Hiking in Turkey Run State Park

November 12, 2019 | By Terry | Filed in: Default.

I’d always heard of Turkey Run State Park, lots of people have said it’s really pretty, but I’d never remembered much detail. I’d never researched it myself either. I always assumed it was a family trap (nothing wrong with that!), but at this point I’m more interested in harder, more adventurous hikes. Little did I know that Turkey Run was EXACTLY that. I can’t believe I’d always brushed it off all this time without even researching it. Let’s just say it will be a regular stop on my rotation now! If you’ve never been, enjoy these amazing pictures.

On November 2, I got kind of a late start out of Indy that day and arrived at the park at about 3:00 pm. This was the last day of DST this year, so I had an extra hour of evening daylight, so about 4 or so hours until sunset. When I first got there, I figured I’d hike an hour or two and leave. Come to find out, I needed every second of daylight I had left to complete this epic hike!

I parked at the hotel on site, and this was my first view. Yes, I was highly impressed already!
Most of the trails were across the river, and they have this cool suspension bridge to get you over there! Very sweet!

Ok, so the park has the cool factor going for it already. Great river views, and a very cool bridge. Little did I know I was about to be dazzled further right off the bat.

The path on the right leads into this mini canyon
What a spectacular path! I’d already climbed through a narrow crevice of running water over boulders to get to this point.
These canyons and rock formations were made by glaciers from the Ice Age, and subsequent erosion afterward.
This was a side crevice they called the “Punch Bowl”. A circular bowl formation fed and formed by a small waterfall. So cool!
This was above the Punch Bowl, the stream heading back this way leading toward it

At this point I had a choice. I could either keep exploring these amazing canyons right away, or break off into the forest for 2 or 3 miles for the top half of the park. I decided to do the north forest and river loop first, which I knew would lead me back to the other (bigger) canyons that I hadn’t seen yet. Saving the best for last was my plan.

These are the Indiana forests I’m used to. Beautiful Fall tunnels of trees on a beautiful crisp day. Love it!
One of the attractions in the forest is an old homestead built in the mid 1800’s. On that property I found this grave of an 8 year old girl who died in 1842, which was 177 years ago!
The last half of this forest loop is along the river banks. I found a very cool covered bridge! Can you say “photo op”?

The trip down the river to complete the forest loop was beautiful. There were rock walls, an old coal mine cave, and beautiful blue skies.

The suspension bridge acted as a “center point” to the north and south sides of the park. I started at the bridge, was halfway finished at the bridge, and would ultimately finish at the bridge. Next up was my trip through the canyons and another forest loop on the south side of the park. The Park map showed that most of the cool factor action was over there, so off I went!

First I did another forest loop, which lead to this killer view and beautiful outcrop.
The last half of my day was walking in canyon streams and rocky outcrops with steep drops. My waterproof boots came in handy!
It’s hard to see in 2D, but that’s a huge drop with the only way down being a ladder. You’ll see all the ladders in this sequence later! 3 levels of them to get down there.
Canyon view, my path I’m trying to get to is way down there where you can’t see.
I made it down the ladders (the 1st one is out of view way up there near that walkway) They are pretty steep ladders, need to concentrate for sure. You can see the wear on them. I have excellent grippy boots so no issues.
I’m in the bottom stream now, this winds quite a ways, with gorgeous formations along the way.
Another beautiful mini waterfall that has cut through this giant rock over thousands of years.
See those boulders? That’s the actual path up the hill.
Rock climbing we go! Trekking poles were my friend here! (in all these canyons, actually!)
I stopped for a moment to reflect on the passing Fall season and how rewarding it is to be outside and living a happy healthy life.
The Earth feeding the Earth. It’s the life giving cycle. (FYI Oboz 8″ waterproof hiking boots are AMAZING)
By this time I had looped around the canyon and ridge system, and I’m back to the ladders. I went down them again, this time to get to the river on this end of the park, which was much more challenging that the river trail on the other half of the park!
I was wondering how this was formed, it’s a mini cave. I’m guessing ice breaking rock over a thousand years.

Below is a set of pictures inside a huge bowl I crawled down into. A couple of them are from a viewpoint of looking straight up, hence the wierd angles.

The image below by the river I got by accident. I say that, because I took a very rugged, steep, rock/root maneuvering way of descending down to the river. I thought it was the actual path, I was thinking “man this path just got hard”. Even after getting down to river I had to walk through 5″ of water to get to the sand bar. (Thank you 8″ boots).. Once I got down here I realized that this trail ended at the river. Turns out, I was off trail. I had taken a side jaunt down to the river. I’m glad I did, because the sun peeked out just in time for this amazing Fall shot with river reflection to boot:


If you look close in the picture above, the suspension bridge is just down the way. That’s where I started the day, and where I would end the day. I knew my day was almost over. Good thing, as the sun is getting low now. Since I didn’t want to swim to the bridge, I made my way back up this rock climbing side path back up the main trail. Back up there I took in a couple last sights for the day.

Fall colors with river way down below
One last tree starting to try on a pretty Fall wardrobe
I made it back to where I started 4 hours prior. What a day! Someone was nice enough to take my picture on this cool bridge. That’s a look of sweaty exhaustion yet total satisfaction.
That’s some hard earned mileage there, and VERY rewarding! Mentally and physically.
About 15 mins after I left, I was rewarded once again, with this spectacular sunset. I just had to pull over and get a shot!
And you betcha – after a big day of hiking Turkey Run, I’m definitely downing a triple from Steak n’ Shake! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Thank you for reading and looking at all my pictures, and more importantly showing interest in my adventures this year. I’ve come a LONG way since my transplant (it’s been about 1 3/4 years since then, I can’t believe it). I just love this active healthy lifestyle that I’m able to have now, I’m so very thankful. Thankful for being healthy, thankful for my cousin Dennis for giving me this chance, and thankful for all my friends and family supporting me all the way. It sure beats being hooked up to a machine, that’s for sure!

I turn 50 in a little over 6 months. What adventure is in store for that big occasion? Hmmm…. stay tuned.

Terry – November, 2019

One comment on “Hiking in Turkey Run State Park

  1. […] visiting Turkey Run State Park for an epic day hike a few weeks ago, I was in the mood to check out another State Park I’d […]

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