Pine Hills Nature Preserve Trail [CLOSED]

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(178)
Shades State Park

Pine Hills Nature Preserve Trail is a 2.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Waveland, Indiana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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.

Distance: 2.7 miles Elevation Gain: 200 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

forest

river

waterfall

closed

Users have reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. 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.

hiking
muddy
5 days ago

Very unique terrain for Indiana. Beautiful state park and nice little hike.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s closed as is most all of Shades State Park. I do not know why it is closed, given the guidance from the DNR, or why it is not listed as closed on in.gov, but there you are. It’s essentially closed and the vast majority of trails are taped off.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great place to hike that, as you've likely read, starts out as a very easy-going stroll through the woods. The trail eventually takes you across the tops of two very high, steep ridges (Turkey backbone & Devil's Backbone). they're beautiful, but the second one, the rockier Devil's Backbone, is not safe for young children or elderly people in my opinion. it becomes very narrow (and absolutely stunning) with sheer drop offs of around 100 ft on each side. last year, I finally let my kids walk across it, one at a time, with me guiding each one. I then did the same for my wife, who isn't super sure-footed and confident on rugged trails. we had a blast. Again, it's wonderful, but use caution when it comes to bringing kids or anyone who isn't in good physical condition. it's still fun if you have to turn around at the second "backbone."

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Great trail - parked at the end of the first road turnoff in Shades. Bathrooms available at trail head. Currently no entrance fee. Starts off smooth, through tall trees. Patchy muddy areas but easy to walk around. Rocky at the river’s edge. The Preserve is moderately difficult, with some ducking under and over fallen trees in the path, there is a large amount of stairs, but the views in the gorge are lovely. It’s quiet enough you can hear the trees creak in the wind. Might have to walk through water, and over tree roots, but the climb to Devil’s Backbone is worth it. Visit: 1.2.2020 Happy New Year

5 months ago

Great trail. Starts out easy and flat and as you head down to the reserve. Going up and down Devils Backbone is fun and the stair climb back to the flat trail is a nice finish!

hiking
6 months ago

GREAT TRAIL!!! Be sure to continue on to Pine Hills Nature Preserve and visit Devils Backbone.

hiking
6 months ago

Serious face, all day long

hiking
7 months ago

great trail if u like heights

Easy trail to begin, then turns into moderate after turkey backbone. Cross the beautiful creek to reach devils backbone and the honeycomb.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

This is the second time I hiked this trail in two weeks. The muddy areas have mostly dried up (no problem getting around them). I really enjoyed the Devils Backbone. It’s a great place to sit and have a snack and enjoy the view. It was somewhat of a challenge climbing down but that’s part of the fun hiking this trail. This would not be a good hike for young children as the backbone is narrow with 100’ drop offs on both sides.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
10 months ago

I was very disappointed. I ventured in 1.46 miles from the car and didn't see a lot of what I see in other's pictures except the honeycomb rock and adjacent stone walls. I applied insect repellent moderately generously. Yet, probably only .25 miles into my journey, I considered calling it a day (or at least going back to the car for more insect repellent) because I was incessantly bothered by mosquitos, flies, and whatever went in my eye and around to the back. Plenty of places along the trail were very muddy. When I came to the creek it was difficult to determine where on the other side of it the trail continued. I missed it and walked creekside for aways before almost losing a shoe to it being sucked off my foot from the mud. Eventually I saw the path on land. After nearly a mile and a half of disappointment, the bugs refusing to leave me alone and knowing I had to reverse course to get back, I turned around and speed walked it back. I would probably do it again with a companion and go further but only with more insect repellent and perhaps when it's been dry weather for awhile. I arrived to the park at about 6:01pm on Sunday. I could tell the front gate's shift had just even and was no longer collecting an entrance fee. I looked around for a place to deposit a reduced entrance fee like I've seen at other state parks but couldn't find one. So I guess if you want to save a few dollars, go after 6 on a Sunday.

hiking
11 months ago

Completed this hike for the second time today. The first time we parked right at the nature preserve parking lot, but this time we hiked in on trail 10. Honeycomb rock is pretty cool, and this time devil’s backbone was less intimidating than I remember from the first time. The shade helped keep sane in immense 90 degree heat! It was also nice to splash some water from Indian Creek on my hands and face. This is a great hike, especially because you’re unlikely to see more than a few other groups on it. Wonderful, peaceful hike, away from the crowds at Turkey Run!

hiking
11 months ago

This is a fun trail to do. I like to park in the middle of Shades and walk the whole length of trail 10 for extra miles. On the way back from Pine Hill Nature Preserve going back along trail 10, you can look for trail 2 and take that for a little variety. I believe this will give you around 5 to 6 mile hike total.

hiking
muddy
Thu May 23 2019

Great trail and hard to believe this is in Indiana.

blowdown
muddy
Sun Apr 28 2019

Recent blowdown makes crossing Clifty Creek on the Devil's Backbone loop a bit challenging. I found it easier to manuever through the blowdown and cross just downstream of it. Don't let that stop you, though. The grove of trees just below Honeycomb Rock at the confluence of Clifty and Indian is one of the most serene places I've hiked to in Indiana.

Sat Apr 06 2019

Such wonderful unique features....wish the hike was longer

hiking
Tue Mar 19 2019

Devils Backbone is a must hike trail! one of my favorites in the state. wonderful cliff top view! If you are not a fan of heights, be cautious on this trail.

Tue Jan 22 2019

In my opinion, this is the better version of turkey run. If you want all the cool stuff without the people-this is your trail. You’re going to want to walk in the river around late summer in the shallow part. The rock is crazy smooth and feels amazing on your bare feet.

Fri Oct 26 2018

Great moderate trail took the Cub Scout troop and they loved it.

Thu Oct 25 2018

Very cool trail! Not a very big area, but full of features. Definitely will revisit again.

Wed Oct 24 2018

nice trail. Would rate it as moderate myself. I'm overweight and not in the best of shape and had very little difficulty. There were some sections that offer a little bit of a challenge though. Overall I really enjoyed my time on the trail.

Sat Sep 29 2018

Short, but nice trail (approx 3 miles total). I think it is more of a moderate than hard trail. Path follows a scenic river with some great rock wall formations. Some elevation and climbing, but manageable. A couple narrow spots that would prohibit small kids. Highlights are honeycomb rock and devils backbone.

hiking
Mon Aug 27 2018

Took my dog out there this summer. He's a small dog and he did just fine - he really enjoyed playing in the river when we got down around Devil's Backbone. It's beautiful and quiet. Moderately trafficked.

hiking
Sun Aug 12 2018

beautiful scenery and a lot to explore and see. I'd rate this as more moderate but there a quite a few stairs and inclines. Paths are marked and clear.

nature trips
Tue Jun 05 2018

Great trail with some good views! With the exception of climbing over two 4-5 foot rock bluffs and one steep downhill climb the rest of the trail was moderate.

Showing results 1 - 27 of 178