Colorful trees along a river in Indiana
A view down a waterway in Indiana’s Turkey Run State Park

Before the Bird

This time next week, we’ll be gearing up for the annual turkey-induced Tryptophan coma that generally hits between the second helping of stuffing and halftime. In preparation, now might be a good time to run, hike, or at least stroll. Our choice for a pre-turkey-day workout and road trip rolled into one: Turkey Run State Park. With the canoeing and horseback riding seasons finished for the year, you’re apt to find plenty of solitude within the 2,382-acre Turkey Run State Park, named for the fine fowl hunting the area once afforded early settlers.

Try the three-mile Big Tree Trail, which offers a moderate-to-rugged path lined with massive black walnut trees and sycamores. En route to the Narrows Covered Bridge over Sugar Creek, you’ll pass the oldest virgin timber cabin in Indiana—Lieber Cabin, built in 1848. Trail No. 3—a steep, up-and-down, 1.7-mile route that follows the cliffs along Sugar Creek—ascends through Bear Hollow and rises through a series of ladders to the ridge top. Hook up with Trail No. 4, and you’ll find yourself between the cavernous walls of Rocky Hollow on the way the park’s suspension bridge. For detailed maps of the park’s 11 trails, click here.

GO Turkey Run State Park, 8121 E. Park Road, Marshall; 765-597-2635,

While you’re in the area: Drive southwest about 40 minutes and you’ll hit Terre Haute, home to the annual Turkey Bowling tournament where, yes, you literally bowl with a frozen turkey for a chance to win all the fixings of a full Thanksgiving dinner. (The entry fee is a donation to the Salvation Army.) The turkey bowl happens on Saturday, November 19, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the outdoor lane set up at 5000 South 7th Street. For more info, click here. The Terre Haute Native American Museum (5170 E. Poplar Dr., Terre Haute, 812-877-6007) in Dobbs Memorial Park is currently hosting the exhibition “The Noble Savage: Native Americans in Advertising.” From 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, the museum will also host its monthly drum and flute circle.

Where to stay: The Sycamore Farm and Inn (5001 E. Poplar Dr., Terre Haute; 812-877-9288, offers four rooms in a converted 1860s farm house and an expansive studio, where local artisans create jewelry and textile works; rates range from $105 to $125 a night. The Pear Tree Inn by Drury (3050 Hwy 41 S., Terre Haute; 812-234-4268, has 64 rooms and offers proximity to Terre Haute’s museums and parks; rates that start at $60 a night.

Where to eat: Harry and Bud’s European Cuisine (1440 S. 25th St., Terre Haute; 812-237-0400, doesn’t have a sign (look for the brick building across the street from the Community Theater) or a menu, but the locals swear by its homemade soups, made-to-order pastas, and off-beat charm. The chef-owned Umi Grill and Sushi Bar (2002 S. Third St., Terre Haute; 812-232-7874, has a menu that features sushi and traditional Japanese dishes, such as broiled freshwater eel.


Photograph: Courtesy of