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Author Topic: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16  (Read 1247 times)

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KYhiker40

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Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« on: June 05, 2016, 06:28:12 PM »

Checked the weather forecast and saw a 30% of not having Thunderstorms, so a friend and I decided it was worth the risk, headed out to hike the Peninsula Trail at the Charles C. Deam Wilderness area in Hoosier National Forest.  I've been wanting to do this hike for a few years and after seeing it featured in Backpacker Magazine decided it was time to give it a go.  (Not sure why I still listen to Backpacker Magazine.)

The trailhead was about a 2+ hour drive from Louisville.  There are 2 parking lots at the trail head and both were crowded, although parking was available.  I was very surprised to find that day hikers were frequent on this trail, despite the 9.6 mile round trip length.  It's a nice lake view, but certainly not worthy of a nearly 10 mile day hike.  But, hike your own hike and all.

There is a kiosk with information, a large map, and individual maps available at the trailhead. 




We parked at the parking lot on Tower Ridge Rd at the intersection of Axiom Trial and Grubb Ridge Trail.  Our hike took us North on Grubb Ridge Trail, connecting with the Peninsula Trail.




The hike was non-scenic by RRG standards, a woodland hike on trails that are shared with horses.  Although we did not come across anyone on horseback, the damage to the trails was extremely obvious for a large portion of the trail.  This is in direct conflict with the backpacker magazine article.  In many place, such as the picture below, the hiking trail and horse trail are parrallel to each other, a nice feature.  But in many other areas the trail is shared and we hiked in muddy slop similar to Mammoth Cave KY.



After about 2 hours of hiking we saw our first views of the lake.  Well worth the effort and worth the sub par trail conditions.





We arrived in time to collect some firewood, set up camp, and enjoy a very nice sunset.



We spent the morning fishing for 4 or 5 hours before the hike back.  Let me tell you... the fishing here is amazing.  Between the 2 of us we caught well over 100 fish.  I counted 56 for myself and Jon seemed to outpace me somehow.  It was amazing. Blue Gill, Sun Fish, Crappie, Bass.  Great time.





The weather this morning was perfect.  I had to snap a couple final pictures on our hike back out.





If you decide to hike this one, there isn't much to plan ahead.  No reservations or fees.  There is obviously water access and there are plenty of established camp sites on the lake shore to accommodate even very busy weekends.  All of the sites appeared to be capable of handling both tents or hammock campers.

Personally, I like the Indian Lake hike better, primarily due to trail conditions.  But the fishing here makes this a destination that I'm sure to return to many many times.  Next time I'll probably bring the Kayak.

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Mark W

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 03:17:02 PM »

Thanks for posting this trip report and the pictures.

I did a five-night trip in that area several years ago with two friends and we camped two nights by the lake, but not on the Peninsula Trail . . . we took a shortcut down a wickedly steep hillside a mile or so away from where the Peninsula Trail ends and camped at a perfectly tiny spot. The sunsets were superb and the stargazing was also pretty great. One of the highlights was seeing a thunderstorm on the other side of the lake.

We spent the first three nights camped in a really neat hollow maybe a half-mile off the main trail, in a flat area between two small creeks. It was a really enchanting place and we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We spent those first days exploring the creeks around camp and wandering up on the ridges, we even stumbled upon some old roads and a cemetery that weren't on the Trails Illustrated map.

I would've responded to your initial post asking about this trail, but myself and a friend (coincidentally one of the same friends who was on the Deam Wilderness trip with me) were backpacking the Selway River Trail in Idaho. Fifty miles in five days through some of the most remote country in the Lower 48 following a whitewater river . . . what a trip!

Glad to see you had a great time as well and found an area you're eager to return to with plenty of hungry fish.
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wsp_scott

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 07:15:33 PM »

That sunset alone would make the trip worth it, awesome.

And Mark, we are going to need a trip report from you :)
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Lizking531

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2016, 04:10:49 PM »

I really enjoy camping in that area. Paddled in via canoe last year & camped close to that area. Deer walked into our camp as we had our morning coffee.

Like you said, nothing special scenery wise (by RRG standards) but a great place for some Indiana forest walking & camping (especially after a good snow)
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Mark W

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 02:09:38 PM »

That sunset alone would make the trip worth it, awesome.

And Mark, we are going to need a trip report from you :)

Trip report completed! It has been published in the August issue of the online magazine TrailGroove ( www.trailgroove.com )

Here is a link:
http://www.trailgroove.com/issue29.html?autoflip=41
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KYhiker40

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 08:28:51 PM »

I really enjoy camping in that area. Paddled in via canoe last year & camped close to that area. Deer walked into our camp as we had our morning coffee.

You inspired me.  I'm headed back this weekend for a kayak camping trip.  I'll actually have 2 nights this time, so I'm really looking forward to it.  I spent hours today packing for this trip, having not been kayak camping in a couple of years I suddenly felt freedom in being able to pack different things (ice?) that I wouldn't carry in a backpack.  Should be a great trip!
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wsp_scott

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Re: Peninsula Trail IN 6/4 - 6/5/16
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 07:14:37 PM »

That sunset alone would make the trip worth it, awesome.

And Mark, we are going to need a trip report from you :)

Trip report completed! It has been published in the August issue of the online magazine TrailGroove ( www.trailgroove.com )

Here is a link:
http://www.trailgroove.com/issue29.html?autoflip=41

Ha, I had forgotten all about that comment.

Thanks for the report. It looks like a great river hike. One of the things I find frustrating about BSF is you frequently parallel the river, but you can't see/touch it.
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