HENRYVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Hikers will once again be able to explore the full
length of Indiana’s longest hiking trail later this month when a section
reopens more than a year and a half after it was damaged by a deadly
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says 4 1/2 miles of the
Knobstone Trail that traverses the Clark State Forest will reopen to the
public Oct. 11. A March 2012 tornado that packed winds up to 175 mph had
left that portion of the rugged, 58-mile backcountry trail blocked by
Deam Lake naturalist Rocky Brown will begin offering guided hikes on Oct. 18
of the trail’s damaged area about 20 miles north of Louisville, Ky., said
Dan Ernst, assistant director of the DNR Division of Forestry.
“We expect to see great interest from hikers and visitors. They will be able
to hike through and see close-up the large tornado impact area,” he said.
Last year’s storm heavily damaged a popular section of the trail around
Round Knob, which provides a commanding view of the surrounding hilly
landscape. The storm also damaged the Jackson Road trailhead and stripped
portions of the area’s woodland of decades of accumulated leaf litter,
leaving behind bare topsoil.
The DNR worked with volunteers from the Knobstone Trail Crew, the Hoosier
Hikers Council and other groups to clear the trail and restore the
The tornado cut a path across 49 miles of southern Indiana, killed 11 people
and damaged 7,500 acres of woodland, including 1,300 acres in the Clark
Fallen or damaged trees in the area are being harvested and should produce
nearly 4 million board feet of timber by November, the DNR says.
More than 15 miles of horse trails in the Clark State Forest also damaged by
the storm are expected to reopen by year’s end.