Outdoor Recreation in Jackson County, IN

Jackson County always has a wide range of outdoor recreational activities available. No matter the season, there is something to meet everyone’s interests.

Forest and Nature Preserves
With thousands of acres of lakes, forests, and preserves in the area, Jackson County is the perfect spot for any nature lover. Featuring diverse wildlife from whitetail deer to wild turkeys, come explore these protected lands and take an adventure on the wild side. Our forests and preserves will delight whether you are looking for a hike or an opportunity to hunt and fish. Also, be sure to check out the many bike trails and camping grounds for an extended stay. Unplug and connect with nature as it was meant to be experienced!


Hiking is a popular activity for residents and visitors to Jackson County alike. That’s because of the ample opportunities for hikers of all experience levels. There are more than 50 miles of hiking trails in Jackson County between Jackson-Washington State Forest, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge and Starve Hollow State Recreation Area.


Anglers from all over the region fill Jackson County’s waters throughout each season. In addition to fishing opportunities at the Hoosier National Forest, Jackson-Washington State Forest, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge and Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Jackson County has two rivers that anglers enjoy.

The East Fork White River flows diagonally through Jackson County and provides multiple public access points throughout the county, which can be found by clicking this link. The Muscatatuck River borders Vernon and Washington townships as well as Jackson and Washington Counties and also has multiple public access points. Those who use the rivers in Jackson County are urged to take all safety precautions and read through regulations before embarking. Read more by clicking this link.


Kayaking is a growing hobby in Jackson County with many using the East Fork White River and Muscatatuck River as a way to get out and explore nature. Kayaks are also permitted at Jackson-Washington State Forest, Starve Hollow State Recreation Area and Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. Starve Hollow even offers kayak rentals that can be used on its lake during your trip. Pathfinder Outfitters offers guided kayak tours in Jackson County. Click here to learn more about the tours and for pricing. 

Photograph a flock of sandhill cranes during their annual spring migration as several locations in Jackson County are resting places for the birds. Spy a bald eagle in flight, watch river otters snuggle together on the rocks, or gaze at deer as they graze through the countryside.

You are sure to find many places for outdoor fun in Jackson County!



Hickory Hills Golf Club
Nestled in the rolling hills of Jackson County, the course features nine holes with 3,125 yardage for men and 2,345 for women with a par 35 for both. Facilities include a snack bar and pro shop. Hickory Hills Golf Club is located at 1509 S. State Road 135 in Brownstown.


Conveniently located near I-65, Shadowood features 18 holes with a par of 72 and yardage of 6,709. Facilities include a clubhouse, pavilion, snack shop, pro shop, and driving range. Shadowood is located at 333 N. Sandy Creek Drive in Seymour.


Camping In Jackson County, IN

If you and your family are looking for a spot for your next camping trip, Jackson County offers many beautiful sites that are perfect for a short or long getaway. No matter what type of camping you may be interested in, our sites will have you covered.

Our recreational areas and parks offer three types of campsites: cabins, RV sites, and primitive sites. Cabins are perfect for those who prefer to sleep inside or for those who do not own a tent or RV. Our RV sites provide visitors with a place to access electricity. The primitive campsites are designed for traditional camping, with tents and cooking over an open fire.

Public camping opportunities are available at the Jackson-Washington State Forest or Starve Hollow State Recreation Area.

After finding the perfect camping spot, enjoy hiking on a variety of trails ranging from easy to extremely rugged. Horseback riding is available in many areas with a state permit, as is mountain biking. If fishing is on the agenda, Jackson County has a variety of place to choose from and even offers rowboat, kayak and canoe rentals. A state license is required. Don’t forget about those hunters in the family. Hunting is allowed in various locations with proper licensing. The swimmers in the family will love the beach and water at Starve Hollow State Recreation Area.


Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Seymour, IN

For years, Jackson County residents and visitors have enjoyed the beauty of nature in the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. With thousands of acres of wetlands and woods areas, visitors have a chance to experience the great outdoors in an entirely new way. The refuge is located off of U.S. 50 a short distance from Highway 65 and are easily accessible from Indianapolis, Louisville or Cincinnati.

Wildlife Refuge Activities

When visiting the Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge, there are activities for the whole family. One of the highlights of the refuge, for many visitors, is the chance to see animals in their natural habitat. The refuge is home to more than 300 species of migratory birds, including a pair of majestic, nesting bald eagles. People also enjoy watching the local colony of river otters as they hunt and play in the refuge’s waterways. Along with animal watching, visitors enjoy hiking the scenic trails, and touring Myers’ Cabin, the restored, early 20th-century barn and cabin, owned by the Myers Family. Fishing, hunting, and wildlife photography also are popular activities.

The refuge also hosts a number of annual events including Wings Over Muscatatuck, Log Cabin Day, Take a Kid Fishing Day, Wetlands Day, a Sandhill Crane event and many more.

Habitat Conservation

The Muscatatuck Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 as a haven for migrating birds to rest and feed. Its mission is to protect and restore the land and waterways, allowing birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish to call it home.

Visitors with questions about upcoming events, certain recreation areas, or specific activities should contact the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge on Facebook or call 812-522-4352.

Outdoor Fun

Jackson County offers big adventure! Beautiful forests, a national wildlife refuge and a state recreation area offer miles of hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding trails, as well as fishing, hunting and camping opportunities. Jackson County is home to two golf courses and numerous annual outdoor events.

Click here to download the BIKE Jackson County “Get Out and Ride” Map

Click here to download the Jackson County Outdoor Rec Guide

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