Established in 1916, McCormick’s Creek is Indiana’s first state park. Over the ages, the creek cut a canyon through surrounding limestone formations, creating one of the most attractive features of the park, particularly where the water tumbles over a gorgeous waterfall. There are also two nature preserves, a cave, numerous sinkholes, and the largest rock arches in the state.
Trails 3 and 10 offer access to the falls and the creek; expect to challenge your ankles as you clamber over loose rock strewn about the canyon floor. Trail 7 starts by the Wolf Cave parking area and heads west along the canyon rim, eventually descending to creek level, then following a boardwalk past stupendous sycamores as it makes its way to the banks of the West Fork of the White River.
Wolf Cave and Twin Bridges (Trail 5) are among the most popular destinations. The cave was closed to visitors for a time. If open, it is possible to go all the way through. Take a flashlight or headlamp and expect to get wet and dirty. It’s a tight squeeze in spots, and debris of all sorts litters the floor, while bats and tree roots dangle from the ceiling. The Twin Bridges are rock arches left when parts of the cave collapsed. Both are larger than the more famous Portland Arch.
Trails 1 and 2 form a chain and explore McCormick’s Cove Nature Preserve, situated near the western edge of the park. There are tall trees and some hills; you’ll pass close to an old stone quarry near the creek. Trail 9 loops off to the east, skirting dozens of sinkholes in the process. Trail 4 begins and ends near the Canyon Inn, with typical southern Indiana wooded ridges and ravines.
Directions: Owen County. From the intersection of IN 67/US 231 and IN 46 in Spencer, east 1.7 miles on IN 46 to the entrance on the left. (Fee)
GPS: N 39 16.999 W 86 43.570
Facilities: Inn, campground, showers, bathrooms, food, shelters, etc.