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Recreational Trails Program Achievement Awards

Springs Valley Trail, Indiana

Springs Valley Trail runs 12.7 miles for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the Hoosier National Forest.

Map of Indiana
photo of construction site

Project sponsors:

Hoosier National Forest

Hoosier Back Country Horsemen

Orange County Saddle Club

Award Category: Accessibility

Congressional District: Steve Buyer (R-4-IN)

Senators: Richard Lugar (R) and Evan Bayh (D)

2006 Annual Achievement Award winner: for trail projects funded through the Recreational Trails Program of the Federal Highway Administration.

photo of gravel road in forest

The Springs Valley Trail is a 12.7-mile scenic trail on Springs Valley Lake. It is a cooperative effort with the US Forest Service, the Hoosier Back Country Horsemen of America, and the Orange County Saddle Club.

This trail was once a state recreation area and was in dire need of repairs and accessibility improvements.

In 2000, $69,680 of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds were utilized in order to create a trail access point for persons with disabilities, perform trail maintenance, reroute sections to stay away from low lying ground in watershed areas, supply picnic tables, build split rail fencing, and create signs for educational purposes.

photo of trail along edge of lake

Volunteers from the two clubs contributed with workdays in order to construct hitching rails, trim back brush, and help with fence installation.

The new Springs Valley Trail, which circles the lake was opened in November 2002. This beautiful trail provides an opportunity for hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, runners, birdwatchers and those with disabilities to enjoy the great outdoors together.

This project is truly a tribute to all trail users and government agencies that work together towards common goals in order to enhance the trail experience for all users.

Springs Valley Recreation area in Orange County is located west of State Highway 37 south of Paoli. Six miles south of French Lick, this scenic 140 acre lake is surrounded by native hardwoods. Facilities include a hiking trail, primitive camping, boat ramp, and picnicing. The lake has good populations of bluegill, largemouth bass, and channel catfish. Electric motor boats only.

photo of lake and trees


Contact: Les Wadzinski, Hoosier National Forest, 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421; phone (812) 275-5987

For more information about fishing at the lake, contact Dan Carnahan, District 7 Fisheries Biologist at (812) 789-2724. For more information on directions to the lake and camping, contact Hoosier National Forest at (812) 547-7051 or see the USDA Forest Service website for the trail.

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