A trail in Parke County's Turkey Run State Park
A trail in Parke County’s Turkey Run State Park

Gobble It Up

Whatever your mode of transport—canoe, horse, or foot—the cliffs and canyons of Turkey Run State Park offer a weekend’s worth of adventure. The are 11 trails winding though 14 miles, offering a diversity of views as they make their way up wooden ladders, under rock ledges, into forests and ravines, and alongside Sugar Creek. The terrain ranges from rugged (a 1.7-mile trek up and down ladders that take you between the high walls of Rocky and Bear Hollows) to moderate (a meandering stroll through virgin woods and stands of hemlocks). If you prefer to remain afloat as opposed to on foot, canoes and kayaks are available to rent at Sugar Valley Canoe Trips (sugarvalleycanoes.com); paddlers can take the creek through Turkey Run and nearby Shades State Park. For equine exploration on the bridle trails, contact the park’s saddle barn (765-597-2280), which offers guided tours by horse from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

GO Turkey Run State Park, 8121 E. Park Rd., Marshall, Indiana, 765-597-2635, in.gov/dnr/parklake/2964.htm.

While you’re in the area: With dozens of historic covered bridges, Parke County lays claim to the title of Covered Bridge Capital of the World. At the Covered Bridge Art Gallery (124 W. Ohio St., Rockville, 765-569-9422), you’ll find an array of art forms (paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, baskets) created by local artists.

Where to stay: The Turkey Run Inn (8102 E. Park Rd., Marshall, 877-563-4371, website here) is about as convenient to the park as you can get (it’s actually inside of it) and offers a variety of guest rooms and cabins; rates are $77 to $174 a night. The Mansfield Inn (6233 S. Mill Rd., Mansfield, 812-877-9831, mansfieldrestoration.com) has five guest rooms and an on-the-premises juried folk art gallery for guests to peruse; nightly rates range from $55 to $65.

Where to eat: Dining options are fairly limited in this corner of small town-Indiana, but the Narrows Restaurant at the Turkey Run Inn (see address above) has a substantial buffet for both dinner and lunch. If you’re willing to drive to Crawfordsville (about 25 miles from Marshall), options open up. Try the Creekside Lodge (613 Lafayette Ave., Crawfordsville, 765-361-0300) for steakhouse fare with outdoor, creek-view seating options.


Photograph: Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources