Clifty Falls 8,3,4,5 Loop

MODERATE 160 reviews
#1 of 4 trails in

Clifty Falls 8,3,4,5 Loop is a 5.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Madison, Indiana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
980 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

cave

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

The park has entrance fee.

hiking
1 month ago

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.

trail running
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

By far my favorite state park for hiking in Indiana!

hiking
2 months ago

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

4 months ago

We did a loop here a couple of days ago and enjoyed the hike but didn't actually make it to the falls. If you want to see the falls, take 8 all the way to the end and 7 to falls overlooks. You can (I think) take 2 along the riverbed to view the falls from below, but with dogs along we were worried about them hurting legs between the rocks. Trail 8 it easy after the initial climb up to the ridge. The other trails are more challenging with lots of stairs and climbs up and down. A fun area, but bring a trail map to keep track of where you are at the many trail junctions.

hiking
4 months ago

Last visited this area 25 years ago. Was much better then because you
could hike along the river gorge and walk right up to the falls. Trail map is poor and markers along the way are largely useless. Map shows Big Clifty visible from both trails 7 and 8,but there is no view from 8 at all. The view from 7 is largely obstructed by trees from the overlook, and the size of the falls can't really be appreciated from above. Very disappointing and there were no park employees around to ask questions of. No park fee though. Won't be back, it's been "improved" too much. Need distance markers to the attractions and not signage strung up on cables over the creeks.

hiking
7 months ago

I have hiked this loop many times. If you have a park map, you have to patch the loop together; To acheive the outer loop, you hike 3,4, and 5. At the end of 5, in order to make it a loop, you have to do a water crossing and scramble up and bank to meet trail 6 (or you can do an additional 1 mile road walk to avoid the crossing). Continue on 6 to 7, then meet up with 8 at the north side of the park. Take 8 all the way along the west side then hook up with 2/3 at the southern end (water crossing). I have measure this to be a 7.5 mile loop. I like this hike because it is very scenic and I can do a quick 7 miles in 2.5 - 3 hours

hiking
7 months ago

I have no idea why they call this the "loop trail". If you get the park map, which you should, youll realize this "loop" shown here is a combination of several separate trails. There is no trail called "loop trail" at the park. Basically there are three main trail segments. Trail 8 goes along the west side of the ravine, trail 2 goes up the middle of the ravine, and trail 7, in combination with other trials, covers the east side of the ravine. I know trail 2 is 5 miles so I dont see how going all the way around could be 5 miles, Im sure its more like 8 at least. These trails are rugged-moderate with several great things to see along the east side. I have not traveled trail 8 (west side) but all the main attractions are found on the east side of the ravine on trails 5-7.

hiking
9 months ago

The falls were nearly dry, but it was a nice walk in the woods.

hiking
11 months ago

this is one of my favorite places to hike. depending on the trail you take this can be a rough hike or very moderate. the falls are just amazing.

Monday, July 03, 2017

this was our first visit to clifty falls and I must say, we very much enjoyed our day! the park is beautiful and well maintained. we started at trail head 8 and followed 8 until it met 1, 2, 3, and 4. we then took trail 1 to the lookout tower, 1 back to 3 and 4 to hoffman falls. after hiking back up the canyon to see hoffman falls, we decided to take the road to tunnel falls. next time we visit clifty falls we will take trail 8 and 2; although we did get an 8.5 miles in!

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

A beautiful cliff-filled hidden gem in Indiana. We started on trail 5 by Tunnel Falls and connected to trail 2 (the creek bed), then followed that to Big Clifty waterfall and back.

Trail 2 is the most difficult trail I've ever taken, because it's not really a trail - it's a mostly dry creek bed full of large rocks and fossils. It's hard to sightsee because you're watching your feet most of the time to avoid spraining your ankles on the boulders. But when you stop for a second, it's really beautiful. Just make sure you come prepared for a long, hard hike.

Big Clifty Falls itself was a little disappointing because it's mostly hidden around a bend and closer access is roped off, no hikers allowed. Climbing the boulders close to it is neat though. Tunnel Falls was a nicer view.

Definitely take the cave tunnel on 5 if it's open - that was a nice cool break from the heat, and worth the detour.

On the way back we missed the turn on to 5 from 2 (it's not well marked, unlike most other trail crossings) and wound up taking 4 out of the canyon instead. Did a total of 6 hard, beautiful miles over about 3 hours.

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

Excellent day of hiking. Trail 2 is a quiet rocky stream-bed journey with countless slow stream crossings. Trail 5 and 4 have some steep climbs to nice views. The Park has a $9 entry fee (exact change required) for out of staters.

hiking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

Trails 5 and 6 do not connect at Tunnel Falls like the map on AllTrails shows. You have to walk in the grass beside the park road from one trail head to the other. The trails used to connect a long time ago but that area is now being rehabilitated.

hiking
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I did a bit more than the loop. I started at the North end of trail 8 and picked up 3 after I crossed the creek. Then I picked up 4 and followed it until it met 5. I chose to walk around the road to pick up 6 and followed that all the way out via 7. Every minute spent on the trail was beautiful! Trail 5 is definitely rugged. The smaller Falls were pretty, plenty of varied landscape. Next hike I'll take trail 2 up to the big Falls.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Love coming here. it's all around great!

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Awesome trails with gorgeous views. Some of the trails were a bit more rugged, had to climb over several fallen trees and trail 8 has a very steep incline, but the majority are fairly simple.
Definitely would recommend and can't wait to go back.

hiking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Awesome place with a lot of different trails.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

had a blast with my friends here! the views were breath taking and worth every minute

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Take at least 2 liters of water - 3 would be better! The rocks near the base of Hoffman Falls are a nice place to eat lunch. Strenuous and beautiful hike!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Great trails!! Went hiking here today! Loved it!

hiking
Monday, March 27, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Beautiful bedrocks and fossils!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Indiana has little to offer in the way of actual hiking and this may be yer best bet in the way of actual trails and semi burly terrain. Enjoi the most austere views and cascading water of the falls. Lovely and close to real shit.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Loved this trail!!! Very rugged.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Awesome views not a lot of signage nice cave and outcropping very rugged and slippery

hiking
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Lots of trails to explore that include several nice waterfalls.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

Great trail and area to hike! I would definitely call this a hard trail, especially if you get up into any of the creek beds to view the fall base. Lots of elevation changes and rough terrain. The tunnel is definitely worth it if it is open, but you WILL need light to go through it.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

My 18 yr old and I did trail 8 to trail 2 all the way to waterfall and back to trail 8. I would classify it as Hard. We went early and no one else was there and we went to bottom of falls(even though not supposed to). Very good exercise doing the trail 2 creek walk, tons of rock to creek walk.

hiking
Sunday, July 10, 2016

amazing hike!

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