Hiking Turkey Run State Park, Indiana
Summer is winding down. You know what that means? Time to get outside and hit the trails. Turkey Run State Park in Indiana is a great option.
Late summer, early fall hiking is really a magnificent time to hit the trails. Kids have gone back to school, colleges are in session, vacations have been mostly taken, temperatures are cooling down, and best of all, the trails will be much less crowded if you plan properly.
One day in late August, we here at Midwest Bliss headed out to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana. Having hiked this park in the past, we had an idea where and what trails we wanted to experience.
We captured some fabulous sights in the park on this trip. Below is a highlight of this fabulous Midwest State Park – Turkey Run State Park, Indiana.
Turkey Run State Park trails 3, 5, and 9 are very popular trails to experience if you are looking for a moderately difficult hiking experience coupled with some of the most amazing scenery you can find in the Midwest.
A good portion of this route runs through deep ravines, and much of the time there will be running water flowing right through the trail.
As you can see from a trail photo we took, the creekbed is part of the trail and you will be hiking in water. If water levels are too high this trail will be closed.
We hiked most of Trail 3 and 5 with parts of trail 9. All-in-all, as you see in the summary of our hike tracked by AllTrails app, we hiked 3.9 miles of moderately tough terrain.
The scenery from the trails
This area of Indiana is known for dense forests and is a popular spot for outdoor activities.
Visiting the area is a great opportunity for some spectacular photography if that’s your thing of course. Still, though, you’ll see some of the most beautiful scenery that the Midwest can provide.
Below is a sample of some of the photos we captured on this trip. Enjoy.
Accessing most of the trails means crossing the Turkey Run Suspension Bridge. Above are the entrance and dedication marker. Looking a little worse for wear these days, the bridge is very safe and park staff was performing maintenance as we came back across.
Trail 3 is by far the most scenic, however, it is also the most rugged.
Here is where you will get your feet wet. If it has been raining, there will be water flowing in the creekbed.
As Trail 3 begins to meet with Trail 5, there are these “trail ladders” taking you back into the ravine/creekbed. They can be wet and very slippery.
You likely won’t see much wildlife due to the heavy traffic this park gets during peak season. Possibly a White-tailed deer here and there but mostly small critters like this little Ground Squirrel. You might also see some interesting stuff like this growth from a tree that had been carved with a smiley face.
Trail 9 is pretty dense and runs up along the Sugar Creek. We never did see a trail marker for Trail 9 but we know we were on part of it using our AllTrails app.
Not far from Falls Canyon along Trail 9 and Trail 5, we found a beautiful old log being eroded by water running off the rocks above.
As we came back towards the park after our hike, we captured this photo of the suspension bridge and maintenance worker checking the cables and bolts.
As we finished our trip, we spent a few minutes enjoying the peacefulness of a nearly empty Turkey Run State Park. It was hard to believe this was midday on a Thursday in the late summer.
- Travel on a weekday if you can. Summer weekends will be peak times for state parks. Also, if you can, travel before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. Once peak summer is past, the state parks can be hidden gems for outdoor activities.
- If you are considering visiting this park coinciding with the middle two weeks of October, The Covered Bridge Festival of Indiana will be happening. A great opportunity to take in festival activities, however, it also means lots of traffic. Plan accordingly. To read about our visit to the Covered Bridge Festival, READ IT HERE.
- Check weather first. Many of the trails involve the creekbed and hiking near or in water. If there is rain or has been substantial rain, many of the trails may be closed. Call ahead to check.
- Good shoes and dry socks. Along with the last point, if you do hike many of the trails where water is flowing, plan to have wet feet. A good pair of water-resistant hiking boots/shoes will help.
- Slippery surfaces. Lots of water and dense forest means lots of undergrowth, moss, and algae. All make pretty slippery surfaces when wet.
- Park fees. Indiana charges fees to access the parks. If you are out-of-state, prepare to pay a little more. Check fees HERE
- The Turkey Run State Park Pool is a great place to cool off after a long day hiking. Make sure to check operating hours. Pool Information HERE
Well, that’s about it for this trip to Turkey Run State Park, Indiana.
Turkey Run State Park is a great destination if you find yourself traveling anywhere near west-central Indiana. So much to do here that it is really a hidden gem.
Thanks for stopping by. Now, get out there and explore.
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