Rocky Hollow Reopens at Turkey Run State Park

(MARSHALL) – The new route through Rocky Hollow provides a clear path built with native creek gravel and established stone stream crossings. Rock cribbing and trail armoring with large native sandstone rocks have been added to control erosion. Rogue social trails to the bases of the canyon walls have been blocked and replanted with native species. 

Signs have been installed reminding hikers to stay on the trail and protect the integrity of the canyon’s beauty. A new boardwalk has been constructed at the entrance to the canyon. 

The trail is one of the most heavily used in Indiana State Parks. It serves as a gateway to the Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Nature Preserve, which contains relict populations of rare native species. The trail’s conditions are ideal for lichens, mosses, and liverworts, as well as ferns and native hemlocks. This fragile canyon ecosystem had been threatened by lack of a clear trail tread and social trails up to the canyon walls.

The work, completed by Spectrum Trail Design in partnership with staff from the DNR divisions of State Parks and Nature Preserves, required months of planning and the tricky lowering of several pieces of trail building equipment into the canyon with a crane. As much as possible, stone and other trail-building materials used were from the canyon itself or of the same geological structure. 

Park staff expect hikers to use the new trail route through Rocky Hollow and to avoid the temptation to create new rogue trails. Staff will be in the canyon on busy hiking days to talk with guests about the trail and the uniqueness of the site.

Funding for the project was provided by DNR’s divisions of State Parks and Nature Preserves with the support of a generous grant from REI through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation.

Rocky Hollow
Rocky Hollow

Upcoming Events:

July 4 – 2:30 to 4 p.m. Lusk Open House at Turkey Run State Park

Explore the Lusk home at your own pace. Naturalists will be inside to answer your questions about the family and the house. The Lusk Home is located on the eastern side of the park. Hike out on trial 1 or 4 or even park in the Lusk parking lot.

July 13 – 10 p.m. to midnight, Almost Full Moon Hike at Shades State Park

Explore Shades with a Naturalist guided hike of Trail 5. The hike will traverse Kintz Ravine and will be ~1 mile in length. Hiking boots required and a red flashlight is preferred. Meet at the Hickory Parking Lot. Participants must be able to lift their knee to a 90-degree angle. Rugged night hikes are not suitable for children under the age of 10

July 20 – 11 a.m. to noon What the Hellbender? at Turkey Run State Park

Learn about Indiana’s largest salamander, get slimed, and find out what you can do to help this endangered species. Come to the amphitheater for this family-friendly program

July 27 – Pioneer Heritage Festival at Turkey Run State Park

Get in touch with Indiana’s pioneer heritage. Explore the historic Lusk Home built in 1841 by Turkey Run’s first stewards, visit the Lusk Mill site, and try your hand at pioneer activities. Special Event Programs listed below:

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Pioneer Life: Make It & Take It

Experience the life and times of folks who lived on the frontier during the early 1800s. Dip candles, use a crosscut saw, create corn husk dolls and MORE.  $1/person. Nature Center.

3 to 4 p.m. Lusk Open House

Explore the Lusk home at your own pace. Naturalists will be inside to answer your questions about the family and the house. The Lusk Home is located on the eastern side of the park. Hike out on trial 1 or 4 or even park in the Lusk parking lot. Free-will donations gladly accepted for future restoration projects.

8 p.m. Sounds That Scared the Pioneers

Indiana was still being settled in the 1800s. Hear the noises and find out about the nocturnal animals that were keeping settlers up at night. Bring a chair or use the wood seats at the Amphitheater.

August 9 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Turkey Takeover at the Indiana State Fair (Indianapolis)

Visit the Indiana State Fair to see the Turkey Run/Shades Naturalists. They will be talking about Snakes at 10 a.m., staffing the DNR building all day, and talking with folks on the front porch from noon to 1 p.m. Hope to see you there.

August 17 – 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Full-ish Moon Hike at Shades State Park

Explore Shades with a Naturalist guided hike of Trail 2. The hike will traverse Pearl Ravine, Maidenhair Falls, and will be ~1.25 mile in length. Hiking boots required and a red flashlight is preferred. Meet at the Pond Parking Lot (located near the Dell Shelter). Participants must be able to lift their knee to a 90-degree angle. Rugged night hikes are not suitable for children under the age of 10.