A Weekender: Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park

Day hikers looking to explore the scenic wonders of Indiana should consider exploring the trails and waters at Turkey Run State Park. Located 189 miles from Chicago, in Parke County, Indiana, Turkey Run is known as one of the most scenic parks in Indiana. Famous for its covered bridges, sandstone canyons and inn, the park serves as a great weekend get-a-way to the great outdoors.

The 2,382-acre park has some excellent day hiking set amid scenic canyons. The park’s natural features are on par with Starved Rock State Park in Illinois, as both parks can be considered the Canyonlands of the Midwest. Sandstone cliffs, canyons, and hills guarantee a great workout; and two covered bridges and a suspension bridge add to the picturesque surroundings.

Turkey Run State Park is known for its covered bridges.

Waterfalls, cascading pools and a sycamore-lined stream, are just some of the sights trekkers will see while hiking the park’s trails. Old-growth hemlock trees, ferns and mosses line the rugged canyons and footpaths. The park has 11 different trails with stunning rock formations. Trekkers should be sure to explore the Punch Bowl, Boulder Falls, Bear Hollow, the Ice Box, Falls Canyon, and the 140 Steps.

An Ozark-Like Stream
But there’s more: Sugar Creek, an Ozark-like stream runs through the park, allowing for a beautiful paddle. The stream flows past covered bridges, sandstone bluffs, and it’s known as the best floatable stream in the “Hoosier State.” Paddlers can choose from a 3.5-, 8-, 11- or 15-mile trip. If you’re looking to canoe camp, plan on paddling the spectacular 15-mile section between Shades and Turkey Run state parks.

Sugar Valley Canoe Trips is located just outside of the park and they offer canoe, kayak and tube rentals. Call 800-422-6638 for more information.

Scenic sandstone canyons, an Ozark-like stream, and some of the best day hiking in Indiana are just a few of the reasons to visit Turkey Run State Park.

Camping is available at the park. However, if you’re looking for a shower, a soft bed and a meal, the park’s inn can serve as your post-hike basecamp. A great resource to pick up is Alan McPherson’s Indiana Best Hikes ($22.95, Waters Publishing Company) as it guides you to the best 106 places to trek in the Hoosier State. If you prefer a less-visited park to camp, the nearby Shades State Park is known for its small crowds and less developed atmosphere. Day hikers looking for another location near Turkey Run to discover should be sure to visit the Pine Hills Nature Preserve.

Making The Trip
For more information, contact: Turkey Run State Park
8121 E. Park Road
Marshall, IN 47859

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