Discover 12 Animals That Prowl Atop Hoosier Hill

Written by Em Casalena
Updated: July 11, 2023
© Skye Marthaler / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original
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If you live in or near the state of Indiana, you’ve probably heard of Hoosier Hill. It’s the highest point found in the state, but there’s so much more to it than simply being such a towering geographical landmark. There are a ton of absolutely fascinating animals that have made Hoosier Hill their home. And you might be surprised to learn that there is much more than simply mammal and bird species that live in this beautiful natural area. Let’s take a look at some of the most common animals found on Hoosier Hill!

12 Animals That Prowl Atop Hoosier Hill
The wildlife on Hoosier Hill makes it a great place for a nature walk.

What is Hoosier Hill?

Hoosier Hill is a famous geographic location in Indiana. It has the distinction of being the highest known natural peak in the whole state of Indiana, rising 1,257 feet towering above sea level. It is located in the state’s northeastern region, in Wayne Township, close to the community of Bethel. Hoosier Hill is a popular tourist attraction for people who enjoy the great outdoors.

The hill is distinguished by its undulating topography, native vegetation, and picturesque appearance. It is mostly covered with forests and boasts a mixture of coniferous and deciduous trees, which produce colorful scenery. The region around Hoosier Hill is renowned for its rich flora and fauna as well.

The prominence of Hoosier Hill is a result of both its cultural importance and its height in relation to other places. The name of the hill represents the character and pride of Indiana, and the phrase “Hoosier” is a common term used to describe someone from the state. It represents their shared ancestry and appreciation of their home state’s natural beauty, acting as a point of connection and community for the people of Indiana.

Landscape of Brown County in Southern Indiana with rolling hills and deciduous forest
The summit of Hoosier Hill is a popular spot for a picnic.
Image: Amanda Wayne, Shutterstock

©Amanda Wayne/

Things to Do at Hoosier Hill

The summit of Hoosier Hill is marked by a plaque, and visitors may enjoy hiking routes that take them close to the top. It is a popular location for outdoor enjoyment and photography because of the spectacular panorama that the beautiful views from the summit provide. Picnics, family trips, and nature hikes are all perfect activities to enjoy on the hill because of its beautiful ambiance and tranquil surroundings. This is a really great place to visit in Indiana if you want to view some natural wonders while participating in outdoor activities with your family.

Hoosier Hill is a symbol of Indiana’s diverse natural beauty and a reminder of the state’s ties to its people and environment. It is treasured by both residents and visitors and stands as a proud representation of Indiana’s topography. 

With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at some animals that live on Hoosier Hill and the surrounding forests!

1. Songbirds

Classification: Passeri suborder

A wide variety of songbirds may be found in Hoosier Hill, Indiana. These avian marvels thrive in the wooded areas that surround Hoosier Hill, where they mesmerize with their beautiful songs and vivid plumage. Cardinals, bluejays, sparrows, warblers, and woodpeckers are just a few of the species that adorn the trees and fill the air with their beautiful sounds. These songbirds offer bursts of color and sound to the Hoosier Hill landscape, from the dazzling crimson of a male Northern cardinal to the delicate patterns of a black-and-white warbler. Their presence creates a symphony of beauty and harmony in the Indiana woods, delighting both birdwatchers and environment lovers alike.

Pair of cardinals perching on a tree branch in the snow
Cardinals (pictured) are just one type of songbird found on Hoosier Hill.

© Wang

2. White-Tailed Deer

Classification: Odocoileus virginianus

Now these are one of the most majestic animals on Hoosier Hill! The wooded areas surrounding Hoosier Hill, Indiana, are home to the beautiful and recognizable white-tailed deer. The tranquillity and beauty of the hill’s landscape are enhanced by these beautiful animals. They elegantly move through the forest with their characteristic reddish-brown coats and white tails. These animals are frequently spotted grazing in meadows or delicately examining their environment. A sign of resiliency and a reminder of the tenuous relationship between wildlife and its environment, the white-tailed deer population on Hoosier Hill contributes to the ecological harmony of the region.

deer population
White-tailed deer are always a magical sight when seen in the wild.

© Bock

3. Eastern Garter Snake

Classification: Thamnophis sirtalis

Some might be surprised that there are animals on Hoosier Hill that are not just mammals or birds. Eastern garter snakes are non-venomous snakes that make up a significant portion of the biodiversity on Hoosier Hill in Indiana. They are distinguished by their thin bodies and distinctively patterned scales. The ponds, forests, and meadows that surround Hoosier Hill are among the diverse ecosystems that these versatile reptiles call home. They are usually observed moving across the grass, soaking up the sun, or hiding beneath rocks and fallen logs. Eastern garter snakes can have a variety of colors, including black, brown, and green tints, which help them blend in with their environment. 

A profile shot of an Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). Shot in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
The Eastern garter snake (pictured) is completely non-venomous and harmless to humans

©Chris Hill/

4. Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Classification: Sylvilagus floridanus

Hoosier Hill is home to the speedy Eastern cottontail rabbit. These little creatures are distinguished by their distinctively long hind legs, silky brown fur, and fluffy white tails. They may be found in a number of environments, including the grasslands, bushes, and meadows around Hoosier Hill. Eastern cottontail rabbits can blend into their surroundings to hide from predators thanks to their skill in camouflage. They are frequently seen grazing on grass and plants or darting through the underbrush.

Eastern cottontail rabbit
Eastern cottontail rabbits are always a joy to see on Hoosier Hill.


5. Barred Owl

Classification: Strix varia

This creature is a true testament to the majesty and uniqueness of animals on Hoosier Hill. The beautiful and enigmatic barred owl makes Hoosier Hill its home. It has a stunning appearance, which includes dark brown feathers, unique facial discs, and piercing yellow eyes. Their eerie hoots add to the magic of the region as they reverberate across the surrounding woods of Hoosier Hill. These types of owls may be found in the deep woodlands close to the base of Hoosier Hill. They tend to prefer old, mixed-species forests. Barred owls are expert hunters, stealthily flying through the woods to snag small animals, birds, and amphibians. Even though they are nocturnal, they can sometimes be seen during the day perched on trees or gliding through the forest. 

Most Dangerous Birds
Barred owls (pictured) are excellent predator birds.

©Jim Cumming/

6. Eastern Gray Squirrel

Classification: Sciurus carolinensis

Hoosier Hill is home to many charming and energetic Eastern gray squirrels. These gray-furred, medium-sized rodents are renowned for their agile acrobatics, bushy tails, and gray fur. They may be found all over the woodlands and forests of Hoosier Hill, where they build their nests from leaves and twigs or in tree holes. Effortlessly crossing tree branches in quest of food including nuts, seeds, fruits, and mushrooms, Eastern gray squirrels are very adept climbers. As they scurry across the forest floor or take risky leaps from one tree to another, they provide life and levity to Hoosier Hill.

Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Gray Squirrels are always fun to watch.

© Davies

7. Eastern Boxelder Bug

Classification: Boisea trivittata

On Hoosier Hill, visitors with a keen eye may see the small and unusual Eastern boxelder bugs. These insects are distinguished by having black bodies with vivid red lines and patterns on them. They live in a variety of settings, including gardens, meadows, and forests where boxelder trees are common. These insects thrive in the forested sections of Hoosier Hill. They frequently take cover in the cracks in the bark of trees or under piles of leaves. The seeds, flowers, and leaves of boxelder trees as well as other maple and ash tree species are among the main food sources for Eastern boxelder bugs, as they are predominantly herbivorous. They often gather in huge numbers on sunny surfaces as fall approaches in search of warmth before winter.

Boxelder bugs (pictured) are dependent on boxelder, maple, and ash tree species.


8. Wild Turkey

Classification: Meleagris gallopavo

The majestic and mesmerizing wild turkey can be found wandering the forests and open fields of Hoosier Hill. The beautiful plumage of these huge birds, which includes iridescent feathers and dramatic tail displays, is what makes them so well-known. Due to its mixture of open spaces and wooded regions, Hoosier Hill makes an excellent home for wild turkeys. They are often seen on low tree branches watching their surroundings or searching for food on the forest floor. The omnivorous wild turkey consumes a wide range of vegetation, seeds, insects, and small animals. Male turkeys put on elaborate displays during the mating season to entice the ladies, displaying their feathers and making various gobbling cries. The wild turkeys on Hoosier Hill add to the impression of wilderness and natural richness, representing the area’s abundant fauna and unspoiled beauty.

wild turkey
When awake, turkeys spend most of their time looking for food.

©Sean R. Stubben/

9. Raccoon

Classification: Procyon lotor

Hoosier Hill in Indiana is home to several adaptive and curious raccoons. These medium-sized animals can be identified by their ringed tails and a characteristic black mask over their eyes. They are quite adaptable and may be found in a variety of places, including marshes, woodlands, and the urban areas around Hoosier Hill. Raccoons are adept climbers and are often spotted grazing close to water sources or investigating tree branches. They eat a variety of foods, including fruits, nuts, insects, small animals, and even discarded human food. As a result of this adaptability, they are unfortunately often considered pests. Raccoons are predominantly nocturnal animals, leaving their dens throughout the night to hunt and forage. 

Mysterious Gray Animals - Raccoon
Raccoons are one of the ultimate scavengers of the animal world.


10. Eastern Box Turtle

Classification: Terrapene carolina carolina

On Hoosier Hill, the intriguing and hardy Eastern box turtle can sometimes be seen in the wild. These land turtles have intricately patterned, domed shells with hues ranging from brown to olive and yellow. Eastern box turtles thrive in the forests and grasslands of Hoosier Hill, which offers a variety of shelter, flora, and good nesting locations. They frequently hang around in sunny areas or forage for food on the forest floor. The omnivorous eastern box turtle consumes a wide range of plants, insects, earthworms, and tiny animals. They are renowned for having the capacity to retract their head, legs, and tail within their shell when necessary for safety.

An eastern box turtle munches on a muscadine grape on the forest floor at Yates Mill County Park in Raleigh North Carolina.
Eastern box turtles (pictured) are often yellow and black in color.


11. American Crow

Classification: Corvus brachyrhynchos

Clever and adaptive American crows are frequently seen throughout the landscape of Hoosier Hill. The loud cries and social activity of these huge, blackbirds are well-recognized. American crows have access to a variety of resources because of Hoosier Hill’s diverse habitats, which include forests, woods, farms, and urban areas outside of the hill. They can be observed foraging on the ground for food or perched on tree limbs. These animals consume a variety of foods, including insects, small animals, carrion, seeds, fruits, and even human trash. They are extremely gregarious birds that form big flocks and exhibit cooperative behavior. Their characteristic cawing noises may be heard all throughout the forest, contributing to Hoosier Hill’s rich aural environment. 

American crow eating
American crows are known for their intelligence.


12. Red Fox

Classification: Vulpes vulpes

In the many landscapes surrounding Indiana’s Hoosier Hill, red foxes can be found in abundance. Their brilliant red fur, bushy tails, and cunning hunting strategies make these medium-sized canids stand out from the crowd. Red foxes thrive in the forests, fields, and meadows that make up Hoosier Hill. They are versatile beings that can live happily in both rural and urban settings. Most of the time, red foxes are nocturnal hunters that emerge only when it is completely dark to pursue small animals, birds, and insects. They are adept predators thanks to their sharp senses and agile actions. They consume a variety of foods, such as fruits, berries, and carrion. Red foxes dig underground dens for their pups, sometimes using hollowed-out tree trunks or abandoned burrows as a refuge.

Red fox in leaves
Red foxes are cute but are known for their blood-curdling screams during mating season.

©Ondrej Prosicky/

Plants Found on Hoosier Hill

Hoosier Hill is home to a wide variety of plants, exhibiting the area’s biological diversity and natural beauty. The Hoosier Hill flora, which includes both massive trees and tiny wildflowers, produces a stunning environment that is a real treat to behold. Here are a few typical flora and fauna of the region.

Oak Trees

Hoosier Hill is home to a variety of oak trees, including white oak, red oak, and black oak. Numerous animal species can find food and refuge under these magnificent trees.

Maple Trees

There are many sugar maple and red maple trees in the area, which provide the landscape with bright bursts of color in the fall. Their bright red, orange, and yellow foliage is what makes them unique.

Hickory Trees

Hoosier Hill is home to a number of hickory tree species, including the shagbark hickory and bitternut hickory. They offer nuts, which are an important source of food for several species on the hill.

Beech Trees

The woodlands near Hoosier Hill are home to several beech tree species. These trees produce beechnuts, which are used as food by many animal species. They also have smooth, silver-gray bark.


A wide variety of wildflowers blanket Hoosier Hill, bringing splashes of color to the surroundings. The purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, goldenrod, and trillium are a few examples of common wildflowers in the area.

Sassafras Trees

The unusual three-lobed leaves and fragrant bark of these medium-sized deciduous trees make them stand out. The wooded areas surrounding Hoosier Hill often showcase sassafras trees.

Dogwood Trees

The woodlands next to Hoosier Hill are adorned with dogwood trees, especially in the understory. In the spring, they produce eye-catching white or pink blooms, which are followed by red berries that attract birds.

Summary of Animals That Prowl Atop Hoosier Hill

1SongbirdsPasseri suborder
2White-Tailed DeerOdocoileus virginianus
3Eastern Garter SnakeThamnophis sirtalis
4Eastern Cottontail RabbitSylvilagus floridanus
5Barred OwlStrix varia
6Eastern Gray SquirrelSciurus carolinensis
7Eastern Boxelder BugBoisea trivittata
8Wild TurkeyMeleagris gallopavo
9RaccoonProcyon lotor
10Eastern Box TurtleTerrapene carolina carolina
11American CrowCorvus brachyrhynchos
12Red FoxVulpes vulpes

The Featured Image

Hoosier Hill
Hoosier Hill is located on the Cincinnati Arch, a geological uplift created by oceanic sediment deposited over 400 million years ago.
© Skye Marthaler / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

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About the Author

I'm a lover of all things sustainability, from urban farming to not killing houseplants. I love carnivorous plants, indigenous crops, and air-cleansing indoor plants. My area of expertise lies in urban farming and conscious living. A proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor.

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