Two weeks ago our tour of Indiana State Parks continued with a trip to Shades State Park in western Indiana. It’s only about an hour drive from Indianapolis. We lucked out with the weather. It stormed and rained for several days, but the weather cleared out enough for a Sunday hike.
I hadn’t been to Shades since I was a little kid. The only thing I really remembered about it was moss. Lots and lots of moss. It didn’t take much time to see why. The best trails at Shades, and there are plenty of them, go up ravines with active streams. Damp and limited sunlight make a perfect environment for moss. There are plenty of slippery, jagged rocks to ramble over. It is a very green place, especially after a spring rain.
We were worried about the water level but figured that enough time had passed for it not to be much of a problem. But we were prepared to get muddy. Due to the weather, there weren’t many people in the park when we visited. I don’t think we encountered more the 20 other hikers all day.
After our hike, we stopped in Crawfordsville for something to eat. We hit The Barefoot Burger for cheeseburgers and beer. A funky little bar/restaurant with solid burger offerings and a good beer menu. Worth a stop if you’re in the area. The Mexican grocery across the street is supposed to have a pretty good taqueria. We will have to check out El Charro the next time we’re in Crawfordsville.
Mark, check out my hiking club schedule. We have scheduled a hike at each state park during 2016. This weekend we are hiking at Indiana Dunes State park today and Potatoe Creek State Park on Sunday. I go on the shorter 5 mile option, then they have a 10 mile. The 10 mile leader is faster, so I don’t mind the 10 miles, but don’t like the speed. Enjoy the parks. Indyhike.org
Very cool. I’ve never been to Indiana Dunes. It is on the list. If we can’t get there for a day hike, We’re stopping for a bit on our next drive to Chicago.