So here is the thing…if you have not been to Turkey Run State Park in Indiana, drop everything you are doing and go NOW! LOL! This park has everything and will amaze you. Located north of Terre Haute, this is one of Indiana’s most popular state parks.
We scheduled a family camping trip with my cousins so we pulled in Thursday afternoon and set up camp! We made dinner and enjoyed just talking and catching up. I am so lucky to have cousins that are my best friends. A picture of the gang!
Jess and I woke up early and hit the trails. Turkey Run is unique in the fact that Sugar Creek cuts the park in half. A suspension bridge spans Sugar Creek which allows access to the hiking trails.
After crossing the bridge, we headed left on Trail 3. We then continued on Trail 3 and entered the rugged part of the trail where you hike between the steep rock walls of Bear Hollow. This is one of the most spectacular sights in the park.
At the end of the hollow, the famous ladders lead up to the next level. If you have small children or large pets, you might want to consider a different trail. Ellie is small enough that I was able to carry her up the ladders. The natural beauty of this area is breathtaking. Take time to marvel at the years of erosion at work.
Since we were hiking on the hottest day of the year, we stayed on Trail 3 and headed towards the Punch Bowl. If you have time, I have hiked Trails 5 & 9 which are west of Trail 3 through Boulder Canyon and Falls Canyon and they are equally spectacular in their own right.
After descending the stairs on Trail 3, the rest of the hike is pretty much through the creek that flows between the walls of Rocky Hollow.
I had never seen the Punch Bowl before and it was so cool! A short hike up the stream leads to a circular canyon with a small waterfall.
Keep your eyes open for the small stairs and hand holds built into the canyon walls by the CCC.
I was so happy. The sun was shining and nothing beats and early morning on the trail.
This part of the trail is rated as very rugged and I completely agree with that. The trail is slippery and involves a lot of climbing. If you are concerned about the ruggedness of the trail, I highly recommend hiking the beginning of Trail 3 to get a great overview of what Turkey Run is all about. Look for the wooden bridges after crossing the suspension bridge and enter the trail here. Walk as far as you want and then turn around!
We still had the whole afternoon ahead of us so we decided to take a float trip. Right across the road from the campground is Sugar Valley Canoe Trips. We chose the 3 mile float which was the perfect length and the prices were really reasonable. The 3 mile trip floats from the Narrows Covered Bridge (B) to the Cox Ford Covered Bridge (C) and even underneath the Turkey Run suspension bridge! They also offer longer floats.
It was really neat to see the park from a different vantage point.
The next morning the other half of our group went on a float trip so we headed down to the creek to wait for them to come by. It was a beautiful morning.
After that, I took a drive into the park by myself. It is important to note that the campground is completely seperate from the park. Turkey Run State Park has a lot of other great amenities including a beautiful inn and cabins, an Olympic size swimming pool and even a horse stable.
I hiked Trail 11 to the Lieber Memorial and the historic log church.
While trying to find Trail 11, I stumbled upon Trail 6 and it was so amazing. I knew I wanted to show everyone else this trail so I headed back to the campground to round up the family. As you are facing the inn, the cabins are to your left and between the cabins and the parking lot is the start of Trail 6. If you have small kids, this is a great short trail to showcase the beauty of this state park.
The trail ends at Sunset Point and the Lieber Cabin.
After our hike, we headed back to the campground to enjoy the night. The next morning we woke up and drove to the Narrows Covered Bridge, the one that we floated under the previous day!
After this, we packed everything up and started our drive home. All in all, this was a fantastic weekend with my extended family. I am so lucky to have cousins that I am so close to and their families are so wonderful. Turkey Run State Park amazed me again since even after visiting here two times before, I still found parts of the park that I have never seen before. Have you ever been to Turkey Run State Park?