Backpack the Two Lakes Loop Trail, Hoosier NF

Two Lakes Loop Trail

This is a great loop trail about 1 hour from Louisville, Kentucky. Ideal for a weekend backpacking trip.

This is one of my favorite options for a quick weekend backpacking trip near Louisville. The trail forms a figure eight around 2 lakes - Indian Lake and and Lake Celina. Hiking the full outer loop around both lakes is about 16 miles, but if that's too much distance or you are short on time, you can also hike a roughly 8 mile loop around either lake. After you pass the gate house at the entrance to the National Forest ($5/car fee), and depending on which portion of the loop you plan to hike, you can go straight and park at any of a handful of pull-offs where the trail crosses the road, or you can turn left and head to the parking lot near the Rickenbaugh House (an historic home) and pick up the trail there. The trail mostly winds through hardwood forests, but runs along the lakes in sections providing some beautiful views. There are some rock outcroppings and some hilly terrain, but nothing too strenuous. Numerous campsites dot the trail, some near the lakes and others in the woods. If you hike around Indian Lake, there is an open grassy area on the southwest shore (next to the dam) that makes for a great place to pitch your tent with a sweeping view of the lake.   

Trail Map PDF

NOTE: If you have time, the Rickenbaugh House is worth checking out. It's made from limestone that was quarried nearby just off the trail and has a neat history. 

Pack List

  • Cash for the entry fee (I do not believe they accept cards).
  • Tent
  • Food
  • Water filter (if you don't want to carry your full water supply, you can filter from the lakes)
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 16 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Overall rating: 


It was a fun hike, and good backpacking trails many little areas to camp but it's very off grid. And a lot of creepy crawlers came home with a back pack full of little white spiders

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