Favorite Hikes
Porcupine Mountains Turkey Run State Park Loyalsock Trail
Black Forest Trail Knobstone Trail Horse-Shoe Trail

Revised August 23, 2000

Location, History, and General Information

Turkey Run State Park is located in west central Indiana, on State Route 47 just east of US Route 41, about ten miles north of Rockville. It is Indiana's second state park, established in 1916, and covers 2,382 acres. Activities at the park include camping, fishing, and hiking, and facilities include an inn, nature center, swimming pool, and saddle barn. There are 11 marked hiking trails covering a total distance of approximately 13 miles. Information about the park is available from Turkey Run State Park, Route 1 Box 164, Marshall, IN 47859. The park guide is a small foldout brochure including a brief description of each numbered trail and a park map which indicates their routes. Information in the next paragraph is taken from this source.

Deep canyons nestled in the shadows of sandstone cliffs and peaceful hemlock groves harbor some of the most ruggedly beautiful hiking trails in the state. From the tiny mosses and ferns to the majestic old-growth walnuts and sycamores, lush plant communities thrive here, supporting an abundance of wildlife. Deer tracks, beaver-chewed trees, pileated woodpecker excavations, the rocking flight of the turkey vulture, all are common sights throughout the year.

Our Hiking Experiences
After moving to Indiana in July, 1998, we decided to check out Turkey Run State Park early in the fall. We had some state park information that indicated there were hiking trails there. Similar to Michigan, though unlike Pennsylvania, we had to pay $2.00 to drive into the park. The fee was actually $5.00 for cars with out-of-state plates, and we still had Pennsylvania plates, but I convinced the ranger we had just moved to the state by showing her my Rose-Hulman ID card. 

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much of a backwoods experience, especially when the area near the inn and parking lot was crawling with people. I decided to take Trails 1 and 2 because neither was described as "moderate" or "easy" and Trail 1 was the longest in the park at three miles. We did escape most the the crowd on land as few people seemed to be hiking Trail 1, but there were a large number of people canoeing and tubing on Sugar Creek, which paralleled the trail. 

At the park's edge, we visited an intact covered bridge used to connect Trails 1 and 4 before circling back on Trails 1 and 2 towards the developed area of the park. Just after passing a picnic shelter area accessible by road, Trail 2 turned and descended a steep set of steps into a box canyon. This area was nearly deserted and was the most interesting scenery we encountered on our first trip. 

On subsequent visits to the park, we crossed the pedestrian suspension bridge over Sugar Creek below the Nature Center and have hiked Trails 3, 5, and 9 in their entirety and part of Trail 10. This area is part of Rocky Hollow Falls Canyon Nature Preserve, and the hiking through narrow canyons especially along Trail 3 is unlike anything we have done elsewhere. The only downfall is that the area is very crowded during pleasant weather in the warm months. As we complete this site, we will be adding pages to describe our experiences along individual segments of the trail. Please return to follow our progress. 

Maria along Trail 2

Mike and Maria drove up to Turkey Run on a Saturday afternoon in Fall, 1999, and Maria hiked a good distance through the canyon along Trail 2 on her own two feet. She probably covered around a mile when you include walking from the parking lot, down the stairs to the suspension bridge area, then along Trail 1 to reach Trail 2. 


John in Rock Formation on Trail 3
On November 14, 1999, Mike, Aimee, Maria, Aimee's brother John, and his girlfriend Cathy hiked portions of Trails 3 and 10. Here, John poses inside one of the rock formations found in the box canyon along Trail 3. 

Other Turkey Run Information & Resources

Turkey Run State Park -- Official home page maintained by Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Information Page for Turkey Run State Park -- Includes links to some trip reports

 

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