About an hour west of Indianapolis, at Turkey Run State Park, is an unexpected landscape in central Indiana. Hiking trails weave through canyons, across streams, and among fragrant hemlocks. The moss-covered boulders and sandstone walls are reminiscent of a movie setting. While we’ve enjoyed every Indiana state park we’ve visited so far, this is one of my favorites and I always love the chance to explore it again.
Part of why I love hiking in general is the chance to be up close and surrounded in nature. The trails at Turkey Run take that to a whole other level. Scrambling across boulders, stomping through creeks, balancing on fallen trees; it’s like a giant natural playground. Each trail has unique highlights. With so many interconnecting, we love to explore a number of them within a single day.
If you’re looking for climbing, we highly suggest starting with trail 3. Near its connection to trail 5, giant wooden ladders are secured against the canyon walls. I was fascinated with this unexpected feature. We had approached the section from the top and had a great time scaling the ridges this way. There are alternative stairs though if the ladders feel a little too adventurous.
Also, on trail 3 (where it meets with trail 4) is “the Punchbowl”. Maneuvering back to this glacial carved hole is as exciting as finding the small waterfall that’s hidden there. Additionally, in periods of heavy rain, water can cover the path leading back to this section. This makes a great excuse to splash in the stream and climb over rocks.
Another favorite in the park is the massive suspension bridge. Crossing over Sugar Creek this giant wooden bridge gives a great view of the waterway. It’s common to see kayaks and canoes floating by. Our daughter’s favorite part, is the swinging sensation that inevitably occurs while walking across.
In addition to the great hiking there are lots of other ways to explore Turkey Run State Park. At the saddle barn, trail and pony rides are available. The Nature Center hosts interactive programs and naturalist workshops. While the park itself does not rent boating equipment, several companies in the area offer canoeing, kayaking, or tubing down Sugar Creek. However you choose to check out the park we hope you have as much fun as we did!
8121 E. Park Road
Marshall, IN 47854