Shades State Park is located in Waveland, Indiana about 3.5 hours from St. Louis. I had visited to this park several years ago and it still remains one of my favorite parks. You can see my original post HERE. My friend Michelle and I visited this park back in October.
We parked at the Hickory parking lot and started hiking the trails from left to right or west to east. We started out on Trail 4 (west) which leads along a ridge line and down to Sugar Creek. This clear creek is a popular place to float during the summer months and I hope to visit in the summer time so that I can float Sugar Creek!
We then made our way back up Trail 4 (east) through a ravine. The trail is rugged and can be slippery since water flows through here, but it is one of my favorites. I love a good rugged hike! The fun part of this trail is the ladders section!
We then made our way down Trail 5 (west). My favorite part of this trail is when you are high above on a skinny ridge line and you can look down to both your left and right and see the trails through the ravines. We hiked back up Trail 5 (east) which is also through a rugged ravine. Trail 5 and Trail 4 are very similar.
Next, we hiked along Trail 1 to check out the view from Prospect’s Point.From this vantage point, you are high above Sugar Creek.
From here, we took the steps down to Silver Cascades. Silver Cascades remains as one of my favorite features in the park because water “rolls” along the ravine creating a unique waterfall before falling off of a rock ledge. Unfortunately, I did not get a great picture of it so you will have to check it out for yourself! The trail meanders through a neat section of the park where tall rocks surround you as you approach Devils Punch Bowl.
Devils Punch Bowl is another one of my favorite feature of the park! The constant trickle of water over the years has worn away the rock creating a bowl-like shape.
I also love that once you head out of this area, you can view the the Punch Bowl from above on the trail.
Next, we headed to Trail 2. I recommend hiking this trail in a clockwise direction so that you go down the daunting staircase and a lot of the flat, easy terrain is at the end of the hike.
The trail winds through a ravine and along Maidenhair Falls.
After finishing up Trail 2, that concluded our hiking at Shades. In total, we hiked about 4.5 miles here. The scenery is outstanding and I highly recommend this park. You can see the trails we hiked below.
We also visited Deer’s Mill Covered Bridge which is just up the road from Shades State Park. You can see my post HERE on the covered bridges of Parke County. We also, hiked park of the Pine Hills Nature Preserve which is accessible only from Trail 10 at Shades State Park. Stay tuned for that post!