Legend has it that Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana was named for the numerous turkeys that settled on the floor of the gorges that traverse the park. They huddled for warmth and were easily corralled by neighboring settlers as early as 1916. Turkey Run State park is divided by Sugar Creek. In the remotest areas of the park the creek can only be crossed by a suspension bridge overlooking the deep sandstone gorges with the creek cut along the bottom. The beautiful landscape can be viewed by numerous hiking trails, picnic areas, and bridle paths with horseback riding, camping and canoeing.
By far the biggest allure of the park is the hiking trails. There are 11 hikes that range in length of as little as a half mile to the longest hike up to three miles. The degree of difficulty ranges from easy, moderate, moderate/rugged, rugged and very rugged. All of the trails offer deep canyons with Sandstone cliffs, groves of shaded hemlock and the most picturesque rugged landscape in the state of Indiana.
The park has on site guided horseback riding that can be secured at the Saddle Barn. The park prohibits the use of personal horses.
The park nature center offers history lectures, a naturalist program for youth, and planetarium talks. Groups can request individual programs if they are scheduled in advance by contacting the Nature Center or Park Main Office.
Sugar creek has two public access points for canoeing. The park does not offer the service, but several local liveries offer canoeing, kayaking and tubing. One livery is located at the Bushcreek canoe ramp which is upstream of the park and the other livery is located at Cox Ford Covered Bridge which is located downstream from the park.
The creek also offers ample fishing opportunities for bass, blue gill, and catfish. Fisherman can fish from the shore or boat. A State of Indiana Fishing license is required and can be purchased at
Lodging accommodations offered at Turkey Run State Park are camping with electric, restroom and showers or primitive camping that offers pit toilets, but no restrooms or showers. The campground has a camp store. The park has several choices of cabins that fill up quickly and reservations are suggested. If these are filled, a local outfitter offers choices of cabins that adjoin the park. Turkey Run Inn built in 1919 offers modern conveniences while sitting in the secluded setting of the park. The Inn has over 5,500 square feet of meeting space that can meet any business needs.
Turkey Run State park has an Olympic size swimming pool, on site life guard, open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Certain restrictions apply for small children. While swimming in the pool is encouraged, swimming in Sugar Creek is strictly prohibited as the currents, underwater rocks and debris can be extremely dangerous.
The park rules are clearly displayed and strictly enforced. Any visitor deliberately breaking the rules will be escorted from the park. Turkey Run State Park is located at 8121 East Park Rd, Marshall, Indiana. Phone (765) 597-2635.
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