Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest

S Triangle Road, Paoli, IN 47454
(812) 275-5987

This 88 acre tract south of Paoli is the last old growth forest of it’s size in Indiana. The site has been left virtually undisturbed since before it was purchased by Joseph Cox in 1816. After being protected by the Cox family for 124 years, when a descendent died in 1940, the land was put up for sale. It was saved from being cut by a timber company due to a community effort and the US Forest Service purchasing the land back from the company. Later in 1944 the tract was designated a Research Natural Area by the Forest Service. Along with a 165-acre buffer, the area is managed to protect its unique qualities. There is a 1.3 mile trail between SR 37 and a rock wall commemorating the Pioneer Mothers Forest at the bottom of the hill where a day use picnic area once stood. In the bottomland area was also a prehistoric Native American village site. Extensive excavations have been done to study this prehistoric village which is thought to date to A.D. 1380.