Clifty Falls – Indiana’s Natural Wonder

Back in September, the family and I took a camping trip to Clifty Falls State Park, near Madison, Indiana.  It’s not one of Indiana’s bigger state parks, but it is huge on features, especially if you like creeks, fossils, canyons, and waterfalls.  There are numerous waterfalls within it’s 1500 acres, a tunnel that was dug in the 1800s for a proposed railroad that never happened (currently closed to safeguard the bats), and a creek bed littered with 400 million year old marine fossils.  Clifty Falls is a geologic wonder.  The park also has an Inn overlooking the Ohio River, a nature center, large campground, swimming pool, and 10 hiking trails.  Of those trails, Trail 2 is possibly the most scenic (and rugged) in Indiana.  It follows Clifty Creek from just below the fire tower up on the hill, through forested hills and into Clifty canyon, culminating just short of the Clifty Falls themselves.  There are also small tributaries that lead up to other waterfalls as well.  The trail is littered with fossils and boulders that give you a sense of awe.  During times of high water, trail 2 is impassable, but our hike was during a dry period, with the creek being extremely low.  This made for low waterfall flows, but a great hike regardless.

Park website:

Extended video of our hike:

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2 thoughts on “Clifty Falls – Indiana’s Natural Wonder

  1. We love Cliffy Falls SP and have hiked there several times. I’d also recommend trail 8, on the west side of the gorge, it get very little traffic (at least when we’ve hiked it) compared to the east side trails and also allows you to make a 6+ mile loop hike to add some adventure and challenge something most would not expect from a smaller park that close to “civilization.”

    It is close enough to Cincinnati to make it a great day hiking destination, as well. Madison is a nice and scenic little river town, too, like something out of a Norman Rockwell print.

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