Hoosier National Forest Announces Permits are Now Available for 2019

From Local Sources   Photo: Provided by the Hoosier National Forest

BEDFORD -- The Hoosier National Forest, operated by the U.S. Forest Service, has over 260 miles of recreational trails, spread over nine counties, from Monroe Lake to the Ohio River.  Some allow only hiking, but the majority are available for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders.  Horse riders and mountain bikers (age 17 years and older) are required to have a trail use permit to use trails designated for those uses on the Hoosier National Forest. Trail users have the option of purchasing an annual permit for $35 per person, or a day use permit for $5 per person.  The 2019 permits are now available at our offices in Bedford and Tell City, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be at over 20 local vendors by the end of December.  Orders for permits can also be taken over the phone with a credit card - Bedford (812) 275-5987, Tell City (812) 547-7051.  Vendor locations and details are available at https://go.usa.gov/xPM8D .

The Recreation Enhancement Act allows federal land management agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, to charge modest fees for some recreation uses.  Trail use fees on the Hoosier National Forest are used to maintain trails, enhance trailheads, and improve visitor services.  Some recent projects funded with these fees include regular maintenance of trails that allow bike and horse use; purchase of gravel and other materials used on trails; purchase of five trailhead kiosk signs to better inform trail users of trail topography, location and mileage; construction of a bridge along the Grubb Ridge Trail in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness to improve drainage; and completion of 150 feet of French drain and gravel turnpike on the Hickory Ridge Trail with the assistance of members of the following partners –Knobstone Hiking Trail Association, Boy Scouts National Order of the Arrow, and interns from Mobilize Green.

Current and future generations benefit as 95% of the funds from trail use permits are reinvested in the facilities and services that visitors to the Hoosier National Forest enjoy, use and value.