Shades of Death? Sure, let’s go! It turns out Shades State Park, the lesser travelled cousin of Turkey Run State Park, was originally known as Shades of Death. Spooky!
While we would have preferred to go backcountry camping (which is an option at Shades State Park!), we had to be at the park an hour or so before dark. That did not happen, so we stayed at the campground, and spent a full Saturday of hiking. It was blast and located just over an hour outside of Indianapolis.
We hiked trails 7 and 8 (the two can be combined into one loop). We like hiking through the Shawnee canyon and enjoyed hopping from rock to rock for a bit. Then we hiked trail 4, which included a lovely walk in the woods and a neat spot where you climb up a ladder. There were a few spots with fascinating rock/cave formation. On trail 1, we looked over Sugar Creek to find a few kayakers travelling around Canoe Island. We then hiked the short trail to descend into the Devil’s Punchbowl, which was certainly a highlight of the day.
Following the Devil’s Punchbowl, we drove to the trailhead for Pine Hills Nature Conservatory. There, we hiked all of the trails in the area, and particularly enjoyed the Devil’s Backbone section and taking a gander at Honeycomb rock.
What we ate:
-For breakfast we drank cold brew coffee, and ate apples, dates, plums and a banana.
-For lunch we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (one of our favorites!) and more fruit.
-On the way home, we treated ourselves to vegan homemade rice crispy treats!
(my phone trying to be nature.)