Best of Indiana: Hiking Trails

(TURKEY RUN) – Indiana Tourism is continuing their successful and fun campaign “Best of Indiana.” 

Last year they held a vote for Best State Park and Most Intagrammable Location. Turkey Run finished first in State Parks and third in Intagrammable location. Right now there is a vote for best hike in Indiana. Turkey Run and Shades both have two trails on the list.

We all know every trail at both parks is worthy of being on the list, however other places in the state deserve love too. Each device is allowed 5 votes a day so that means if you have a smart phone and a computer, you could have 10 votes a day. I hope all of you will vote for Turkey Run and Shades at

Speaking of hiking trails, Emily Monticue’s picture of her son at Turkey Run State Park took first place in the Activities category in the America’s State Parks 2019 Photo Contest. Emily finished first out of 9,000 images in the America’s State Parks 2019 Annual Activities Category. The winning photograph is below.

Turkey Run

Upcoming Events:

Every Thursday and Friday in September from 2-5 p.m. Stop, Look Paint (Turkey Run)

Christel Gutelius will be painting locations within Turkey Run State Park. Stop by and watch, ask questions, and even join in on the painting. Christel will have a few easels with canvas and art supplies for those that choose to join her. She will be focusing on natural landscapes that include man-made elements. Gutelius will be set up at Sunset Point (located just behind the Turkey Run Inn). Christel was a Hoosier Women Artist recipient in 2018 chosen by the Indiana Arts Commission. She has also won awards at the 2018 Parke and Vigo county Fairs. This program was made possible by the Arts in the Parks grant program through the Indiana Arts Commission.

Sept. 28 – 8 p.m. & 9 p.m. Lusk Home Candlelight Tour (Turkey Run)

Hear about Turkey Run’s first stewards while touring their historic home. Registration is required. Candles will be provided. Tour includes two flights of stairs. $2 per person must be paid in person at the Turkey Run State Park Nature Center by 5 p.m. day of tour.

8 p.m. tour

9 p.m. tour 

Oct. 5 – 8-10 p.m. Park After Dark (Shades

Indiana’s darkest night sky can be found at Shades State Park. Enjoy this unique resource and experience the darkness and the wildlife that live in it. Event will take place on trail 1, Hickory Shelter, and by the Pond. Activities include: stargazing, owl calls, watching bats, listening to frogs, learning about lightening bugs, searching for spiders, and testing your senses! Park entrance fee will apply.

Oct. 11 – 8-9 p.m. Full Moon: Shades of Shades Stroll (Shades)

Hear the stories that earned Shades State Park its original name, “The Shades of Death”. Stories include: Moses’ Murder, Milton’s Treachery, and The Mad Hermit of Pine Hills. Content may not be appropriate for children under 12 years old. Meet at the Hickory Shelter for this 1 hour easy stroll along Trail 1. Hiking boots required and a red flashlight is preferred.

Oct. 25 – All Day Halloween Camping Weekend (Turkey Run)

Have a scary good time at Turkey Run. Join us daytime activities and night time ones too. In the afternoon folks camping will be able to Trick-or-Treat in the campground. In the evening, the annual Monster Egg Hunt will take place. Bring a flashlight and a sack for your eggs! Activities for all ages. Campsite decorating contest will be going on over the weekend as well.

Nov. 9 – 6:30-8 p.m. Almost Full Moon Hike (Shades)

Explore Shades with a Naturalist guided hike of Trail 7. Hike will traverse a Kickapoo ravine, and will be ~1 mile in length. Hiking boots required and a red flashlight is preferred. Meet at the Hickory Parking Lot. Rugged night hikes are not suitable for children under the age of 10.

Nov. 16 – 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Lusk Pioneer Legacy Weekend (Turkey Run)

The Lusk Family left a lasting impact on Turkey Run and their decisions led to the State Park being formed. See what they left behind, explore their legacy, and experience a bit of the 1800s.

10 a.m.- noon Guided hike to the Coal Mine and Earth Fill: 2 hour moderate hike to two locations created by the Lusk Family. Involves stairs and begins at the Nature Center.

2:30 – 4 p.m. Tour of Lusk Home and Mill Site: Participants will be bused over and back from the Inn entrance. Guided tour of the Lusk Family’s 2 story 1841 brick home. Involves stairs.

4-5 p.m. Whiskey Tasting and hor d’oeuvres on the Narrows Covered Bridge: History of Covered Bridges in Parke County and the food/drink connection to the Lusk Family.

6-7 p.m. Pioneer inspired Dinner in the Turkey Run Inn: Dishes inspired by 1800’s recipes.

7:30-9 p.m. 1800’s Style Dancing with Caller: Cash bar available. Enjoy a drink and the music. No need to know how to dance, our caller will help everyone enjoy the evening.

All of the above programs and two nights at the Turkey Run Inn for $296.54.

$47 per person with no lodging at the Turkey Run Inn.