Turkey Run Hiking

Hiking through the lush forests and overgrown ravines of Turkey Run, you’ll find yourself surrounded by Indiana’s best hiking trails. Turkey Run hiking is some of the best hiking in Indiana. It can be easy or hard depending on your preference! With such diverse landscapes like Mansfield sandstone cliffs, deep canyons or a rushing waterfall, it’s hard to get bored! Whether you’re looking for an easy hike through the woods or an adventurous, rugged hiking trail, you’ll find it at Turkey Run.

There are 14 miles of hiking trails spread throughout the park. Many of the trails can become flooded or otherwise impassible due to water. Waterproof hiking boots are highly recommended by someone who found out firsthand just how quickly your feet can get wet on these awesome trails. The rock is slippery when wet and some of the trails require walking on the rock in narrow areas.

Here’s a rundown of the hiking trails Turkey Run offers.

Turkey Run State Park Trails

Trail 1

Nicknamed the Big Tree Trail for the vast black walnut trees you’ll find along it, this 2 mile trail is tranquil, though slightly rugged.

Trail 2

A fun hike letting you walk the edge of the sandstone cliffs and adventure through wetlands, known as riparian areas, near Sugar Creek Trail 2 takes you through Box Canyon and Gypsy Gulch.

Turkey Run Hiking Trail 3

Better known as The Ladder Trail. This trail is my favorite trail in all of Turkey Run. Trail 3 clocks in at just under 2 miles, but there’s no shortage of things to see along the way. You’ll pass by the Ice Box, a visitor favorite and traverse your way through two hollows (Rocky and Bear) where the the cliff walls rise high around you. Along the trail, you’ll encounter 3 ladders which will bring you back up to the cliff tops. You’ll have a chance to Wedge Rock, a huge chunk of rock that looks like it’s defying physics at the angle it rests.

Wedge Rock
Source: TurkeyRunStatePark.com

Trail 3 also features a waterfall, which you’ll find in the area named the Punch Bowl. And also a big suspension bridge.

Punch Bowl
waterfall in punchbowl formed in sandstone cliffs
Waterfall in the Punch Bowl
Source: Michfun.com

Many areas of this trail are prone to flooding and can be impassable at times. Other times they can just be very wet, and waterproof boots are highly recommended as you may be walking through (or slip!) into some water.

Trail 4

Trail 4 will have you hiking through a small valley and passes an older coal mine. You’ll be led along Sugar Creek to a covered bridge, and up to the Lusk Home. A pit toilet is available behind the home. The end of the trail takes you Rocky Hollow and returns you to the suspension bridge.

Trail 5

Turkey Run Trail 5 is a 0.7 mile wooded trail that contains a lot of steps. 140 steps to be exact. It connects to trail 3 at the ladders.

Trail 6

Another trail that may become impassible with high water. This half mile loop trail leads you through Turkey Run Hollow. In the hollow, cliffs rise around you, gently curving and leading you through the hollow. You’ll also have a stream crossing where stepping stones will help you out.

Trail 7

Trail 7 forms a 0.7 mile loop though wooded areas. If you want an overhead view of Sugar Creek, this is where you’ll see it.

Turkey Run Hiking Trail 8

A serene trail that takes you along a small creek. The creek you’ll follow is not Sugar Creek. You can access Trail 8 via Trail 4 in multiple places. One way is to park in the lot near Newby Gulch shelter, and follow trail 1 or 2 towards the suspension bridge. Once you cross the bridge, you’ll be at Trail 4 and can pick up Trail 8 at the old coal mine.

Trail 9

The most rugged hiking trail in Turkey Run State Park. You’ll hike through both Falls Canyon and Boulder Canyon. Boulder Canyon features a waterfall and some rock scrambling where you’ll also climb steps created from the boulders.

Trail 10

One of the best Turkey Run hiking trails to see unique rock formations. This trail is nearly 1.5 miles and leads you to Camel’s Back where you’ll get awesome views of the surrounding scenery. You’ll encounter Crevice Rock, a formation that looks like it’s tipping over and houses a staircase inside it’s crevice.

Trail 11

This short 0.5 hike is an easy stroll from Turkey Run Inn to the Lieber Memorial and Log Church.

Turkey Run Trail Map

The official DNR issued Turkey Run Trail Map. It features trails, shelters, and campgrounds along with short trail descriptions and lengths.

Indiana Backpacking Trails

Scenic Hikes in Midwest National Parks

Avoiding Ticks While Hiking

Hiking Checklist + Free Printable PDF