Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest

       Imagine walking through Indiana 100 years ago. Instead of cornfields and forested hillsides of young trees, there were 19,000,000 acres of old growth forests. Walnut trees 40 inches in diameter and 130 feet tall were common. Ancient oaks which had stood since before Columbus discovered America were abundant.

You don't have to just imagine, you can visit Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest and step back into the past. This 88 acre area is located just south of Paoli, Indiana. Formerly known as Cox Woods, the tract is the last old growth forest of its size known in Indiana. The site has been left virtually undisturbed since before it was purchased by Joseph Cox in 1816.

Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest offers a 0.8 mile hiking trail through 88 acres of old growth forest. The trail is a short and easy hike, but it is well worth the trip. The trees are enormous and beautiful.

Note: Since this area is a Research Natural Area no hunting, camping, target shooting, or plant collecting is allowed. Horses and bikes are also prohibited in this area.

For More Information Contact:
National Forest Office
811 Constitution Ave
Bedford, IN 47421-9599
(812) 275-5987

Click for Paoli, Indiana Forecast

Annual precipitation (type, seasonal distribution) : Average annual precipitation is about 45 inches (114.3 cm). Average annual snowfall is 17 inches (43.18 cm).

Maximum and minimum temperatures : Average summer temperature is 73F, average daily maximum is 86F, and highest temperature on record is 107F. Average winter temperature is 32F, average daily minimum is 21F, and the lowest temperature on record is -27F.

Elevation: Elevation ranges from 650 to 830 feet (212.5 to 271.4 m).

Geology and Soils: The topography in the RNA is hilly and rugged, due in part to the presence of several sinkholes. The RNA is in the heart of the southern Indiana karst topography. The soil is a residual, unglaciated loam and silt loam derived from the weathering of a sandstone stratum overlying limestone. In the lower parts of the RNA, the soil is derived from weathered limestone with accumulations of eroded overlying sandstone colluvium.

Aquatic Features: Lick Creek, an intermittent creek, forms the northern boundary of this RNA.


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See Also:

  • Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest

  • Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest Revisited

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