Shades State Park Pearl Ravine

Crawfordsville, Indiana 47934

Shades State Park Pearl Ravine

Shades State Park: Pearl Ravine Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A loop trail through a rugged ravine, with a spur trail to the scenic Lover’s Leap overlook."

Shades State Park: Pearl Ravine Reviews

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11/26/2009
I went looking forward to the loop (some time in the canyon, some on top on trail 8.) Like Brad, I found the stairs out. Thought by now they would be re-instated. Perhaps they thought too dangerous, even with stairs. Back down the creek trail 2 is a side trail to 8, so didn't do too much backtracking. Park was literally all my own. DON"T recommend trying to make it up one of the sides off trail. I went up about 200 ft thinking I could navigate the rocks...too stubborn to realize that beFORE I started up, fortunately too smart to try once I got there! VERY pleasant day.
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1/12/2008
This trail is not a loop. We hiked 5 mi to big clifty only to find out that there is no laddar up the side. We had to back track about 3/4 mi and do some bush wacking up the hill. The trail olong the creek is mostly through the creek. Not good in the winter without waterproof boots. Not a bad trail easy hiking on trail 8. It would be nice in the summer on a hott day when u could get in the creek.
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4/13/2007
Very plesant trails. I took my Basset and two children up hill and down dale and every time they were just getting bored and tired there was something new to see. Saw Trillium in all forms on the trail, along with Jack in the pulpit and many other wild flowers. Not to be missed is the small cave, which can be wet in spots and somewhat slippery. We enjoyed it and travelled about 6 of the 8 miles (the cave more than once)
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5/8/2006
WE got a late start and couldn't do all that we wanted to on the trails but we loved this Park! They could have more markings for specific trails - they were a little spread out and made us unsure at times. We are going back!
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5/12/2003
Beautiful scenery and some great falls. If you're feeling a little more dangerous than most, try wandering off. We probably spent 1 hour on the actual trails, and spent more of our time on the bed of the creek (and alot of time off of numbered trails), and it was some of the better hiking I've had. If you stick to the maps, it's easy hiking, alot of parts even have stairs and stuff. Bring a flashlight as there's a little 100 yard cave that's worth poking around in, but is hard to navigate if you don't have some light. Overall, a nice relaxing time.
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6/21/2002
Just went to Clifty to stretch my legs with the kids and dog. Overall, it was a pretty nice hike. Some of the hills are real grinders. We walked on trail 1 to the observation tower. At the top of the tower was a great view up- and downstream the Ohio river. Fortunately, there's a large tree obscuring the view of the river directly in front of you. I say fortunately because it obscures the Clifty power plant and it's two massive smokestacks. What a blight on such an otherwise attractive, peaceful hike. (There's a constant hum like a woodchipper whenever you're near the plant.
The trails are failry well traveled and well maintained. There are three significant waterfalls in the area as well. There is also a trail that meanders through meadows and passes by an excellent pool. It's a great spot to take a dip ($3 per person) after grinding up a few of those fairly steep climbs .
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Clifty falls is very good place for a day hike with the family. Several of the trails have fairly steep inclines (few switchbacks) but these could be avoided by taking alternate routes or trails. Each waterfalls has parking somewhat close by, so driving to each site is an option... but that's not really an option is it? :-)

We toured the park in the winter after nearly 30 days with temperatures below freezing. Seeing nearly 70' waterfalls completely frozen over was a spectacular site.
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Shades State Park: Pearl Ravine Photos

Trail Information

Crawfordsville
Nearby City
1.3
Distance
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
1 hour
Duration
Year-round
Season
USGS: Alamo
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018