Explore the most popular hiking trails near Madison with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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

hiking
27 days ago

Great!

1 month 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.

hiking
3 months ago

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!

Great

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.

hiking
3 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.

trail running
6 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.

By far my favorite state park for hiking in Indiana!

hiking
6 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

hiking
8 months ago

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.

Short, but very scenic. Moderate due to steps, but other fairly easy. Combined trail 6 and 5 to make a five mile hike.

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.

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
11 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

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
Thursday, October 05, 2017

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

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

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.

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.

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