Pine Hills Nature Preserve is located directly adjacent to Shades State Park in Waveland, Indiana. This preserve is only accessible from Trail 10 at Shades State Park. After hiking most of the trails at Shades earlier in the day, we headed to the Pine Hills Parking lot and hiked on Trail 10 to the entrance of Pine Hills.
I am sure I am exaggerating because I was extremely tired, but it feels like we had to hike forever to get to the ridge line called Turkey’s Backbone. While hiking on this ridge, you can look left and right and see how high up you really are. The hike is probably not really that bad =)
Once across, a staircase descends down to the two loop trails that showcase the beauty of this area. Since it was getting late in the day, we only had time to hike the northern loop which features Devil’s Backbone. However, there is so much more to this loop than just the Backbone. We hiked the loop in a clockwise direction so we followed Clifty Creek to The Slide. Over the years, rock slides and the constant flow of water have etched away at the bank creating a smooth rock surface.
Next up, was Honeycomb Rock. Below this interesting rock feature, Clifty Creek and Indian Creek flow together and eventually empty into Sugar Creek.
The trail then climbs up the most notable feature of the preserve, Devil’s Backbone. The two creeks have worn away the rock creating a formation that is nearly 100 feet high and only 6 feet wide in parts.
^ So narrow! ^
The trail descends Devil’s Backbone down the rock face and then give you an up close view of how tall the Backbone really is.
I wish we would have had more time to spend at Pine Hills Nature Preserve because it was so scenic and beautiful, but my legs were exhausted and we still had a fairly long hike back to the car. Special thanks to my friend Michelle for always being up for an adventure! There is a good brochure from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources HERE!