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Scarce O' Fat Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.8 (13) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Deep hollows, high ridgetops, and a first-rate overlook of Yellowwood Lake make this a premier Brown County hike.


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Map Key

5.7

Miles

9.2

KM

Loop

889' 271 m

High

563' 172 m

Low

563' 172 m

Up

563' 172 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views

Overview

This is a classic Yellowwood State Forest hike through Southern Indiana hardwood forests. Sustained climbs up long narrow ridge lines add a physical challenge, and hikes through deep hollows give a sense of true wilderness. The pinnacle of the hike is the summit of High King Hill, where excellent views of Yellowwood Lake await.

Description

Start this hike from the boat ramp parking just past the Horseman's Camp off Yellowwood Road. Initially, follow the Lake Trail (wave blazes) west of the parking lot. After crossing the creek below the spillway, hike across the gravel parking lot (parking is also available here for a slightly shorter hike) and follow the sign for Scarce O'Fat Trail. From here, you'll climb steadily along Bill Jack Ridge.

Eventually the trail merges with a fire road for awhile, marked clearly by state forest trail blazes. The trail branches left off the fire road, returning to singletrack as you descend into a beautiful, deep, remote hollow. Here the trail follows and frequently crosses an intermittent stream. This stretch of the hike is also part of the long-distance Tecumseh Trail.

Climb out of the hollow for the highlight of the hike—the ascent of High King Hill, where fantastic views of Yellowwood Lake and surroundings await, especially in the winter. The descent of High King Hill is the most difficult stretch, featuring several steep switchbacks. At the bottom of High King Hill, turn left on the gravel road until you reach the dam, and retrace your path to the parking lot.

Contacts

Land Manager: Indiana State Forests

Shared By:

Alex Dye with improvements by Levi Charles

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 13 votes

#649

Overall
  4.8 from 13 votes
5 Star
85%
4 Star
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3 Star
8%
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Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in Indiana

#649

Overall
40 Views Last Month
4,834 Since Jan 1, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Multiple types of wildflowers can be seen on the forest floor during spring and summer.
Sep 1, 2019 near Nashville, IN
Great singletrack that crosses a normally dry creek bed multiple times as it cuts thru the valley floor.
Sep 1, 2019 near Nashville, IN
Lake view.
Oct 26, 2016 near Nashville, IN

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Check-Ins

Aug 6, 2021
Eric Nentrup
Totally lost the mojo on the fire road. Big gravel. A truck. Took me out of the moment. Otherwise, the hollows are brilliant. 4.7mi — 1h 28m
Nov 8, 2020
Sue W
Apr 18, 2020
Faith Thompson
5mi — 2h 00m
Nov 2, 2019
Jim Bauman
IU trip hike 6mi — 3h 00m
Oct 7, 2019
Cora England
Sep 3, 2018
Candy Wampler
Jul 28, 2018
Jim Richardson
5.7mi
Jul 3, 2018
James Mueller