I am still surprised that Jess and I never explored McCormick’s Creek State Park while we were attending Indiana University. I mean we found some hidden gems like Bean Blossom Bottoms Nature Preserve and drove clear to Shades State Park, but we never made it to this beautiful state park that was only 20 minutes from the dorms.
I was majorly in need of a hiking fix this past Saturday. While Niko and I have walked over 40 miles since the first of the year as part of our 365 Mile Challenge, I had not managed to get a single hike in for my 2018 52 Hike Challenge. So even though the forecast was calling for rain all day, I decided to finally explore McCormick’s Creek State Park. It was so peaceful hiking in the light rain. It felt like the squirrels and I were the only ones in the park. I never saw another person while on the trails.
McCormick’s Creek was Indiana’s first state park, it was dedicated on July 4, 1916. There are 10.7 miles of hiking trails in the park. Some of the main attractions in the park are Wolf Cave, Twin Bridges, and the Falls. I had initially planned to do Trails 5, 10, 4 and 3 to see those plus the quarry and fire tower, but due to the rain and lower temperatures (40s) I decided to avoid the slick stairs and just hiked Trails 5 and 4.
Trail 5 is a 2 mile loop that takes you around Wolf Cave and Twin Bridges. It has multiple creek crossings, a couple hills, and wanders past some sinkholes.
Wolf Cave was created by the acid in water eating away at the limestone.
Visitors can actually crawl through Wolf Cave, but I decided to follow the trail around to Twin Bridges on the other side as I am not a fan of spiders and can only imagine the number that must live in that cave.
Twin Bridges was actually a cavern of Wolf Cave, but portions of the roof collapsed leaving behind “bridges”.
Trail 4 starts from the Canyon Inn parking lot.
I stopped to check the Inn out and buy a couple postcards.
I loved Trail 4; it’s not challenging, but it was very peaceful and pretty. Part of the trail runs through a ravine along a creek.
The trail also goes to the park’s Fire Tower. I didn’t climb the tower because of the rain.
I will definitely return to McCormick’s Creek State Park. I still want to do Trails 2, 3, 9, and 10.