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Turkey Run State Park is a one-of-a-kind and gorgeous site that appeals to everyone, from outdoor lovers to history buffs to families seeking a fun day out.
- Turkey Run State Park is notable for its sheer cliffs and deep canyons and is nestled in western Indiana. Many picturesque routes snake across the park, crossing rivers and passing waterfalls.
- Hiking, backpacking, fishing, canoeing, and horse riding are among the outdoor activities available in the park. Swimming and camping are among popular activities in the park’s picturesque regions.
- Turkey Run State Park contains various historic structures, including a covered bridge erected in 1913 and the Lusk House, which was established in 1841 and functioned as an Underground Railroad station.
- Turkey Run State Park is an established family attraction, offering more than enough attractions for children of all ages. The park has an educational nature center, as well as various playgrounds and picnic tables.
History and Facts
- Turkey Run State Park opened in 1916. It got its name from the wild turkeys that used to frequent the region.
- The park is recognized for its rocky sandstone canyons and picturesque pathways and spans over 2,382 acres. It features 11 trails ranging in difficulty from basic to challenging, including the famed Suspension Bridge Trail that crosses Sugar Creek.
- Turkey Run State Park has a long human history, with Native American villages going back to 10,000 B.C. The region was utilized for logging in the 1800s and subsequently as a health resort. Several of the park’s historic structures, notably the Turkey Run Inn, were constructed during this period. A park is now a popular place for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.
- Turkey Run State Park is recognized for its unusual rock formations, which include sandstone cliffs, valleys, and canyons. The limestone is from the Mansfield Formation, a geological stratum created more than 300 thousand years ago during the Pennsylvanian era.
- Glacial Deposits: Glaciers traveled over Indiana during the previous Ice Age, depositing vast volumes of sand and gravel that are currently located in Turkey Run State Park. This glacial activity is accountable for the park’s sandy soil as well as the existence of minor rivers and waterfalls.
- The climate of Turkey Run State Park is humid continental, with hot summers and chilly winters. Precipitation can fall all year long, with May and June becoming the wettest months. Guests should dress appropriately for changeable weather conditions.
Wind speed Range (mph):
Rainfall Range (in):
Flora & Fauna
- American Beech
- Sugar Maple
- Red Oak
- White Oak
- Wildflowers, such as trillium, wild ginger, and Jack-in-the-pulpit
- White-tailed deer
- Gray squirrels
- Eastern chipmunks
- Wild turkeys
- Red-tailed hawks
- Eastern screech owls
- Several species of snakes, including the eastern rat snake and the northern copperhead.
Turkey Run State Park is a popular site for outdoor enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and anybody interested in the surrounding world’s splendor. These are some things to do in Turkey Run State Park:
- Hiking: Turkey Run State Park has several hiking routes that vary in duration and difficulty. The routes go through valleys, across bridges, and into the forest. Suspension Bridge Trail, Rocky Hollow Trail, and Trail 3 are other popular hikes.
- The Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Natural Preserve is home to steep sandstone canyons and one of the remaining remains of Indiana’s spectacular forest.
- The suspension bridge that connects to the Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Natural Park is 70 steps down. Please preserve and appreciate this invaluable heritage.
|Turkey Run Trail 1||3-mile||The big tree trail is a 3-mile trail that leads to the historic Narrows Covered Bridge and features fine sycamores and black walnut trees.|
|Turkey Run Trail 2 ||1-mile||The Lusk Earth Fill is a challenging 1-mile route for the most daring but go with caution.|
|Turkey Run Trail 3||1.7-mile||Trail 3 is a 1.7-mile path with unique hiking options. The Ice Box, Bear Hollow, Punch Bowl, Rocky Hollow, Wedge Rock, and Suspension Bridge are all on the route. The route includes ladders, which might be dangerous for those with medical issues or impairments. Hikers with little children or dogs should use different trails.|
|Turkey Run Trail 4||1.2 – mile||This 2-mile walk leads upstream along Sugar Creek to the Narrows Covered Bridge, Lusk House, Punch Bowl, Rocky Hollow, and Suspension Bridge.|
|Turkey Run Trail 5||0.7 – mile||The 0.7-mile track winds through beautiful forests and 140 stairs before connecting into Trail 3 at Bear Hollow.|
For Further Info – Turkey Run State Park Hiking Trails – Turkey Run State Park
- Picnicking: Picnic tables with charcoal grills may be found near the Saddle Barn, near the ball courts, and the shelter buildings at Turkey Run State Park.
- There is also a big, shaded picnic area with numerous picnic tables near the Nature Center’s parking lot, as well as a non-reservable Bonfire Shelter picnic spot at the Nature Center’s trailhead to Trail 1.
- For further info on shelter: Turkey Run State Park Picnic Areas & Shelter Houses – Turkey Run State Park
- Swimming: The swimming pool at Turkey Run State Park is accessible from Memorial Day to Labor Day, however, it may close or restrict operations when lifeguards are absent.
- Before accessing the pool area, all newborns, toddlers, and young children must need an elastic waistband swim diaper.
- Fecal accidents may cause the pool to be closed for several periods to 24 hours. Kids under the age of 12 must be accompanied by someone 16 or older.
- Fees – $3/person
- Fishing: Sugar Creek is a beautiful river in Turkey Run State Park where it is possible to catch bass, bluegill, and other species. The brook has two public access locations.
- Note – Fishing in Turkey Run State Park requires a state license. http://www.inhuntfish.com/ to acquire a fishing license.
- Kayak at Sugar Creek: Sugar Creek, which flows through Turkey Run State Park, is one of Indiana’s most beautiful rivers.
- Canoe, kayak, and tube trips are available from local canoe liveries, and there are two public access locations outside Turkey Run: one upstream at the Brush Creek canoe ramp and one downstream at the Cox Ford canoe ramp.
- For further info – Sugar Creek in Indiana. Maps of river and Maps to public access points and liveries. (indianaoutfitters.com)
- Events and Activities: The Nature Center offers guided nature and wildlife hikes, Star Shows, historic Lusk Home tours, history talks, and other events.
- Slackline: Tight rope walks are provided at least one or more locations throughout the park.
- Visit: Slackline or Highline at Smith Rock State Park — SmithRock.com | Smith Rock State Park Guide | Smith Rock State Park Oregon
- Horse Riding: Turkey Run State Park offers guided equestrian rides on acres of bridle paths.
- Riders must sign a waiver document, pay for the ride in advance, be at least 8 years old, wear footwear, approach horses only when monitored, feed horses, ride double, dismount only with supervision, space horses, and pass/run horses.
- The ride will be terminated if these regulations are not followed.
- Fees –
$20/rider – for 50 minutes
(Cash or check only)
and $5/child -Pony rides led by parents are provided at the barn for smaller children.
- Operating hours –
April to October – daily 9 am – 5 pm
Winters – Closed
- Camping: Turkey Run State Park features many campsites with electric and water connections, showers, and Electric Campsites that are shaded or sunny. Collectives can use the Youth Tent Camp, and the Camp Shop can assist with the last requirements.
- Turkey Run Camping – Electric Sites
- Features – 213 electric (Class A) campsites, of which 6 are wheelchair accessible.
- Amenities – electrical hookup,
drinking water supply in the area
- Fees –
Sunday to Wednesday: $23
Thursday- Saturday: $30
Weekends – $33
- Youth Tent Camp – There are 2 Youth Tent Camps for
- Features -Non-profit organizations must submit documentation of non-profit status upon arriving.
Tent camping only
- Amenities –
pit toilets (no showers or restrooms)
drinking water supply near the campground
- Fees –
$2/Person – 10 people are required at minimum
- Park’s Ball Court: The Nature Center hosts guided nature and animal treks, Star Shows, Lusk House tours, historical discussions, and other activities. Ball courts are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Note – Because there is no lighting, the courts close at night.
Turkey Run State Park has various eating and snacking choices, including:
- Narrows Restaurant: Narrows Restaurant is situated within the Turkey Run Hotel and provides breakfast, lunch, and supper. Tacos, salads, hamburgers, and entrees such as steak and shellfish are all available on the menu.
- Ice Cream Shop: It serves a wide range of ice cream varieties along with snacks like popcorn and nachos.
- Trailside General Shop: Snacks, beverages, and souvenirs are available at the Trailside General Store
- Camp Store: Located near the campsite, the Camp Shop sells groceries, camping goods, and snacks.
- Turkey Run Inn Coffee Shop: Positioned inside the Turkey Run Inn, the Coffee Shop sells cappuccino, tea, and pastries.
- Nearby Restaurants:
#1 of 2 Restaurants in Marshall
7711 N Warriors Rd
0.8 miles from Turkey Run State Park
#2 of 2 Restaurants in Marshall
1.1 miles from Turkey Run State Park
#1 of 11 Restaurants in Rockville
108 E Ohio St
8.4 miles from Turkey Run State Park
Visitors to Turkey Run State Park can choose from a range of accommodation alternatives, including:
- Camping: Turkey Run State Park includes nearly 200 campsites, including rustic, electric, and full hookup sites.
- Cabins: Turkey Run State Park has 11 cabins available for rent. Every cabin has a kitchen, a living room, and one or two bedrooms.
- Turkey Run Inn is a vintage hotel located within the state park. The Hotel has 57 rooms, each with its own bathroom and air conditioning.
- Turkey Run State Park features two group campgrounds that may be rented. Each group camp has a cafeteria, a canteen, and cabins for up to 96 people.
The park features a variety of amenities, including:
- Campgrounds: There are two campgrounds totaling 213 campsites. Modern facilities such as power and water connections, modern bathrooms and showers, and playgrounds are available at the campgrounds.
- Picnic spots: Several picnic sites around the park are ideal for family gatherings or group vacations. Picnic tables, barbecues, and drinking water are available at these sites.
- Trails: Turkey Run State Park contains more than 11 miles of hiking paths ranging in difficulty. The paths are well-marked and offer a terrific way to enjoy the park’s beautiful splendor.
- The Nature Center is an excellent site to discover the park’s evolutionary biology and fauna. It has interactive displays, a live animal presentation, and educational activities.
- Swimming pool: During the summer season, the park features a swimming pool. The pool has water slides, diving boards, and a snack kiosk.
- Horseback riding: Tourists may enjoy horseback riding on specially built equestrian routes.
- Canoe rentals are available in the park, allowing travelers to explore Sugar Creek, which flows through the park.
- Turkey Run State Park offers an inn and cottages that provide guests with nice overnight alternatives. The inn has a cafeteria and gift shop, and the cabins have kitchens and fireplaces.
Best Time to Visit
- The best time to visit Turkey Run State Park is during the fall and spring seasons, as they have beautiful autumn colors and cooler temperatures.
- Due to hotter months, avoid summer visit.
|Month||Best Time to Visit||Pros||Cons|
|April||Spring Wildflowers||Mild temperatures, wildflowers in bloom||Crowds on weekends, the possibility of rain|
|May||Spring Wildflowers||Mild temperatures, wildflowers in bloom||Crowds on weekends, the possibility of rain|
|June||Summer||Warm temperatures, swimming in Sugar Creek||Crowds on weekends, potential for hot temperatures|
|July||Summer||Warm temperatures, swimming in Sugar Creek||Crowds on weekends, potential for hot temperatures|
|August||Summer||Swimming in Sugar Creek, tubing, kayaking||Crowds on weekends, potential for hot temperatures|
|September||Fall Foliage||Mild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowds||Possibility of rain, some facilities close after Labor Day|
|October||Fall Foliage||Mild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowds||Possibility of rain, some facilities close after Columbus Day|
|November||Fall Foliage||Mild temperatures, fall foliage, fewer crowds||Possibility of rain, some facilities may be closed|
|Month||Best Time to Visit||Pros||Cons|
These are some sites to view while visiting Slide Rock State Park:
- Lieber Cabin: Richard Lieber transported the Lieber Cabin to Turkey Run State Park in 1918, making it Indiana’s oldest of its kind.
- It honors Lieber’s contributions to Indiana State Parks and acts as an emblem of the vast tulip tree woods that provided early American builders.
- Log Church: The Log Church was built in 1871 and was recommitted in 1923. It is still conducted every Sunday at 10 a.m. as a remembrance of forefathers’ religious history. Grab Trail 11 near the Hotel and continue the gravel route up the hill to get there.
- Colonel Lieber Memorial: The Colonel Lieber Memorial is a tribute to Richard Lieber, a benefactor, public servant, and builder of Indiana State Parks.
- Lusk home: The original European immigrants’ Lusk house and mill site at Turkey Run State Park are evidence of early business and ambition. In 1829, Captain Lusk erected a grain mill, and in 1841, he built the Lusk house.
- The renovated mansion is offered for visitors periodically, and there are interpretive plaques outside.
- A vintage kitchen garden, parking area, and pit toilet are located behind the house.
- Narrows Covered Bridge: The Narrows Covered Bridge, built in 1882, is now a pedestrian bridge accessible from Trail 1 and 4 south of Sugar Creek.
- Nature Center: All year long, the Turkey Run State Park Nature Center provides interpretive naturalist services such as walks, planetarium events, historical talks, a junior naturalist program, and nighttime activities.
- Special parties should make a reservation for this complimentary service, which is accessible at the Nature Center, Hotel, and Park Office.
The steps are as follows:
- Contact Turkey Run State Park’s company portal:
- select “Reserve Now.”
- Decide on your chosen arrival and departure dates, your group size, and the kind of lodging you want.
- To view the choices, click “Check Availability.”
- Choose the lodging that best meets your needs and then click “Book Now.”
- Fill in the required details.
- Examine your reservation’s specifics, including the times, places, and costs.
- Click “Confirm Reservation” if everything appears to be in order.
- An email containing the specifics of your reservation will be sent to you as confirmation.
- Click “Confirm Reservation” if this all appears to be in order.
Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
$7 /in-state vehicle; $9/out-of-state vehicle – Daily
$50/ Indiana residents; $70/out-of-state residents – Annual Pass
Rules for Pets
- Pets are permitted in approved in some specific areas of the park.
Specific Rule or Restriction
These are some ground rules to follow when exploring State Park:
- No structure, rock, tree, flower, bird, or wild animal should be injured or damaged. NO branches, shrubs, or trees (dead or living) should be collected for firewood! They MUST be let to stay to replenish the natural humus.
- Except while engaged in an activity approved by written permit, any firearm (excluding legally licensed handguns), BB gun, air gun, CO2 gun, bow, and arrow, or spear gun in possession in a state park must be unloaded or un-nocked and secured in a case or locked within a vehicle.
- Dogs and cats must be kept on a lead no longer than six feet in length and must be supervised at all times.
- It is illegal to sell or advertise without the consent of the Department of Natural Resources.
- Camping is only authorized at the campsite. Adult supervision is required for youth groups.
- Fires must be built only in the designated areas.
- In all-day use areas, please follow the Bring In/Carry Out garbage policy. Overnight visitors must dispose of their trash in the containers supplied.
- Motorists shall follow posted speed limits and park in authorized zones.
- Swimming is restricted to the swimming pool. Sugar Creek does not allow swimming.
- Drinking water should only be obtained from designated pumps, hydrants, or fountains. The quality of this water is verified regularly.
- Please notify the park office of any lost or discovered items.
- All powered vehicles must stay on the paved road. Snowmobiles are not permitted.
- Metal detectors are not permitted.
- The park is closed from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., and nobody is permitted to enter except overnight Hotel guests and campers.
- Please let wild creatures alone. It is forbidden to feed deer. Feeding all wild animals may be harmful to both animals and mankind. Dependent animals are both an annoyance to park guests and a hazard to themselves. Please keep all food and coolers inside automobiles and campsites locked.
- Please keep on the designated trails.
- Prospecting for gold is not authorized.
- With permission, advertising filming, and shooting are permitted. Instructions
- Motorized airborne devices (RC airplanes) should only be used in authorized locations or with permission from property management. Drones are presently not authorized on DNR property.
I’m Ritika Vaishnav a freelance content writer with a passion for creating educational and engaging content on a wide range of topics. I love to travel and write about it.