My Secret Spot for Sunset Views in Indiana – How I Discovered a Hidden Gem

Hidden sunset views
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So, there we were, my wife and I, with absolutely no plans on a Saturday. Bored out of our minds and scrolling endlessly through Netflix, we finally decided, “Let’s just drive.” Off to Monroe Lake we went, because why not? A little fresh air beats another round of binge-watching any day.

Unexpectedly, our trip ended with Hickory Ridge Fire Tower and the most beautiful sunset we’ve ever seen. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.

That “wrong” turn

Hickory Ridge Fire Tower sunset

On our way, with Google Maps blissfully ignored, we took what my wife confidently called a “shortcut.” Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. Instead of a quicker route to the lake, we ended up on this bumpy, gravel path that seemed more suited for a mountain goat than my old car. But hey, adventure calls, right?

The rattles from the undercarriage were like a soundtrack to our misadventure, and with each pothole, my trust in my wife’s navigation skills waned just a bit more. However, the promise of undiscovered spots made every jolt worthwhile.

Enter Hickory Ridge Fire Tower

Hidden gems in Indiana

At the end of this “shortcut,” we stumbled upon Hickory Ridge Fire Tower. It was this old, towering structure that looked like it survived a couple of world wars. Rustic might be a kind word; abandoned seemed more accurate.

But there it was, standing in the middle of nowhere, promising at least some sort of view (if it didn’t collapse beneath us). It turns out, this is one of the best spots for sunset views in Indiana!

The climb was actually a leg-day bonus

We figured since we were there, we might as well see what the view was like from the top. I counted the steps—163, but who’s counting? By step 82, I was regretting skipping leg day for, well, pretty much my entire life. But the promise of an Instagram-worthy sunset kept us going.

Every so often, we’d pause to catch our breath, laughing at how unprepared we were for this impromptu workout. The creaking of the old wood under our feet seemed to mock our every step, yet it added to the thrill of the ascent.

The top – wow, just wow

Indiana sunset spots

Reaching the top was a mix of relief and awe. Relief that the structure held up, and awe because the view was something out of a nature documentary. The sun was setting right in front of us, over vast forests stretching out to the horizon. It was silent except for the wind and our own “oohs” and “aahs.” Absolutely worth the climb and the accidental discovery.

We stood there in silence, just soaking in the beauty that enveloped us, feeling small in the vastness of nature. It was one of those moments where time seemed to stand still, and everything else faded into insignificance.

What we loved

Best sunset locations

The surprise factor

Nothing beats finding a place you didn’t even know existed, especially when it turns out to be this cool. It was the highlight of our aimless drive—totally unplanned and unexpectedly amazing.

Discovering the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower was like uncovering a secret hideaway that only we knew about. It brought a sense of adventure and achievement that you just can’t plan for. This spontaneity added a layer of excitement to our relationship, making the day unforgettable.

The View

It’s all about the view. The sunset from up there? Unreal. The colors, the vastness, the way the lake shimmered in the distance—it was like watching a live painting. The clouds seemed to dance in the fiery glow of the setting sun, casting shadows that crept over the landscape. This panorama left us speechless.

But, honestly, it wasn’t all perfect…

Indiana scenic overlooks

Let’s just say the trail wasn’t exactly beginner-friendly. No signs, no clear path at times—it’s a wonder we even found the tower in the first place. The bushes were overgrown, and it seemed like nature was doing its best to reclaim the path.

Despite these challenges, the ultimate reward of the views made every stumbling step worth it.

The amenities, or lack thereof

Bring water. And maybe a snack. And oh, a flashlight if you linger too long enjoying the sunset, because it gets dark real quick, and stumbling down 163 steps in the dark isn’t as fun as it sounds. There’s definitely a trade-off between untouched natural beauty and the comfort of modern amenities.

But let’s be real, a little preparation goes a long way—next time, we’ll pack more than just our curiosity, but we’ll definitely come back.

In summary

Our trip to Hickory Ridge Fire Tower turned a boring Saturday into an adventure to remember. It was a perfect reminder that sometimes the best places are the ones you find by accident. So if you’re up for a little adventure (and a leg workout), check it out.

Just maybe bring a map, or you know, actually follow Google Maps. This tower is about 73 miles south of Indianapolis. Worst case scenario, you get a good story out of it. Best case? One of the most stunning sunsets Indiana has to offer.

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