Nestled in Indiana’s Parke County, Turkey Run State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its rugged canyons, sandstone cliffs, and scenic trails, the park offers a stunning backdrop for hiking, camping, picnicking, and more.
The history of Turkey Run State Park dates back to 1916, when the first parcel of its 2,382-acre land was purchased during Indiana’s centennial. At that time, the State Park system was just established, and Turkey Run became the second state park in Indiana. Since then, the park has undergone many changes and improvements, but its natural beauty and charm remain intact.
One of the unique features of Turkey Run State Park is its many legends about how it got its name. According to one story, wild turkeys used to seek shelter in the canyon bottoms, or “runs,” to avoid the cold. Pioneer hunters would then herd the turkeys through these natural funnels into a central location for an easy harvest. The abundance of turkeys in the runs gave rise to the name, Turkey Run.
Today, Turkey Run State Park offers visitors a range of recreational activities and attractions. One of the park’s main highlights is its trail system, which features more than 11 miles of hiking trails. The trails wind through the park’s canyons, gorges, and ravines, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Some of the most popular trails include the Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Nature Preserve Trail, the Suspension Bridge Trail, and the Lusk Home Trail.
In addition to hiking, Turkey Run State Park also offers opportunities for camping, fishing, canoeing, and horseback riding. The park has two campgrounds, each with its unique features and amenities. The Turkey Run Inn and Cabins provide comfortable lodging for visitors who want to stay overnight in the park.
Another attraction of Turkey Run State Park is its natural formations, such as the Devil’s Punchbowl, a bowl-shaped depression in the sandstone, and the Narrows Covered Bridge, which spans Sugar Creek and offers stunning views of the valley. The park also has a nature center, where visitors can learn more about the local flora and fauna, as well as the park’s history and geology.
Overall, Turkey Run State Park is a must-see destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and diverse recreational opportunities, the park offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike, a peaceful picnic, or a fun-filled camping trip, Turkey Run State Park is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.
Turkey Run State Park gets over 1 million visitors per year.
We had a fun adventure hiking the trails of Turkey Run State Park!! It was harder than we thought!! We recommend this for a perfect sunny day, make sure to take your best hiking shoes and be ready to get amazed by the view!!
Sugar Creek runs through the middle of the park and is Indiana’s most popular Canoeing and Kayaking River
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Photos by #TeamWeLikeIndy