trail running

kid friendly


nature trips


dogs on leash



wild flowers

Shades State Park is that peaceful place you've been looking for. Located about 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville (off S.R. 47), it is a favorite for hikers and canoeists. The beautiful sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek and numerous shady ravines provide the backdrop for your journey through this nature lover's paradise. Adjacent Pine Hills Nature Preserve affords spectacular topography for those willing to take a fairly long hike.

I enjoyed my time on this hike but had expectations for it to be a little more difficult. It is considered the most rugged hike that the park has. I only saw one family of two adults and two teenagers on my journey. Has some very nice views and lots of stairs. I wouldn't might going back.

11 days ago

17 days ago

Hidden gem! Scenic forest, cliffs, stream. Lots of stairs. Extremely steep drop offs on Turkey Backbone and Devils Backbone. Like, if you misstep or lose your balance you will die. Legit. Be very attentive to children.

Great trail to hike! I was amazed by the views this trail had to offer especially for being in Indiana.

on Trail #5

1 month ago

Definitely had a Jurassic Park feel to it, love the terrain and plant diversity. Definitely recommend!

on Trail #10

1 month ago

Great to have a trail connect the park and the nature preserve!

1 month ago

Really enjoyed Devil's Backbone, great payoff even if it was just a short part of the trail. Really fun, and you can easily loop back and do it again :)

1 month ago

Listed here as EASY. Park guide lists as RUGGED (0.875 mi.) Nice loop trail including hike through gently sloped rock streambed of Kickapoo Ravine.

1 month ago

Listed here as EASY. Park guide lists it as RUGGED/VERY RUGGED (1.25miles). As others have recommended, take the trail clockwise, which is to say, go left at the loop start. Steep descent down a couple hundred stair steps. Beautiful trek up Pearl ravine with nice rock/tree overhangs up to Maidenhair Falls (a small 6-8ft fall). A little further out of the ravine and then several series of more easily navigated stairs back to the trailhead. IMO, this is one of the more rugged trails in this part of the state.

love the beauty and serenity of this preserve! The views from Devil's Backbone are spectacular!

i love this quite little trail and camp ground

First time here and hiking for that matter. It was a great day, the park was beautiful. We got there a little late in the day and it was somewhat busy, but not bad for a holiday weekend. I imagine we will be going back.

there are 10 short trails to hike..it is possible to complete in a full day if you are physically fit

great hikes..the only problem is they are short hikes per trail..we did all 10 trails...took all day..beautiful scenery