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McCormicks Creek State Park
A Visit to McCormick's Creek State Park
McCormick's Creek State Park in Indiana provides a scenic location for hiking, camping, and the opportunity to rest and relax with nature. The area includes canyons, rolling, wooded terrain, and small creeks. It lies southwest of Indianapolis off of Indiana highway 46 between Spencer and Bloomington, Indiana.
Learn more about the park and enjoy a few of the photographs I've taken when visiting the park in the first days of October, when the autumn season was just beginning to add a hint of color to the trees.
About the Park
McCormick's Creek State Park covers 1,924 acres of land and was first established in 1916 as a park. It is bordered along it's northwestern edge by White River. McCormicks' Creek runs through the park and offers some pretty, steep ravines and a small waterfall for visitors to enjoy.
The park offers an Inn with a restaurant, an Olympic sized outdoor swimming pool, and recreation center with volleyball, baskedtball, handball, tennis, and raquetball courts as well as shuffleboard and a game room. There's also a campground, tent area, and family cabins. All facilities at the park can be reserved online by going here.
The park offers a saddle barn and bridle trail as well as a number of hiking trails including one that is wheelchair accessible as it's paved.
The Trails at McCormick's Creek
The trails at McCormick's Creek generally provide good footing, with a dirt surface and stairs provided on a number of the steepest climbs. Some of the hikes along the canyon are quite rocky however. You can find a property/trail map here.
In total there 10.7 miles of trails within McCormick's Creek. Trail 3 and 10 are the most rugged with some steep climbs and a path that takes you along the stream bed. In fact, sometimes, in the spring especially, trail 3 can be impassible due to high water. The stream in general however, doesn't carry a large volume of water.
The waterfall pictured above, can be seen from trail 3, which is a bit rugged because of the stream bed and a steep climb up from the canyon. For non-hikers, this can be viewed by taking a short cut from a nearby parking lot. There are opportunities to view the falls from above as well as from a bit further away, at ground level. It's also easy to hike up the stream bed directly to the foot of the falls, thanks to the many large rocks in the stream. Trail 3 is my favorite hike at the park.
Trail 1 is a short .5 mile hike that runs along the western edge of the park near the family cabins, gives a great view of some of the largest trees, and isn't too physically challenging. Trail 2 can also be picked up near the family cabins or behind the Inn and Recreation Center as it loops through McCormick's Cove Nature Preserve.
Trail 4 can be picked up near the Canyon Inn and is also a fairly easy 1.4 mile hike near the southern border of the park. Trail 4 provides access to the old fire tower. For those unafraid of heights, you can climb up the steep stairs to the top to view the mature trees at their level. Visitors aren't able to enter the tower room itself however. Trail 5 is a popular hike that provides access to Wolf Cave. It's also a very moderate 2 mile hike. The small cave is accessible and can be explored typically but at this time, 2009, it's closed to avoid spreading White Nose Sydrome which is currently killing a large number of bats across the country.
Trail 6 (.6 miles) and 9 (1.2 miles) are among the easiest hikes in the park. Trail 6 is used mostly by campers as it runs from the campground to the shelter between the primitive camping area and the campground. Trail 9 on the other hand runs through woods and meadows along the eastern edge of the park starting and ending at the Deer Run Shelter and playground.
Trail 7 and 10 are two of my other favorite hikes at the park. Both can be picked up across the road from the Trail 5 (Wolf Cave) trailhead. Trail 7 (1.8 miles) is the longest trail at the park and runs along the canyon providing a glimpse of the stream below when foliage isn't too dense. It then takes you down, along a boardwalk, north along the white river, and then back up where you can meet up with trail 10 (.7 miles). Trail 10 will take you down a ravine (via stairs) to McCormick's creek and provides access to the old Quarry. Trail 10 is considered a rugged hike.
Trail 8 is an easy (.7 miles) paved path that provides a relaxing walk through the woods between the campground and the swimming pool.