Trail #1 is a 0.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Crawfordsville, Indiana that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Begins at Devil's Punchbowl. Travels through ravine creek bed to Silver Cascade waterfalls. Goes to Inspiration and Prospect points.
I completed Trail #1 and #2 yesterday, and they were both great, pretty similar actually. Both are ravine trails, where the trail is essentially the stream bed. Hiking in a ravine stream bed is a really fun and unique hiking adventure. Walked away with an appreciation for the name of "Shades" -- the mid-day light is very different and beautiful down there.
Trail #1 features more shale rock in the trail, which is fun to walk on. Be sure to wear wear waterproof boots, and it's not a bad idea to keep a back-up pair of socks in your car for afterwards. It is still early in the season yet, but we didn't see any other hikers on the trail.
Protip: When you start out on the trail, and get to the loop, turn left, go down the stairs, and the first main attraction is the Silver Cascade falls, and then you'll hike up the ravine. IMO much better to go down those very steep steps than back up them.
Great views, walked trails 1 & 2 yesterday and enjoyed each. Be sure to wear shoes or boots with good grip and expect to get your socks a little wet if they aren't waterproof! Overall enjoyed my Shades experience.
One of my favorite trails in my favorite state park!
Great view at Prospect Point. Fun easy hike.
Beautiful views above Sugar Creek, trail heads down by stairs to Cascade Falls, and loops around using the ravine creek bed as trail to the Devils punchbowl. Gorgeous views of sandstone cliffs! After a few days of heavy rain there are usually two lovely waterfalls into the punchbowl. The trail then heads back up stairs and loops back around through more stairs. :) We have been taking our now 3-year-old on this trail since he could toddle around (just be careful on stairs!). We sometimes hook up on trail 6 off of trail 1 for more creek bed playing. :)
Starting at the parking area it is a easy trail to get to inspiration and Prospect points overlooking Sugar Creek. Then descend approximately 60 steep stairs down to silver cascade waterfall. It is then a rugged hike along the ravine creek bed through sandstone cliffs, over rocks and fallen trees to get to the base of Devils Punchbowl. It is then many staircases and foot bridges to get back to the trail. It is not crowded and is passable with bigger dogs. Well worth the trip. Combine with trails 4/5/7 for more time and challenge.
Great valley views, Devil's punch bowl beautiful gulley. Shades is a great park.
Attended the 2014 First Day Hike organized by IN DNR. Good turnout. No Snow. Temperature was in the
mid thirties with some sun. Hike was a little slow going with such a large group but enjoyed sharing the experience with fellow hikers. Took a moderate trail back to Inspiration and Prospect Points. A bluff overlooking Sugar Creek. Amazing views. Had good time we even brought our dog.
A nice short hike that can be combined with other shorter trails.
Nice short hike, we paired it with Trail #2. The waterfall is cool, although there isn't usually too much water. There are nice two vista points.
We hiked several trail here in 1 day since none of them are very long. Trail 1 is a nice scenic easy trail. Surprisingly we found some fairly rugged trails here and spent several hours on them. In particular try trails 4 and 5 down to the river on 1 and back up the other.