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Shades State Park

  • Shades State Park Alerts
    • Trail Closure Alert: The trail that provides access to Pine Hills Nature Preserve at Shades State Park is closed for repairs to the trail stairs. Access to Pine Hills Nature Preserve is closed until the repairs are complete.
7751 S. 890 W.
Waveland, IN 47989
  • Description

    Shades State Park is that peaceful place you've sought. Located about 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville (off S.R. 47), it is a favorite for hikers and canoeists.

    The beautiful sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek and numerous shady ravines provide the backdrop for your journey through this nature lover's paradise.

    Also on the property is Pine Hills Nature Preserve, which affords spectacular topography for those willing to take a fairly long hike.

  • Activities


    • Non-Electric / 105 sites
    • Backpack / 7 sites
    • Canoe Camp / 10 sites
    • Youth Tent Areas
    • Dumping Station


    • Shades State Park has one of the darkest skies in Indiana and is popular with astronomy groups. Check the calendar for park sponsored viewing events, including star parties held by the Wabash Valley Astronomical Society. For observing conditions, visit the Clear Sky website. For viewing after 11 p.m., stargazers will need a permit which can be obtained from the office.


  • Description of Hiking Trails

    Note: For trail locations, view the property map under the MAPS tab.

    1. MODERATE/RUGGED (.75 mile)—Begins at Devil’s Punchbowl, lower portion travels through ravine creek bed to Silver Cascade waterfalls. This portion involves steps and hiking in the creek bed. Upper trail portion begins at steps from ravine and goes to Inspiration and Prospect points.

    2. RUGGED/VERY RUGGED (1.25 miles)—Begins at trail to Lover’s Leap with views of Sugar Creek, upland woods and ravines. The lower portion goes down Steamboat Rock stairs and continues up Pearl Ravine streambed. This portion may be impassable during high water.

    4. MODERATE/RUGGED (.625 mile)—Begins at west end of large parking lot with steep climbs through Frisz Ravine with tall beech, oak and tulip trees. This section uses streambed with steps and ladders and is rated rugged. Portions may be impassable during high water.

    5. MODERATE/RUGGED (.75 mile)—Begins at west end of large parking lot. Upper portion of trail overlooks Frisz and Kintz Ravines and involves many steps. Lower portion uses streambed of Kintz Ravine with steps and ladder. Portions of trail may be impassable during high water.

    6. EASY (.5 mile)—Begins at pond and travels along Red Fox Ravine.

    7. RUGGED (.875 mile)—Begins at west end of large parking lot, travels through stand of mature trees and Kickapoo Ravine. Trail is a loop and has steep climbs. One section uses streambed as trail. Portions may be impassable.

    8. RUGGED (.75 mile)—Begins off of Trail 7 and goes through narrow floodplain (may be impassable during high water) and through upland forest. Travels through Shawnee Canyon streambed and along Sugar Creek. Hikers must return by Trail 7.

    9. EASY (.5 mile)—Begins at pond, through wooded, open areas to youth tent and campground roads.

    10.MODERATE (1.5 miles)—Begins at Dell Shelter, leads through successional vegetation and second-growth timber to S.R. 234 and Pine Hill Nature Preserve.

    BACK-PACK TRAIL (2.5 miles)—MODERATE—Trail begins at west end of parking lot and extends 21/2 miles through relatively flat terrain and wooded area to the backpack camp. Note that the backpack camp is closed from late October through early April.


  • Maps


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