As Indiana’s second state park, Turkey Run was established in 1916. The story behind its name suggests that local hunters would find herds of wild turkeys gathering in the area’s narrow canyon bottoms—called “runs”—and funnel them out for easy harvesting. The area’s natural history goes back a little father—upwards of 600 million years. It was around this time that the sandstone and coal deposits seen in the park were being formed and compacted in a vast, swampy plain. Fast-forward several million years, and Ice Age meltwaters cut and scoured the creeks, canyons, and potholes seen today. Some of the glacial erratics (boulders) seen in the park are actually pieces of bedrock that were transported from as far north as Canada. Visitors to Turkey Run can explore these unique canyons, enjoy the park’s natural scenery, fish and paddle in Sugar Creek, and see several historic sites.
Located 10 miles north of Rockville, and 70 miles west of Indianapolis, Turkey Run State Park is year-round nature and recreation area covering nearly 2,400 acres along Sugar Creek. The campground at Turkey Run features more than 200 tent and RV sites with electrical hookups, picnic tables and fire pits with cooking grills; some sites are ADA accessible. Most sites are back-in and can accommodate vehicles/trailers up to 45 feet; a few pull-throughs can accommodate larger. All sites have access to drinking water, flush and vault restrooms, and showers; two dump stations are available onsite. There are also two primitive tent camping areas for youth groups, several cabins for rent, and the historic Turkey Run Inn, which offers 61 lodge rooms, a dining room, and meeting spaces. Dogs are permitted in the park, but must remain leashed. Campsites raters are $23–$33/night; other accommodations range from $67–$110/night; reservations accepted.
Besides exploring Turkey Run’s canyon runs, the park offers a variety of hiking trails, picnic areas, and sports courts. The park’s nature center showcases a variety of exhibits and interactive activities to educate visitors about the park’s geology, flora and fauna. Park naturalists offer guided hikes and nature walks, animal talks and campfire programs. Swimming is not permitted in Sugar Creek, but anglers can fish for bass and bluegill, and paddlers can head out in canoes and kayaks. Swimmers are invited to enjoy the park’s Olympic-sized swimming pool for cooling off during the warmer months. The park also offers hayrides and guided horseback rides. For a blast from the past, visitors can also tour the historic Lusk Home. Built in 1841, this restored European home displays a lifestyle from a bygone era. Watch out for the resident raccoons.
The place is beautiful. It is very busy on the weekends. My husband and I walked the rope bridge and climbed the ladders. There was a lot of bottle necking at the ladders, due to all of the foot traffic. I would advise going on a weekday, if possible. I was also disappointed to learn tgat we could not bring our own kayaks. As a whole, we did have a great time and would definitely come back. On a weekday.
Turkey Run has one of the most peaceful campgrounds. It is nestled in the woods, away from big cities and you truly get to enjoy nature. They always have activities for the kids and they have some of the best hiking trails.
Great trails. Not too difficult so definitely beginner friendly. Campsites in the area are also very pleasant, just be sure to book ahead as they fill up fast.
Some sites can be small and it fills quickly. So get there early to get the best sites or make a reservation
Short drive from Chicago (3 hours?) and you are in lush forest. You have to pick the right campsite or you will have no cover and big campers on either side of you. We had two campsites right next to each other and backing into the woods. Went on a fun canoe trip right down the road, which was fun. There is an odd (but fun!) Key West themed bar/resturant very close to the park entrance. The hiking is great in the area near the lodge. I'd go back to the area and maybe try a different loop as we were near the entrance which had a lot of traffic. Well maintained park with very clean bathhouse.
It's a very popular park all the time, not just for the Covered Bridge Festival. Over 200 sites, all electric. Some sections are shady and wooded on winding roads that can make backing in a little challenging. Also lots of sunny pull-thrus. Showers and restrooms are well-maintained and clean. Hiking and climbing in valleys and canyons, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, fishing on Sugar Creek. A relaxing and rewarding trip - great place for Shinrin-yoku.
Turkey Run State Park is a huge campground (over 200 sites) just north of Terre Haute. There are lots of trails that offers hikers plenty of opportunities. Sugar Creek runs through the park for fishing and canoeing. The suspension footbridge across Sugar Creek is cool. Sugar Creek is also great for floating with inner tubes, canoes, or kayaks. There is a stable and a campground store. All sites are electric at Turkey Run. $23 per night. The campground is located in a mature tree woods, do some sites are not as level as others.
Nice state park with access to the river for water activities. Books up way in advance so make reservations early
We love Turkey Run. The campgrounds are clean and fun for all ages. The outer edge campsites provide beautiful views of the woods and are pretty secluded from other sites. The hiking trails are incredible…one of a kind for Indiana. The trails are more like adventures, leading in and out of the creek, up stairs carved into rock, up and down ladders, and across a cable bridge. It’s just beautiful. The facilities are clean, the staff is as nice as can be. You won’t regret staying at Turkey Run.
Campers should know that camping here will provide you with wonderful, shady camping and several hungry raccoons!