. Archery enthusiasts can shoot at stationary targets and from elevated stands along a five-station, real-condition, simulated practice trail.

My visit

Tracy and Sadie joined me on Hike #44 to Raccoon State Recreation Area. This was our first autumn hike. As you can see from the description above, Trail 1 is rated "moderate" and is supposed to be 1.5 miles. Well, our experience with Trail 1 was a bit different! 

Our hike was 2.6 miles. I'm not sure why our hike was sooooo much longer than the description. I would also describe the trail as "moderate". I frequently use the AllTrails app when finding new trails to hike. The AllTrails app describes this trail as "easy". It's not EASY! There where so many elevation changes that I lost count!! They were not easy elevation changes either. There are make-shift stairs which are missing in a lot of places and also tons of rocks that you can lose your footing on while going downhill. I recommend a walking stick if you are going to hike this trail. I also recommend hiking during a dry time of year.

Apart from the elevation changes, the trail runs along the Cecil M. Harden Lake in numerous places. There are a couple of spots where you can walk down to the water. It is a large lake and is very scenic. Scroll down to see my pics from the hike. I have continued to edit the pics as "paintings".


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2020 Hike #44 Photo Slideshow (Set to "All You Zombies" by The Hooters)

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