This is probably the best state forest in the state of Indiana. The property is well maintained. There is a new visitors center built a few years ago. There are some picnic areas and a couple of shields and 2 cabins for rent. There are a lot of trails to hike 2 of them are over 10 miles (lower gap and three lakes). The Tecumseh trail (40 miles) starts in Morgan Monroe State Forest passes through Yellowwood State Forest and ends in the Hoosier national Forest. There are some shorter trails also. The trails are very nice and well maintained. There is a paved bicycle trail approximately 5 miles long one way Three small lakes are on the property for fishing and kayaking. There are three campgrounds on the property. The main campground has around 20 sites. The overflow campgrounds as about 10 more sites. There is a youth campgrounds to. Each campground has pit toilets and wash station with water available to take to camp site. There is also camping on the some of the trails. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is, we are RV campers and there are only about 5 sites we could get in to. Our camper is about 25’ and it was tight get in and out of the campground. If you have a small camper (15’ or smaller) there would more sites. There is a dump station, but I barely got in to dump. So not real RV friendly.
We stayed at site 13 at Morgan-Monroe State Forest, Mason Ridge Campground in June 2020. Site 13 has a little trail that goes down to a large flooded sinkhole behind the campsite. There were lots of tree frogs singing because of the proximity to water. Mason Ridge Campground has vault toilets and drinking water available. There are outdoor sinks at the drinking water stations. There is a dumpster in the campground for trash. Mason Ridge Campground is first come, first served, self-register and pay at the park office. Bring exact change. Firewood is available to purchase, but only when the park office is open, and hours are limited. It is also allowed for campers to gather downed wood throughout the forest for campfires. Chainsaws are not allowed, so bring a handsaw and spitting axe if you want to do this. Campsites are mostly good for tents, but several of the sites would be fine for small to medium sized travel trailers and RVs. Sites are primitive, with gravel parking pads. Campfire ring, grill grate, and picnic table are at all sites. There is a dump station. There are no electric sites. Oak Ridge Campground is a second campground loop in MMSF. It only has a handful of sites but feels very secluded. Most of these sites are suited for tents only, or little teardrop campers. Oak Ridge is only open as an“overflow” campground, so only bet on it being open during summer. There is also a group campground for scout troupes and other groups. When we camped here, there was a rowdy group of car campers that came to have a bonfire and drink all night two sites down from us. They would loud and obnoxious. I do not know if this type of thing is common occurrence at this property, or if we“lucked out” that night. The rest of the folks camping there were quiet. There were no hordes of flashlight children running amuck through the campground like you get at the state parks. There is a playground and fire tower right next to the Mason Ridge campground, but both were closed due to coronavirus. There are many trails in MMSF. Good hiking.
Pros: sinks, feeling of seclusion, quiet(other than the one group), usually availability unless you arrive really late, long hiking trails
Cons: limited office hours for firewood purchase, obnoxious car campers
In summary, this campground is for those who like to“rough it” a little bit.
My favorite forest with traditional camping, backwoods camping, and a wonderful secret pioneer cabin for rent. This is the best camping within an hour on Indianapolis and if your looking for free and solitary sites try the backwoods camping area for the low gap trail theres a parking lot there.
I’ve camped here several times and have always enjoyed it. When tent camping and want something quiet and a place with great trails, this is a good place to go. Even though it’s hot outside today, there’s lots of shade and a breeze. At this campground, there are two areas of pit toilets, and a big outdoor sink. Fire wood and maps can be obtained just up the road at the new Morgan Monroe headquarters. A self pay station is set up there. You select your site, set up, then go pay. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring and plenty of room for tenting with most sites big enough for a trailer. There’s a playground at the entrance of Mason Ridge campground and a fire tower.