Scenic USA - Indiana
|Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website
Heavily influenced by the last ice age, Clifty Creek Canyon, four waterfalls and two other major canyons make up highlights of Clifty Falls State Park. Here in southeastern Indiana, the state park covers 1400 regged acres. Fascinated by the park's natural wonders, visitors have enjoyed the park's splendid canyons and waterfalls since 1920.
One of the first parks to feature naturalist programs, guests may still be able to spot squid fossils, brachiopods and ancient corals in the creek beds. Over 12 miles of trails wind in and out of the canyon, tagged as moderately rugged to very rugged. The main Clifty Creek Canyon runs the length of the park, dropping hundreds of feet before it meets the nearby Ohio River.
Clifty Falls varies from a roaring falls to a delicate veil depending on the season. Easily seen from an overlook that's hidden under a huge rock ledge, a series of stone steps lead down to an observation walkway; one of the closest viewpoints of the falls. As you can see from this view, even though it's spring there's no guarantee of a heavy water flow.
Once thought to drop more than 200 feet, Clifty Falls is inching its way up the canyon every year. Having moved two miles north of its original position, the falls is now a moderate 60 footer. A descent into the canyon allows hikers to pick their way along the stony creek bed to get a better look at the waterfall. Hoping to see the falls during a full flow, hikers must realize the creekbed may be impassable during high water. Clifty Creek Trail 2 along the canyon floor is considered to be the most rugged trail in Indiana and provides a daring three mile, one way route for hikers.
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