Some people love to spend their vacations and free time laying on the beach or taking in new rides and the sights at popular theme parks. There are other individuals though who love to travel the country and explore the natural wonders each state has to offer. In the middle of America, there is a wonderful expanse of public land that offers guests a look back in time. For outdoor enthusiasts, horseback riding Hoosier National Forest is the chance of a lifetime.

This area does not the same name recognition as some of its more famous cousins, but if you live in the Midwest, you probably already know about these public lands. They cover more than two hundred thousand acres in the south central region of Indiana. Portions of the woodlands are located in nine counties. Although the majority of the land mass is public, there are areas privately owned and operated.

Huge areas of this forest are open for those who wish to ride horses and mules through them. The Charles C. Deam Wilderness is one of them. The tract contains about thirteen thousand acres that has enjoyed special legal status since the Wilderness Act became law in 1964. No wheeled vehicles, including bicycles, are allowed in the wilderness area. Camping on Lake Monroe is only allowed in designated areas, and horse and mule riders must stay on tagged trails.

The only natural research area in the forest is an eighty-eight acre tract known as Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest. This where the people, dubbed the Oliver Phase by archaeologists, settled around 1380 A. D. Some artifacts and the remains of the double walled stockade are still there for visitors to marvel at. At the time, the walls encircled a central plaza where the inhabitants lived and worked. The Lick Creek site was excavated around the mid nineteen nineties.

There is a unique box shaped canyon located on the lands called Hemlock Cliffs. It is a popular place for hikers to take the mile long trails down into the cool, lush landscape. Along the way they pass rock shelters, sandstone formations, and seasonal waterfalls. The canyon’s configuration encourages rare plants and lush vegetation to thrive.

Wesley Chapel Gulf will be of special interest to those intrigued by natural geological phenomena. It is here that you will be able to glimpse the Lost River as it runs along its subterranean path. There are a series of fascinating caves, sinkholes, and swallow holes throughout the area.

There is an abundance of wildlife to be observed and noted throughout the forest. Some of the species are endangered, such as two varieties of mussels and two varieties of bats. Most visitors see numerous deer, squirrel, opossum, fox, and waterfowl.

Although some people complain that Americans have no respect for their history, others marvel at the dedication it takes to preserve vast areas of public land. It takes a lot of time, money, and manpower to keep these areas safe and in pristine condition. Visitors always appreciate the effort made to maintain the integrity of these national treasures.

You can find a summary of the benefits you get when you book horseback riding Hoosier National Forest tours at http://www.midwesttrailride.com/trail-maps right now.