Our first trip with our new camper was to McCormick’s Creek State Park near Spencer, Indiana. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was for this trip! Indiana has beautiful and well-kept state parks. This park is about three hours from St. Louis, Missouri and about an hour from Indianapolis.
After a few embarrassing tries at backing up the camper for the first time, we got it parked somewhat straight in our site (#41). Our campsite was nice as it was on and end and it was only a short walk to the showerhouse. We were near the entrance to the campground as well as the water spigot so there was a bit of traffic, but nothing that really bothered us.
Our first hike in the park was to see the waterfall. We parked across from the Canyon Inn and hiked Trail 3 down to the south bank of McCormick’s Creek. I love this trail as you hike over the exposed rock floor of the creek.
The trail leads up to the canyon rim and to an overlook of the waterfall. A set of spiral stairs leads down to the creek again where, if you are feeling adventurous, you can explore the base of the waterfall.
We headed back to the campground and enjoyed a nice, chilly night hanging out by the campfire with the dogs.
We woke up early the next morning, had some coffee and then hit Trail 5. Trail 5 is the longest trail in the park at 2 miles long. This trail circles the Wolf Cave Nature Preserve. About half way through the trail, Wolf Cave appears. You can actually hike all the way through the cave, but it requires a bit of crawling and scrambling. Due to the size of the spiders we saw, I walked in a few feet and that was enough for me =)
The next landmark that you arrive at is Twin Bridges. Twin Bridges is two natural rock arches that were created when Wolf Cave collapsed.
We headed back to the parking lot and took a quick snack break and then crossed the road and began hiking Trail 7.
This trail leads along the canyon rim to the White River. We completed the loop and then descended into the canyon on Trail 10. A large set of stairs led back up to the parking lot.
We relaxed around the campsite for a while and then decided to hike Trail 2 down to the old quarry. Rock from this site was used to build the Indiana’s State House.
As with many state parks, the Civilian Conservation Corps played a large role in developing the park. The most notable feature is the stone arch bridge. I loved this area! There is a small parking lot near the bridge so be sure to take the time to explore this feature!
Also located in this state park is the Canyon Inn. In 1888, Dr. Denkewalter opened a sanitarium in this very location as a place for the wealthy to get away from it all and recuperate. Many people enjoyed the lush, tranquil grounds as a place for rest and relaxation. 1914, after the death of Dr. Denkewalter, the state purchased the land and McCormick’s Creek State Park was dedicated as Indiana’s first state park. Today, the Canyon Inn provides lodging for visitor’s that want to explore the rugged beauty of this area.
We had such a great time exploring this park and it was the perfect first trip in our camper! Be sure to add this park to your list of places to visit as you will not be disappointed!