Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park is located in west central Indiana on State Road 47 two miles east of U.S. Highway 41. The park and the Inn are open year-round. This State Park is one of the most popular in the state and can be very crowded on summer weekends and especially around holidays like the 4th of July.
The state founded its park system in 1916, that same year they purchased Turkey Run, making it Indiana's second state park. The region of and around the park is known for its population of wild turkeys, and many believe the park got its name when the turkeys would head to the canyons during the winter to shield themselves from the cold, then pioneer hunters would use the canyons as funnels, and chase the turkeys for an easy catch. The area was also used for a mill and coal mining for a time.
Turkey Run is most famous for its beautiful sandstone cliffs and canyons. Mansfield sandstone was carved over time by eroding glacial waters. Gravel and glacial erratics from Canada are found throughout the canyons, having been carried down through ancient rivers to the area. Sugar Creek runs through the area, which shares itself with Shades State Park as well.
Flora and fauna
Deer, beaver, pileated woodpeckers, turkey vultures, small mammals and reptiles are all found throughout the park.
Hemlock, walnut, and sycamores dwarf over the forest, while moss and ferns thrive in their shadows.
Located west of the capital Indianapolis, winters and summers are moderate, and the park tends to attract high precipitation in some areas, however, due to heavy shading most of the park remains cool in temperature during warm months. Spring and fall are pleasant. Summer is the most popular time, especially during holiday weekends.
I-74 is just north of the park, heading east-west from Indianapolis to Danville. Head south through Crawfordsville onto IN-47 and head into the park area. From east, you can head west on US-36 to US 41 north, into the park area.
Basic gate fees
A car is your best bet into the park, however, walking, biking or horseback riding get you to the natural sites.
The countless trails and activities make this one of the states most popular outdoor attractions.
The campground entrance is located about half a mile West of the main entrance to the park. Once in the campground, you follow a short trail to get to the main area of the park.
The Turkey Run Campground has 213 electric (class A) campsites. Each campsite has a picnic table, electric hookup, parking area for 1 vehicle, and a fire ring. Water spigots (with potable water)are spread around the area. Three modern restrooms/showers and four pit toilets are shared by the campsites.
A camp store is available near the entrance for basics like ice and firewood, though those can usually be found slightly cheaper in private establishments along the road outside the park.
Many of the sites here are not very secluded and some are close enough to the road for the sound of passing traffic to keep you up at night. The campground is usually full on popular summer weekends like Labor Day and the 4th of July.