Hidden Gem in Southern Indiana - Clifty Falls State Park
While northern Indiana is quite flat the southern part of the state has dramatic hills providing for great hiking and numerous waterfalls. Clifty Falls State Park, along the Ohio River near the city of Madison, is home to four large waterfalls and dozens of smaller ones. The falls can be seen up close by following the ten different trails that run through the park.
Big Clifty Falls and Little Clifty Falls are each 60 feet tall. In the spring they are large with winter snow melt. In the late summer they are more of the bridal veil style falls. The other two major waterfalls are Hoffman Falls at 78 feet tall and Tunnel Falls at 83 feet. Tunnel Falls gets its name from a nearby natural tunnel. The tunnel is a cave that is open at both ends. While visitors are allowed to walk through, it is undeveloped, so it’s wet and dark. Hikers will need their own lights and be prepared to duck under the low spots.
The trails range from easy to very rugged, with the shortest being half a mile long and the longest being 4.5 miles. The Number 2 trail follows along Clifty Creek and during the drier times of the year hikers can traverse the creek bed. The State Park offers an excellent trail map.
The park is also home to the Clifty Canyon Nature Preserve. The 178 acre preserve is in the northwest section of the park and was designated because of its ecological and geological significance. Visitors can choose to stay overnight at the Clifty Inn or the campground. There’s even a pool in the park to relax in after a long day on the trails.