Hiking with Shawn’s Trail Guide Series:
The Interstate Trail is a 1.6 mile trail that is very easy to hike. This is a horseback trail but is also open to hikers as well. There are some features to see on this trail including bluffs, a former school site, pine forests, hardwood forests and wildflower. The only downside to this trail is that you will hear the cars from the interstate.
Because of the short length of this trail, it is recommended that you do other hikes in the area as well including Dutchman Lake, Bulge Hole, Schwegman EA or Odum Tract. Tunnel Hill State Trail is also close to this area.
The opposite side of the interstate also has a nice bluff area that we explored. There are no trails for that particular area but if you have an app that shows topo and Shawnee National Forest boundaries, you can easily explore that area as well.
See this map created by some avid forest users. We parked at the intersection of Dutchman Lake Road and Bowman Bottoms Road. If you park there, please make sure that you park enough off the road where you are not hindering local traffic. There is a small white diamond blaze on a tree on the north side of the intersection maybe 20 feet before the stop sign. That is the start of the trail. The trail is an out and back and will just suddenly stop quickly after the old school site. See this map to see where the other side of the interstate area is. We parked at the Odum Tract trailhead for that one and crossed the road and started bushwhacking for the bluff line using onXhunt (not sponsored) for our GPS app.
What You’ll See!
On the interstate trail, there isn’t a lot to see. You will see a small line of bluffs, hardwood and pine forests and a former site of a school called Mount Olive School. The school site is towards the end. There is a well and some old left behind metal and such. On the other side of the interstate where you have to bushwhack, there are some nicer looking areas including barren areas and a neat cave shelter with a waterfall by it. We want to go back when it is wet and see what the waterfall is like.
While there isn’t a lot to see on this trail, it serves as a nice easier hike if you are wanting to get some extra steps in. The old school site might also have some neat flowers sprout up around springtime as well.
Tips for the Trail!
- Open unprotected wells are in the area, please always watch your step.
- Trails are not marked very well, keep that in mind.
- Bring out whatever you pack in – there is no trash service.
- As this is also a trail used by horses, please yield to horseback riders.
Watch the videos for this trail!
Below is a recent video that we filmed while enjoying this area.
One last thing!
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Shawn J. Gossman
Shawn is the founder and host of the YouTube Channel, Hiking with Shawn as well as Hiking with Shawn LLC. Shawn hikes, backpacks and visits various forested areas in the Shawnee National Forest, local state parks and other areas promoting outdoor recreational activities to obtain video to show to locals and non-locals alike. Please support Shawn’s efforts by sharing this post and leaving a comment below.