Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Clifty Falls State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a great 'loop' (more or less) hike for those who want to spend a few hours on the trail. It takes you from the top of the valley, down to the creek below, across, back up, back down to the creek and then back up again to where you started. Some areas were muddy with the recent rain, but that's to be expected. A very nice loop that lets you see a lot of what makes Clifty so great. Waterfalls, overlooks, the tunnel and the Clifty Canyon.

Fun trail to the waterfall

Just a great trail with views and varied scenery.

Great hike, but more rugged than advertised. The rocks were slippery and the slopes steep. We had a toddler and a baby and had to be very careful.

15 days ago

The cave is closed until end of April. I feel like this trail was just as enjoyable without the cave experience! Good elevation and cliff views. My 13 year old and I liked this trail and the waterfall views a lot.

Cautionary notes - I wouldn’t bring my 5 year old here quite yet because of the cliff faces among the trail. So many leaves on stairs and things that I wouldn’t want to hike this trail just after rain.

excellent trail with varied scenery. Falls were nice. well laid out easy to follow. I would hike counterclockwise.

excellent views. good elevation changes. my 10 year old likes this trail.

I hiked Trail 5, including the spur off to Clifty Creek, which is worth the climb back up. Then connected to Trail 4 to Hoffman Falls, and back to the starting point of Trail 5.

The trail started at Tunnel Falls which is gorgeous and ends at Hoffman Falls, which is equally as pretty. The creek and old railroad tunnel/cave make for some interesting waypoints. Lots of tiny little waterfalls along the trail that drop into the canyon below, which you just walk right over.

Would not recommend this trail after a rain.

We chose this place randomly as a day trip. Three relatively active women and myself got there around 12:30 and set out on one of the trails (8). We were prepared to explore all day, with snacks, water and appropriate clothes. We did a lot of stopping and climbing and looking at the picture of the map when we got to a place where trails split.

In the end, it took us until 5:30 to finish the entire loop and see all the water falls. I wouldn't call any of it particularly rugged (maybe by Indiana standards), but there were two slippery, sock soaking stream crossings so wear wool socks and waterproof boots if you can. We covered 8 miles total.

All in all, it was a great day. Had dinner in the cute downtown area of Madison afterwards.

Trails are great with awesome views. Highly recommended.

great trail, better take a snack it's an all day trail.

Hiked this trail with my 12 year old nephew and he handled it just fine. There is some minor elevation gain but it is overcome quickly.

So hard!!!! Not easy! Who classified these trails? Take a walking stick or two or three! Nice scenery.

Takes you to see 2-3 waterfalls. 1 only moves water when it gets a lot of rain. Trail 7 has 2 different legs: a rugged trail that takes you through a creek bed and down some pretty steep rocks, and the moderate: bypasses a lot of that, but you climb a lot of stairs. Love this trail, the scenery is beautiful

6 months ago

A nice hike. Pretty crowded.

Totally loved these trails. My husband and I did these trails along with trail 2 which took us about 6 hrs to enjoy. Parts of these trail were a little rough. I didn't bring mine this hike, but a pair of trekking sticks or a staff would have been helpful. Areas of the trails got close to bluffs and would have just made me feel a little more secure on the trail.

Nice quick trail before leaving the park. Wouldn’t rate it as easy for us retirees, but much easier than our trip on Trail 8 and 2 yesterday!

This trail is not easy. It is very rugged with lots of climbing over rocks and tree roots, and very steep, slippery inclines as well as declines. That being stated, it was a very rewarding hike. There are fantastic views of the canyon, waterfall, and it crosses the creekbed. We did this hike the day after some heavy rainfall so the creekbed and falls were flowing freely.
I would recommend this hike for avid rugged trail fans. It was difficult for my 3 year old to manage and I packed him through most of it. I was worried about my footing the majority of the time, so I wouldn't recommend packing a toddler or preschooler through it.

I also followed previous hikers recommendations to carry the trail map with me. There are multiple trails that intersect throughout the Clifty Falls park and it can be a bit confusing even with a map.

I'm an avid hiker/explorer and this place is a blast! Make sure you have atleast a full day to enjoy this magical place!


This park is very well maintained and the trails are well marked! We couldn’t record our hike because my phone battery is not stellar, but we hiked 7.6 miles with a combination of 8, 1, 5, 4, & 7. It was a super hot day and we were pleased to find that the Nature Center on the south end of the park is air conditioned with a lovely bird viewing room. We saw all of the falls but I think Tunnel Falls was the best! I liked Little Clifty Falls as well. When the map says the trail is rugged, they’re not kidding. The ruggedness is a great challenge, but be prepared to climb up and down on rock and roots quite a bit. Also, people who are afraid of heights should maybe stay on trail 2, because there are many drop-offs next to the trails up on the ridge. Overall we had a challenging, but rewarding, day in the outdoors!

Loved trail 5. Tunnel Falls was my favorite waterfalls of the day, Caution on the rocks leading up to the tunnel as they are slick. The tunnel is closed to foot traffic from fall to spring. Trail 5 goes around the tunnel also. South end of trail has a 153 step staircase that will give you a great quad workout. There is also a leg of the trail to take you to the creek.

8 months ago

Nice trail. Wish I could have been there after a recent rain.

Love the creek trail all the way up to the falls!

hike this trail yesterday after the storms with my 12 year old, 8 year old along with our lab. they love walking over the bridge since the Falls was rushing pretty good. a nice little stroll to take after dinner!

Went hiking here and was first disappointing because there was hardly any water at the falls. We left to get something to eat and it had rained really hard. Went back later to trail 5 at tunnel falls and was just looking at it with a little bit of water flowing. Then out of nowhere I heard a loud noise and water from the creek started roaring down the falls. It was amazing and breathtaking. The falls became powerful in a matter of seconds. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen! You have to see the falls after a good storm to really appreciate it.

Great trails. Well maintained. The bridges, wooden stairs, and decking were in good repair. Portions of the trail were muddy even on a dry day so be prepared. The scenery is beautiful.

One issue I had with the park was that trail signs are inconsistent. They will provide info for hikers going in one direction but not the reverse.

Now as for Alltrails map, there is a problem with the route. It seems recent improvements and restrictions make the loop as drawn impossible. On the east side of the loop the trail route shows the trail crossing a creek (it's about 1/3 of the way down the east side). The park has put up fencing and signs to prohibit hikers from crossing because it is right above a really precipitous waterfall. The fencing isn't too prohibitive and the trail is still visible with stepping stone across the water. If you obey the signs, you'd have to follow the road, which would add significantly to the distance.

The only thing that makes this hike moderate is the elevation change as the trails are well maintained. I jogged when I could and with some side trails and taking pics, I did this 5 mile loop in 6.3 miles and 1.75 hours.

By far my favorite state park for hiking in Indiana!

Hiked close to 5 hrs and 7 miles of very hard, rugged terrain with lots of steps and hills, but a absolutely beautiful hike. We did trails 2,3,4,5 and 7 and saw some amazing views (pictures don’t do it justice). Walking the creek bed was our favorite (even though you get wet) and the hardest! Favorite hike so far and another one off the bucket list

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pretty views of Clifty Falls. Lots of steps and stairs. We did it in conjunction with other trails to makea longer hike. Bring a trail map! The trails intersect frequently.

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