Pine Hills Nature Preserve Trail is a 2.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Waveland, IN that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Take Hwy. 231 south from Lafayette, or take 47 south from Crawfordsville to Hwy. 234; turn right and follow 234. The highway will turn to the north (right) just before the entrance to Shades State Park; keep following it and you will come to the Pine Hills Nature Preserve. You can park south of Deer's Mill covered bridge, or at the new trail head in Shades state park,off trail number 10.
Hidden gem! Almost as majestic a hike as the nearby Turkey Run, but more challenging, and much less trafficked. We hiked in the morning on a Sunday and the place was very quiet and empty, we didn't see anyone else until we headed out. There is a longish hike-in part through some rather unremarkable flat wooded area until you get to the "good stuff" of the Devil's Backbone and Honeycomb rock, but it's worth the fuss. There is a fair amount of scrambling so wear good shoes, but doable for anyone in decent health.
This place is a gem with its babbling brook and sandstone walls.
A great Indiana trail. My son and I both enjoyed the Devil's Backbone. Nice views and changes in elevation.
Nice, clean, peaceful, scenic hike.
Fantastic Hike! Loved crawling to get up the Devils backbone. Beautiful preserve!
Great views and a hike if you want a short trail. There are no trash cans so be prepared to carry all trash and dog bags.
This is was beautiful and unexpected! Low traffic and peaceful. A great Indiana trail to add to your must do list!
i had seen a picture of the devils backbone on shades state park website, and had to check it out. it did not disappoint and was an awesome sight! we can't wait to take our friends back with us! although they did okay on this visit, we probably would not take our dogs with us next time.
If your at Shades after entering gate turn right and go to far north west parking.Devils Backbone is most technical portion, you need to cross the creek and climb up trail to cross it. It was pouring down on us that always adds a little extra sketchy factor.
Trail is likely 1.8 from the old access. It takes between 1/3 and 1/2 mile at least each way to get to the start from the parking but still a very pleasant hike. Nearly all in shade and a good hike with some climbing (too many stairs and not enough trails) and some pretty amazing rock formations you'd never expect there. My wife isn't much of a hiker and she was able to handle it no problem so likely will be more confident in taking on more challenging and lengthy hikes. Strenuous is over doing it. It isn't very tough. Fun.
A scenic well marked trail. Another guide book put the hike at 2.7 miles. Bring your water shoes and play in the river. One of the best short hikes close to Indy.
The directions need updated - you can no longer park and access this trail from IN-234, you enter Shades State Park. I would have known that if I had read the reviews below first, of course, but I didn't.
This is a very good, fun trail, and I endorse the comments previously made. One thing I wanted to mention though, you will want to bring a stick or pole. I am 63 and in pretty good shape so I don't have much problem with scrambling up and down hills, but I am not as agile as I used to be and there are a couple of places up on the Devil's Backbone that are very high - more than just a long step - and I don't think I could have negotiated them w/o my hiking pole.
This is an excellent, if a little short, trail in Indiana's oldest nature preserve. Access is from Shades State Park. You start off with a short, easy walk from Shades to Pine Hills. Once there you hike on an amazing ridge to a staircase that leads down into the main hiking area. The trail is occasionally hard to discern but this hardly matters because the whole hiking area is down in a bowl or depression. I've been twice and plan to go again. It's worth a visit in every season.
This trail is a blast. I parked by shelter B in Shades State Park and hiked to 1.5mile access trail to the Nature Preserve. That trail is easy to moderate. Then comes the fun. A short walk brings you to a steep staircase down a ravine (about 60 steps) and you can branch right to the loop or go left to the Devils Backbone. If you do the loop, just stay right when you have choices to stay on the trail since it makes a lollipop. The trail has long portions along a creek which would be impassable after heavy rain or in spring melt. There are many extended areas of large boulders to climb over and downed trees to keep the trail interesting. After passing some rocky walls like the slide and the cool Honeycomb Rock you come to Devils Backbone which is a narrow (
Parking for this trail is in Shades State Park. As you enter Shades turn right after gatehouse and follow the signs. A leisurely half mile walk to the Pine Hills Nature Preserve trail head. These woods are filled with broken trees that lean against one another. The breeze makes them creak and moan and talk.
The Pine Hill Trail portion of the trek is wonderful but completely misnamed. Their are only a couple small stands of pine in the whole preserve. The middle third of the trail is fun and interesting and challenging. There are parts that are too risky for very young children. But they are perfect for exciting harder-to-please teenagers.