French Lick Stories and Tips

Serenity in the Secret Forest

Drive north of French Lick about a mile, bear right at Prospect and take the first left turn. Drive 5 miles, climbing the hill past the local radio station's tower, and turn into the Horseman's Camp of the Hossier National Forest. On a weekday, you'll likely find it unoccupied. Otherwise, there will be some horse trailers with riders and mounts.

One of the wonderful things about this location is the trails. Most of them follow the ridge lines for the most part, and those walks are both relatively easy and afford both forest and valley views. All are well marked. Some walks are short, some can last all day. And although several trails are designed for both horses and hikers, none is road-like--they are just slightly broad trails. If there are riders, following the hikers-only trails will almost certainly get you away from everyone: nothing but the sights and sounds of a huge expanse of forest.

The locals mostly seem to ignore the place (preferring the developed Patoka Lake) and the visitors to the timeshare villas are unlikely to hear about it. But the rustle of the squirrels, the chirps of the birds, the wind rustling in the trees, and no other sounds except, perhaps, one's own footsteps on the leaves, is a wonderful few hours of unwinding from the city and from work. A great way to start a week's vacation--or prepare to join the world again.

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