Rugged Beauty Awaits at Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park
If you follow us on Instagram (@midwestnomadfamily), you may have noticed that we did a little road trip to Indiana over the weekend. One of the highlights of our getaway was a visit to one of Indiana’s prettiest parks, Turkey Run in Marshall. The park has 11 different trails that wander through rugged ravines and along scenic Sugar Creek. A couple of the trails even involve scrambling up a series of ladders through a deep gorge. If there has been recent rainfall, you may be lucky to find a few waterfalls.
One of the main highlights of the park is the historic suspension bridge at the head of the trail system. The bridge was built in 1918 and remains a fun way to start your hike.
You can create a nice loop through the park by crossing the suspension bridge at one end, and the even older Narrows Covered Bridge at the other end. While we did not make it that far this time hiking with two young kids, we have done the full loop on a past visit. The park is especially stunning when the trees and wildflowers begin to bloom in mid to late April.
We were able to get our kids to hike almost two miles by combining a section of trails 3 & 10 with trails 5 & 9. The trails were well marked with posts bearing the trail number located frequently along the trail. It became a game of seeing which kid could find the next number post first. Once they reached the next post, they were rewarded with a mini M&M. We are not above bribery and candy to get them to finish a trail!
As beautiful as the park is in the spring, the winter visit we made a few years back before kids was simply amazing. The park was blanketed in a fresh coat of snow and we mostly had the trails all to ourselves. The quiet beauty of hiking in the snow is a favorite memory.
The water was still running through the creek bed that trail 3 follows. This made for some interesting stream crossings trying to gauge how thick the ice was in spots to avoid wet feet.
No matter the season, this park is worth a visit. It’s about a 3.5 hour drive from St. Louis. The park features the lovely Turkey Run Inn if you wish to stay overnight. The Inn consists of hotel style rooms and cabins as well as a full service restaurant. If camping is more your style, the park features a campground as well. There are other historic structures in the park to visit as well as the numerous other covered bridges in surrounding Parke County. (Upcoming details on the covered bridges of Parke County will be coming in a future post!)