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USA Indiana Jackson-Washington State Forest

© Michael R. Johnson


Facilities and Activities:
GeneralLand, acres16500
 Hiking Trail, milesyes
 Picnic Shelters, #5
 Mountain Bike Trails, miles12.2
 Bridle Trails, miles13.9
BoatingBoating Limits-1
 Launch Ramps, #2
CampingPrimative, #62
 Youth Group Camp, capacityyes

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State of Indiana map showing Jackson-Washington State Forest location
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In the distance
© Michael R. Johnson


Nearby Parks:
 Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge
 Middle Fork State Wildlife Refuge

State Park Contact Information:
Jackson-Washington State Forest
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State Park Overview:
Jackson-Washington State Forest encompasses more than 16,500 acres in Jackson and Washingtoncounties in the heart of Indiana. This part of the state contains unique topography known as the "knobs"region, and affords scenic views from Skyline Drive and some breathtaking hiking trails. The main forestarea, including the forest office and campgrounds, is located 2.5 miles southeast of Brownstown on St.Rd. 250.

The majority of the land that now makes up the state forest was purchased by the state of Indiana in the1930s and 1950s. The Heritage Trust program, using funds from the sale of environmental license plates,has made possible the acquisition of additional state forest land.
Reviews By Park Visitors:
visitor rating: (5 votes)   |Post Your Own Review

Excellent Forest

This is an excellent actively managed State Forest. They provide recreation and sustainable timber harvesting at the same time.

Written by Forest Hiker  29-Oct-2011

Great place!

Excellent park, if you want to picnic get the Skyline shelter house, it has amazing views!

(name not given)  12-Jul-2010

as good as it gets anywhere I have been

Written by Russell Brewer  6-May-2010


I visited the Skyline Shelterhouse on July 19, 2009. I was in Brownstown visiting my grandkids and we went to the Park for a picnic. The view from up there was AMAZING! The roads in and out are very interesting to say the least.

Written by Chris  23-Jul-2009

A Family Tradition

This is one of our favorite places to go in the fall, and it has become quite a family tradition. We have been making this same trip for the past 20 years, and plan to keep doing so as long as we can. We typically visit around the middle of October, and take the route south of Indianapolis (I-65), to Seymour, and then west on Highway 50 to Brownstown. We always visit the Russell Stover outlet in Seymour (formerly in Brownstown), and then travel on to Brownstown. If you happen to be in Brownstown during normal work week hours, there is a Marian Kay Spice factory that might be a good place to visit (however we have never been there). Skyline Drive is probably our most loved site on the park property, but we also always drive down to Starve Hollow Lake and Knob Lake. There is a persimmon tree that grows next to Knob Lake, which we always have to collect a few specimens from each year. There is also a farm market we visit along what I think is called Lake Road. We usually have a picnic lunch in the shelter house on Skyline Drive, climb the fire tower, and then head back into Brownstown. Heading west on Highway 50, we drive the short distance to Highway 135, and then turn north to start the very scenic (and very winding) road to Nashville in Brown County. Along the route we pass through a very quaint little village called Story. There is an Inn/Restaurant there if you have the time, and a lot of spooky tales about the place (e.g. the Blue Lady). We end up in Nashville usually around sunset and walk the streets enjoying the sites, sounds and smells until the shops close. As I said before, this is our annual fall family tradition, and many precious memories have been made with our kids throughout the past 20 years. We have seen the Jackson-Washington Park property under all kinds of circumstances, and always find it worth while. As our kids are growing up and getting closer to starting their own families, we know they too will make this a tradition of their own families, as it has became such a special part of their own childhood memories. Thank you for all the work you do in keeping this property a place where families such as mine can continue to visit and enjoy for many years to come.

Written by Mark McCauley  4-Sep-2008

Primitive(class C) camping is available for a fee; campers must self-register for camping at the gatehouse. Campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Knob Lake Campground, located north of the forest office, has pit toilets and seasonal drinking water available. There is a picnic table and grill located on each of the campground's 62 sites. Campsite 11 and campsite 62 are wheelchair accessible sites. Firewood is available near the forest office.

A Youth Tent Campground is available for scouts or other groups. The Youth Camping area is located at the trailhead for Trail 3. Backcountry camping is available in the backcountry area and along the Knobstone Trail.
Several picnic areas and picnic shelters are available for day use. The Museum Shelterhouse is located justnorth of Knob Lake; the Pinnacle Shelterhouse is located in the campground; the CCC Shelterhouse islocated in the north playground; and the White Oak Shelterhouse is located next to the playgroundnortheast of the forest office. Skyline Shelterhouse, rebuilt by local volunteers after the originalshelterhouse was destroyed by arson, is located on Skyline Drive. Use of all shelterhouses is on a first-come, first-served basis; reservations are not accepted. There is no charge to use the shelterhouses.
Boat ramps are located on Knob Lake and Spurgeon Hollow Lake; boat motors are limited to electrictrolling motors only. Plattsburg Pond and Potter Lake are walk-in lakes.
Fishing and Hunting:
Five forest lakes are open to fishing; a valid Indiana fishing license is required.

Spurgeon Hollow Lake (12 acres)

Potter Lake (10 acres)

Plattsburg Pond (8 acres)

Knob Lake (7 acres)

Cypress Pond (1 acre)

All the lakes have been stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill redear sunfish, and channel catfish.

Hunting Whitetail deer, ruffed grouse, turkey, squirrel, fox, and raccoon. A valid hunting license is required.
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Related Links:
Indiana State Forest Locations - Indiana Forest Statistics. Total acres. 22,956,900. Forested acres. 4,517,300. Percent forested - all land. 20% Percent timberland - all land. 19% Percent timber land - forest land. 98% Reserved...
Delaney Creek Park - Delaney Creek Park. Delaney Creek Park is directly adjacent to and connected to The Jackson / Washington State Forest. Hikers from all over come to this area to travel the Knobstone Trail. The... - Scouting Activities Camping Fundraising Training Resources Council Information Links Venturing - Hiking Trails. News Crossroads of America Council Camps Project C.O.P.E National High Adventure...
Knobstone Trail in Indiana - Complete information for the Knobstone Trail in Indiana. Often compared to the ... Elk Creek Public Fishing Area, and Jackson-Washington State Forest. These state resource properties contain nearly ...

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