Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Martinsville

4.5
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Forest · State Park
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Morgan–Monroe State Forest is a state forest in Morgan County and Monroe County of Indiana, and is the second largest state forest in Indiana. The 24,000 acres (97 km2) comprising this deciduous forest was abandoned farmland, as the previous residents realized that the land's rocky soil was very poor for agricultural purposes. In 1929 the state of Indiana purchased the land to prevent further erosion and to create the state forest.
Indiana's first Civilian Conservation Corps camp was in Morgan–Monroe State Forest in May 1933. The fire tower for the forest is no longer usable, but in 1999 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
An AmeriFLUX/FLUXNET tower, for the purpose of measuring water, carbon dioxide, and heat levels in a mixed hardwood ecosystem, is located within the forest. This tower is maintained by Indiana University's Department of Geography.
Recreation activities include four hiking trails. Hunting in the state forest is for deer, fox, ruffed grouse, raccoon, squirrel, and turkey. Another highlight is the Draper Cabin, which is one hundred years old and may be rented overnight.
Cherry Lake is noted for its fishing. There are three lakes in the forest. One of the lakes, Beanblossum, is dry due to a dam failure in November 1993.

Morgan–Monroe State Forest, along with nearby Yellowwood State Forest, are among the very few places in Indiana where one can pan for gold, although a free permit is required first before doing any prospecting.
Indiana University's Morgan-Monroe Observatory is located in the Morgan–Monroe State Forest.
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Morgan-Monroe State Forest reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
56 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We started a weekend trip by going to Brown County but were disappointed by how crowded it was. The closest hotel we could get was in Martinsville and saw this state forest was nearby. The winding... 
    We started a weekend trip by going to Brown County but were disappointed by how crowded it was. The closest hotel we could get was in Martinsville and saw this state forest was nearby. The winding...  more »
  • My wife and I walked on the newly paved asphalt trail in Morgan Monroe State Forest with her wheelchair. This was a wonderful walk into the wilderness of dense tall trees. I'm in my late 60s and I... 
    My wife and I walked on the newly paved asphalt trail in Morgan Monroe State Forest with her wheelchair. This was a wonderful walk into the wilderness of dense tall trees. I'm in my late 60s and I...  more »
Google
  • Park is very big. Nice trails for all levels. They even have a trail where you can look for the 22 trees in Indiana. The ranger at the park's visiting center was super nice and very informative. As we needed to stay on flatter trails at the time due to recovering from injuries. She was able to give us trail tips and that was great. We will go back.
  • Went camping with the kids here, it was awesome. They have large camp sites and lots of trails. There were only 2 other people camping which was pretty neat.

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