Clifty Falls State Park - Madison, Indiana - State Park with Picnic Areas, a Nature Center, Campgrounds and an Inn
Clifty Falls and its canyon, products of the Ice Age like the nearby Ohio River, are features of erosion. The park is home to fossilized remains of ancient marine life and 425 million-year-old hales and limestone, which are among the oldest bedrock exposures in the state of Indiana. The park, just 46 miles northeast of Louisville, Kentucky, which originally consisted of 617 acres, more than doubled its size in 1965 with acquisition of bordering land from the Madison State Hospital. Between 2003 and 2004, 425,506 people visited Clifty Falls State Park.
Within the parklands are four major waterfalls amid many minor ones. The major falls are Big Clifty Falls and Little Clifty Falls, each 60 feet, Hoffman Falls at 78 feet, and Tunnel Falls at a whopping 83 feet. From the general level of the county at the lip of Clifty Falls, the plunge into the creek below is more than 70 feet; and along almost three miles of canyon, Clifty Creek falls off another 250 feet to the Ohio River.
Visitors to Clifty Falls State Park can hike the trails covering 1,416 acres of land. Following a loop hike across five different park trails, one can experience the best of the park. There are picnic areas with picnic shelters and a nature center that includes nature programs. Camping is allowed within the park at designated sites. Within campgrounds there are flushing toilets, showers and a dump station. There is also a youth group camping capacity. The campgrounds offer both RV and tent sites. Accommodations at Clifty Falls Inn, a lodging facility consisting of 63 rooms, offer guests access to a state-of-the-art indoor swimming pool and spa, tennis courts and a restaurant featuring down home cooking. All rooms at the inn include an iron with ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator. Wireless access is available for a fee.
Tourists who have visited the state park recommend staying at the Inn, which offers a panoramic view of the city of Madison and the Ohio River Valley. However, people were also satisfied with the campsites at Clifty Falls and suggest that budget travelers take advantage of the low cost of camping out. The park is also host to locals who visit multiple times per week for hiking purposes, and who bring their children along to enjoy the park's nature center. While some visitors were surprised that there was an admission charge for entrance into the park they found the cost to be well worth it.
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