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Hoosier National Forest Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act
Updated August 29, 2014 6:49 AM | Filed under: Event
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(BEDFORD) - The Hoosier National Forest will host a free celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act September 27 from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m.

The Wonders of Wilderness Celebration at the Charles C. Deam Wilderness is from 2 p.m. till 6 pm with live
demonstrations, hands-on activities, and information booths. The event is free to attend.

The Hoosier is working with several partners to bring a variety of interesting activities to the event. Activities will be set up in three locations: at Brooks Cabin, Blackwell Horsecamp, and Hickory Ridge Lookout tower. Each location will have several activities and informational booths.

At Brooks Cabin

Visitors will learn about the history of the Wilderness and Brooks Cabin.

Guests can meet and visit with Charles Deam, ( reenactor Matt Jones) who will be at Brooks Cabin.

Blackwell Horse Camp

Visit with the Hoosier National Forest's mules and learn about the primitive tools used to maintain trails in the wilderness area.

Visitors can try to cut a log with a crosscut saw and watch how, without wheels or motorized equipment, the Hoosier manages trails in the wilderness.

The national Leave No Trace team will be on-site to show the importance of leave no trace values in the wilderness.

There will Dutch oven cooking demonstrations.

A Forester will be on hand to talk about trees of Indiana; there will also be search and rescue personnel to address techniques used to find people as well as how you can be more prepared when you hike in the wilderness.

There will also be demonstrations on outdoor gear and some native animals will be on hand for viewing.

Visitors can get a temporary tattoo and Trailhead Market Pizza will be on-site selling pizza and drinks.

Blackwell Horse Camp will be closed to camping from September 25 to September 28 to set up for the event. Camping is available at Hickory Ridge Horse Camp.

Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower

Guests stopping here will learn about fire prevention and fire fighting in the wilderness.

Learn how early towermen used alidades, a piece of equipment in the lookout tower which allowed them to call in fire locations.

Climb the tower and talk with a former towerman about his experiences.

Talk to firefighters and look at modern equipment used to fight fires on the Forest.

Appearances by Smokey Bear will occur at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Guided hikes on the Sycamore Loop Trail will start at 3 p.m., however participation is limited.

Call the Hoosier National Forest Bedford office at 812-275-5987 between 8 and 4:30 to sign up.

The Sycamore Loop Trail is moderately rugged and a little over 6 miles in length which will take slightly over 3 hours to complete. Hikers should wear sturdy boots/hiking shoes and bring water/snacks etc.

Hardin Ridge Recreation Area

The festivities will continue Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at Hardin Ridge Recreation Area.

The Hoosier will sponsor The Story of Charles C. Deam, a reenactment and entertaining program on the life of Charles Deam.

Gate admission is free for the evening program.

Charles Deam (1865-1953) was a noted botanist and Indiana's first state forester.

Special thanks to partners involved with the Hoosier to make this event possible: Argus K-9 Search and Rescue, Central Indiana Wilderness Club, Forest Fire Lookout Association, Hoosier Backcountry Horsemen, Hoosier Backpacker's Club, Hoosier Hiker's Council, Indiana DNR Conservation Officers, J.L. Waters, Subaru/Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, Trailhead Market & Noshery, and WildCare Inc.

For more information on the event call the Hoosier National Forest at 812-275-5987.

The U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a mission of sustaining the health,
diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Forest Service's Eastern Region includes twenty states in the Midwest and East, stretching from Maine, to Maryland, to Missouri, to Minnesota. There are 17 national forests and one national tallgrass prairie in the Eastern Region. For more information, visit

The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone.

Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

For more information, visit

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