Tipsaw Lake Trail
(in the southern section of Hoosier National Forest in Indiana)

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Detailed Map of
Tipsaw Lake Trail

Topo Map for Area

Maps to
Tipsaw Lake Trail

Tipsaw Lake Trail circles the lake and is open to hiking and mountain biking. Enjoy views of Tipsaw Lake on the approximately 5.9 mile long trail.

Mountain bikers (over 17 years of age) are required to have a trail permit and stay on trails designated for their use. Annual ($35/year) and day-use ($5/day) permits are available from Hoosier National Forest offices and several local vendors.

Tipsaw Lake also offers a boat ramp, a beach, a picnic area and a camping area.

This trail is operated by:
US Forest Service
Tell City Ranger District
248 15th Street
Tell City, IN 47586
Phone: 812-547-7051
Hoosier National Forest website

Tipsaw Lake Mountain Biking Trail Info

From I-64 (approx. 40 miles west of Louisville), take Hwy 37 South approx. 6.5 mi and look for Tipsaw Recreation Area sign. Turn right (west) into the park entrance on CR 503. Park the parking area on the left before the entrance gate or stay on main road and park at the lake's beach.
From I-64, take Hwy 37 South, past the main park entrance, and turn right (west) onto CR 128. Continue west to the T intersection and turn right (north) onto CR 115. At the Y intersection with CR 130 (just past the creek), veer left and continue to the parking area before near Lanman Cemetary. Pick up the trail west of the road.

(Check out the maps above too.)

Length: Approx. 5.9 miles
Trail Type: Mostly single track
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Trail Description:

Looping around Tipsaw Lake, this trail is mostly flat, with a couple moderate climbs and some rocky parts. It includes a couple challenging stream crossings and a soft, muddy section. Beginners get real mountain biking here (rocky sections, shallow ravines and climbs) without being overwhelmed. It's fun for intermediate riders, too.

Since you may be sharing the trails with different types of users, please observe the following trail courtesy:
Mountain bikers yield to hikers. (Make your approach known well in advance.)


A $5 per vehicle per day parking fee is charged (from 4/15 thru 10/15) past the entrance gate, except for campground occupants. An annual pass is available at the gate for $35. The beach and picnic area is open from 5/25 to 9/15.

Overlooking the lake near the beach are 15 picnic sites and 2 shelter houses. Horse shoe pits and an open area for games are near the picnic shelters. Shelters may be reserved (4/15 to 10/15) for $25. Otherwise they are available on a first-come basis.

Electric motors are allowed on Tipsaw Lake, and fishing for pan fish is considered excellent. The boat ramp and parking area is open year-round.


A beautiful swimming beach and modern bathhouse are open 5/25 to 9/15. This beach offers a combination of sand and sun, or shady grass-covered hillside.

There are no lifeguards on duty, but a fully-accessible beach and swimming area are provided. No glass containers or pets are allowed on the lawn or beach areas.


Tipsaw Recreation Area includes 35 individual sites divided into two shady campground loops. Each loop contains centralized water, flush toilets, hot showers, and a recharge table for electric boat motors. A selection of single or extra large, electric or non-electric sites are available. The campground is open from 4/15 thru 10/15.

A maximum of 2 vehicles and 8 persons are allowed in single sites, and 4 vehicles and 16 persons are allowed in double sites. An additional $5/vehicle fee is charged for extra vehicles. Some campsites may be reserved, though they may not be reserved after 10/15. Camping is otherwise available on a first come basis.

Fees are $20/night for a family site with electric, or $17 without electric. Double sites are $36/night with electric or $31 without. Golden Age and Golden Access passport holders will receive a 50% reduction on campsite fees (not including the additional charge for electric sites).

Catbrier campground has 11 RV sites at $23/night. It is open from 4/15 thru 10/15.

Group Camping

Two group camps are offered with capacities up to 250. Group camps contain water and vault toilets. Showers are available in the main campground. Group camps are open from 4/15 to 10/15. Special arrangements may be made for groups to camp later in the fall. There is still $5 per vehicle charged for these sites after the first vehicle. Group camping fees are $40/night with electric, and $35/night without electric.

Outdoor Resources:
Other Information: - Indiana's Online Outdoor Recreation Guide