Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area
|Charles C. Deam Wilderness|
|Location||Monroe / Brown / Jackson / Lawrence counties, Indiana, USA|
|Nearest city||Bloomington, Indiana|
|Area||12,935 acres (52 km2)|
|Governing body||U.S. Forest Service|
The Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area is located close to the city of Heltonsville and Bloomington, Indiana. Lake Monroe, Indiana's largest reservoir, forms the northern boundary. It was established as wilderness in 1982 and is managed by the Hoosier National Forest. It covers 12,472 acres (19.49 mi2 or 50.47 km2). It was named in honor of Indiana's first State Forester Charles C. Deam.
Location and History
Many colorful wildflowers and plants bloom during the spring. These include twin leaf, bloodroot, dutchman's breeches, hyacinth, phacelia, wood poppy, spring beauty and blue phlox. Bird species, like the Acadian flycatcher, red-shouldered hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, scarlet tanager, pileated woodpecker, several warbler species and red-eyed vireo, thrive. Poisonous snakes also persist in small numbers, including the timber rattlesnake and copperhead. Fox squirrel, white-tailed deer, turkey and raccoon are plentiful, attracting many hunters every fall. Hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders are also drawn to the wilderness and its 39 miles of trails.
Unlike the virgin forest found in many other wilderness areas, the Deam Wilderness Area was settled beginning in 1826. The wilderness area is separated by Tower Ridge Road and the northern section is larger than the southern. Most of the trails follow old roadbeds, and exploration off the main trails will bring visitors past other shadows of the past, including house foundations, domestic plants, old fences, and the occasional cemetery (five cemeteries exist within the wilderness boundary). The narrow, rocky ridges made for marginally productive farmland, but the inhabitants were able to scrape by until the Great Depression.
As the economy forced them out, the U.S. Forest Service acquired their property and, with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, began rehabilitating the area and managing it for recreation. "Improvements" included constructing ponds, replanting trees, and building the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower that still stands, open to the public, at the Hickory Ridge Trailhead. Since its designation as a wilderness area under Ronald Reagan in 1982, the only artificial improvements have come in the form of trail maintenance.
Charles C. Deam Wilderness Trail System
|Hayes Trail||Hiking, horse riding||4.7|
|Grubb Ridge Trail||Trailhead: 39.032701, -86.340826||Hiking, horse riding||12.1|
|Peninsula Trail||Hiking, horse riding||2.6|
|Axsom Trail||Hiking, horse riding||2.6|
|Cope Hollow Trail||Hiking, horse riding||4.7|
|Terrill Ridge Trail||Hiking, horse riding||1.8|
Source: "Charles C. Deam Wilderness" (PDF). United States Forest Service. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
- "Wilderness.net - Charles C. Deam Wilderness - General Information". Wilderness.net. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
- "Charles C. Deam Wilderness". www.fs.fed.us. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
- "Hoosier National Forest - Pleasant Run Unit | Audubon Important Bird Areas". Audubon. National Audubon Society. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
Extrapolations from Breeding Bird Survey data also show that nesting pairs for several declining and forest-dependent species, such as Acadian Flycatcher and Scarlet Tanager, most likely number well into the thousands.