Indiana Mountain Bike Trail At Versailles State Park
By Paul Wonning
The newest trail at Versailles State Park near Versailles, Indiana is a superbly designed and constructed Mountain Bike Trail. The trail is ideal for either hiking or mountain biking as it is well laid out, passes through some of southern Indiana’s finest woodland, and fa portion overlooks the beautiful Laughery Creek valley.
The trail actually is a system of trails consisting of four connected sections, two of which are loops, totaling nearly ten miles. Most of the trail rides the ridges of hilltops overlooking some deep forest canyons. Other sections overlook the creek.
Parking for the Mountain Bike Trail is at the swimming pool in the Park, the trail head located just across the road. The first section, Turtle Loop, is a fairly easy one mile loop which connects with Creekside Trail at the northern end. This is probably the easiest section.
Creekside Trail is a one and a half mile one way trail which for the first part travels along Laughery Creek. Limestone cliffs tower above the trail on the right, the creek meanders on the left. Heron and other waterfowl are frequently seen on the creek, largemouth bass break the surface occasionally , snapping at insects and other prey.
The trail leaves the creek, travels through the forest to meet up with the Center Loop, a one and a half mile circuit through the forest, a very nice hike or ride. On the north end of the loop a connecting spur leads about a quarter mile to the northernmost portion, the Grandview Loop.
The Grandview Loop is the best part of the trail, as the eastern portion passes through some very fine forest land, follows a fire road, and finally emerges to follow a high cliff overlooking Laughery Creek, far below. The loop completes on the fire road and the hiker or mountain biker follows the trails back to Turtle Loop and the parking lot. Hiking time is about five hours of leisurely hiking with time to rest and munch trail food.
Paul Wonning is the owner of Gardens and Nature.com a web site about gardening, hiking and other nature related topics.