**Before traveling, be sure that you follow all guidelines laid out by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb in his Back on Track Indiana plan. Avoid large groups and take precautions recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. DNR properties that are currently open can be found here. For more information about Back on Track Indiana, click here.**
Explorers are blessed in Indiana with 32 state parks and lakes, 16 state forests, 1 national forest, 8 state fish hatcheries, one national park (and two national memorials), dozens of state nature preserves and 23 fish and wildlife areas! Whether your interests are birdwatching, hunting, exploring, or fishing, this fish and wildlife area is worth a trip for the adventurous.
Recently, I visited the Splinter Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area, a relatively new fish and wildlife area, nestled in the rolling hills between Jefferson and Switzerland counties. Splinter Ridge offers a great place to fish and hunt, but also is a natural setting to watch for birds, insects, and other wildlife. If you’re looking to really get lost someplace outside, Splinter Ridge should make the list this summer.
Splinter Ridge was purchased by the state in 1997. The Indiana DNR dedicates the Splinter Ridge Fish and Wildlife area for “quality hunting opportunities while maintaining 2,980 acres of woodland and steep hills.”
Splinter Ridge is a paradise for those that hunt and fish, but for me, it was the natural and largely unmanaged natural area that made the experience so worthwhile. If you are a photographer, amateur or professional, this is a great place to capture our state’s natural beauty.
The area is drained by several creeks that feed into the Indian-Kentuck Creek and ultimately, the Ohio River.
The forested and rolling hills at Splinter Ridge offer several magnificent vistas, many of which are accessible even if you just drive through or around the area without getting out.
A few things to note about the area, there is no central office, as you would find in state park. Splinter Ridge is directly managed by the Crosley Fish and Wildlife Area in North Vernon. If you intend to hunt or fish at Splinter Ridge, just make sure you follow all state hunting and fishing laws, DNR policies, and strictly adhere to hunting seasons. There’s also no camping, so a visit really should be planned for a single day.
If you aren’t into hunting and fishing, visitors can still hunt mushrooms and pick blackberries, raspberries, walnuts, and other edible fruits found scattered about Splinter Ridge. Just don’t eat the poison ones!
There are only a few roads that actually traverse through Splinter Ridge, so exploring the area requires a bit of commitment when wishing to do so on foot.
Also, there aren’t defined footpaths, so make sure you come prepared with water, bug spray, a map, and long pants. Kindly park in the designated parking areas that exist throughout Splinter Ridge.
Whatever your interests might be, the Splinter Ridge Fish and Wildlife area is a great place to explore for the truly adventurous.
Splinter Ridge Fish & Wildlife Area
9935 East Little Doe Run Road, Madison, IN, USA
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