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

Shaded trail great for walking your fur babies. Nice little waterfall with a stream along the trail.

The trails are pretty but definitely need better markings. Especially where trail 2 comes out near the trailside shelter. On the map it looks like it runs parallel to that shelter and the swings further north. There’s a trail marker slightly hidden there that sends you down a creek bed which I’m pretty sure isn’t the actual trail. Then, when 3 and 2 split off there are markers but if you take the trail 2 loop you are in your own for markers until you get to the intersection of the trail leading to campground A. It needs more markers since there are a few side trails that cause you to question which way to go. Trail 3, which was pretty much a straight line and the easiest to follow, had the most markers.

I did use one of the shelter restrooms and it was clean and well stocked. The gate attendant was very friendly.

Great asset to Hendricks County. Rarely busy. Trails aren’t very lengthy but you can do a few of them and get a little more distance in. My dog loves playing in the creek.

I took my dog down on Wednesday of last week. We parked at Cherry Lake and went clockwise. The trail is poorly marked in a couple spots. At the end, we ended up at the park headquarters but were able to get back to our car. Total mileage was 10.85. I loved Bryant Creek Lake. We stopped and had a snack there & enjoyed the view. We only came across 4 people all day. Would definitely recommend.

I have been coming here my whole life and have always loved visiting. Very quiet with good trails and the views are amazing

Nice easy paved hike, mostly in the woods, along the river and around ponds. Goes through memorial park also, which is nice.

Great trail! Loved the views. Pretty challenging. We took the trail 7 offshoot to walk along the shore a bit. Would recommend doing that.

hiking
8 days ago

Not what we expected. Very secluded at the end of a dead end road. The trail was very over grown in areas, very little scenery and some portions were in bad shape related to horses. The biggest issue we had is the area is badly invested with TICKS!. This is not a trail we will do againn. There are too many other beautiful trails. No area to sit either before or aftert the trail.

Been here several times always enjoy it, lots of wildlife as well as a variety of plants to discover here. Love hiking by the water.

hiking
9 days ago

We hiked this trail on a sunny Saturday. Trail #3 is a great trail with lots of fun features like the ladders and the creek beds. Trail #3 was crowded but you have to expect that on a summer Saturday. It does have the advantage for much of the trail of being below ground and more moderate in temperature. It was a bit steamy outside so this was appreciated. Trail #9 is less crowded. It does have many stair you have to descend and then climb back up. Turkey Run is a great place to hike with many fun trails. We love to go here.

First of all, Be careful of the wood stairs and wood foot-bridges when it’s wet. They are all very slippery! I almost fell down a thirty foot fight of stairs while it was pouring. I slid down five steps, but luckily I was able to grab the rail with my arm.

Backpacked and camped at the backpacking campground this weekend with my 6yo daughter. The campsites are nice. Water, privy and firewood are available.
No need to request firewood to be delivered as told in the trail description. There are bundles stacked up in a small wood shelter, and there is a slot to drop your money, $5 per bundle.
You must register for your campsite at the main gate and it costs $12 plus tax per night. Seven sites are available and they’re on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The raccoons are aggressive so don’t leave your food or trash out unattended even for a few minutes. I went it to my tent to get my daughter ready for bed, and I heard something fall from the pic-nick table. A raccoon snagged our six pound food bag, and I had to chase him 100ft down the trail and into the woods to get it back!
Friday night there was only one other group of campers. We were the only ones there on Saturday. There’s lots of animal sounds at night, many I couldn’t recognize.
The canoe camp is less than a half mile walk away from the backpacking camp. There is a very nice view of Sugar Creek from there. I was surprised that we didn’t see anyone camped there either night. Though, there was quite a bit of rain this past weekend. As far as registration for The canoe camp, no need to register at the gate as the ranger will come around in the evening to collect fees from the canoe campers. As the park’s trail guide states, there is no limit to how many can camp there, all canoe campers must be accommodated as there are no other camping options.

Nice sand trail through the woods. Wonderful in summer.

Nice easy paved 1 mile loop trail through wooded park.

hiking
10 days ago

Wonderful evening hike with dogs

Loved the trail, along the creek. TON of spider webs.

A beautiful and scenic route that offers alot of challenges if you are trail running. It will be a part of my regular routine training for knob stone trail.

This shouldn't even be listed or labeled on here if you can't go hiking.

Very good

Great trail! Very clean.

hiking
14 days ago

As other reviewers have pointed out, there are only two lakes. Generally well marked, we got lost at a couple spots and ended up on service roads, but were able to get back on track pretty quickly. Bryant lake is quite wonderful!

trail and hike was great BUT like the good State of IN. no notices of logging, closures and detours. We hiked within .25mi of night shelter and was met with closures and detour. Sleeping out is great except when one has planned for a shelter for the night.
Other than the unannounced closures and Detours the trail is good the hike was great.

we hiked a combination of trails 7&8. Some of the trail required navigating creek beds with slippery surfaces. Trail 8 would not be recommended for inexperienced or poorly conditioned hikers.

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.

backpacking
15 days ago

Our plan was to complete the trail in two days and one night. The trail is pretty challenging with lots of ups and downs. There is a reroute on the Southwest edge of the trail that includes a road walk and an incredibly muddy horse trail that was pretty terrible. Can't speak for the East side of the trail (see story below) but the West half was very overgrown in parts and has a very high Deer & Wood Tick presence. We pulled about 2 dozen off my legs alone after our first day despite Permethrin treated clothing and Picaridin bug spray application. Water is very scarce on this trail as well, with lots of dry creekbeds. Most of the water sources that we found were contaminated with horse excrement due to the high volume of horseback riders.

Hiked approximately 15 miles the first day (counting the reroute) starting at Rock Creek Trailhead and moving counterclockwise. Before we started hiking we cached two gallons water where the trail crosses Cold Friday Road, by the time we got to the cache the following evening, someone had taken every drop of our water. This left us exhausted, with very little water, and the sun just off the horizon. Ended up having to cut our trip short and road walk out the next morning. Thankfully we were able hitchhike on a local's tailgate back to our car. My suggestion would be to hide and label your water if you decide to cache water. Hopefully someone isn't as inconsiderate to your adventure as they were to ours.

trail running
15 days ago

Plenty of shorter trails in the middle of the loop and some peaceful spots to hang out for awhile.

Pretty easy trails. A little wildlife. Light human traffic. Dogs OK. Some bike trails. Other stuff here like a camp ground and a little water park and pavilions for picnicking and parties and whatnot. The grounds were well kept.

Been going here for years and it's still one of my favorite places to go in the Southern Indiana Area! Very nice and peaceful place to go and get away from people for a day or two!

Loved it! Very kid friendly!

I go here often and it is my favorite place in Lafayette. It is absolutely beautiful and so tranquil! Definitely worth a trip of you have the time!

camping
19 days ago

Trails at the Shades never disappoint. In my opinion Shades trails are the best in the state. For this particular trail I would do the trail clockwise (go left when the choice first presents itself). This will take you down the many many stairs and then up the ravine. Otherwise you will be climbing up the stairs and that is NO fun.

Very pretty spot to walk the pups!

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