If you're looking for a serene setting with diverse geological wonders and awe-inspiring natural beauty, Turkey Run State Park in Indiana is for you. RV visitors will be blown away by the stunning ravines and sandstone gorges that are scattered around the over 2,300-acre park. You can hike among gorgeous views of canyons, sandstone cliffs, and hemlock groves. The serene Sugar Creek is an idyllic setting for fishing and canoeing. Many different types of wildlife and birds can also be spotted here including deer and turkey vultures.
Located just 35 miles north of Terre Haute, Turkey Run State Park offers a chance to learn about the area's rich cultural and natural history. Reportedly Turkey Run got it's name from the wild turkeys that would settle into the area's canyon bottoms or "runs" to keep warm, much to the delight of early pioneer hunters. There are number of historic sites to explore at Turkey Run including the Colonel Richard Lieber Cabin, which honors the father of the Indiana parks system. You can also visit a 19th century log church, covered bridge, and pioneer home and grist mill. From hiking and horseback riding to swimming and picnicking, Turkey Run State Park is a must-stop during your next RV trip to Indiana.
RV Rentals in Turkey Run State Park
Transportation in Turkey Run State Park
Located just over an hour to the west of Indianapolis, Turkey Run State Park is easy to access off of U.S. 41 and IN-47. Since the park is situated close to major highways you should have no issues driving your rig to the park. There are only a few local roads within the park so you shouldn't worry about getting lost. One of the park roads gets a bit narrow in a wooded area so you'll want to drive slow if you're in a big RV. Much of the northern end of the park is only accessible on foot.
There are four parking lots around the park. The most accessible and easiest place to park for RVs is located just past the park entrance, which is close to the Park Office and the Turkey Run Inn. The largest parking lot, which is also suitable for RVs, is located a little further away at the Nature Center. Two smaller parking lots are located deeper into the park near the Box Canyon. Of course, you're welcome to park at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Campgrounds and parking in Turkey Run State Park
Campsites in Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park Campground
If you're looking to camp in your tent or RV you'll have over 200 campsites to choose from year-round, all of which offer electric hookups. You can relax by the fire ring or picnic table right at your campsite. A parking spur is also available at your campsite. Modern restrooms, hot showers, and drinking water are centrally located. While there are no sewer hookups, a dump station is available nearby. Your pet is even welcome to join you during your stay at the park.
The campground is located close to the park entrance. Most sites are paved and located in a beautiful wooded area. RVs up to 50 feet long can be accommodated. If you need to stock up on snacks or supplies you can visit the nearby Camp Store. You can stay up to 14 days at a time.
Turkey Run State Park Campground
If you're spontaneously visiting the park the Turkey Run State Park Campground may have unreserved spots available on a first-come, first-served basis. However there are no guarantees, especially on weekends and holidays, so reservations are recommended. If you are lucky enough to snag a campsite you'll still enjoy all the amenities including electric hookups, hot showers, restrooms, a paved site, picnic table, and fire ring. The campground is open year-round and pets are welcome to stay with you. If you want to renew your site for a longer stay you might be able to do so in the morning.
Turkey Run Inn and Cabins
If you are looking for accommodations that are a bit more modern you can stay at the pet-friendly Turkey Run Inn or their cabins. Built in 1919, this historic inn offers over 60 guest rooms in the lodge with a full-serve dining room on-site. You could also choose to stay at one of the cabins run by the Turkey Run Inn. The Turkey Run Inn offers a number of nice amenities including a game room, gift shop, and satellite TV.
Seasonal activities in Turkey Run State Park
If you want to soak in Turkey Run's scenic views on horseback you will love taking a guided horseback riding tour through the park. You can book your horseback riding tour or hayride at the saddle barn, which is open from April until October. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to bring your own horse to Turkey Run State Park.
Turkey Run has some of the most beautifully rugged hiking trails in the state. Its deep canyons are nestled between towering sandstone cliffs and hemlock groves. To get to many of Turkey Run’s trails, you’ll need to cross over the suspension bridge over Sugar Creek. Trails range from easy to extremely rugged. Hiking is easily one of the most popular activities here.
In the heart of Turkey Run, you’ll find Sugar Creek. These waters make up one of Indiana’s most scenic river systems. It’s a popular destination for those who enjoy spending the day out along the water. Fishing is a favorite pastime, appreciated by many in the area. Here, you will find bluegill and bass, among other large fish. A state license is required in order to cast your line.
As one of Indiana’s most scenic rivers, Sugar Creek offers a serene setting for your canoeing excursion. The waters run right through the very heart of the park, so access is easy. While you won’t find any canoe rentals within the park, you’re not without luck. There are several local canoe rentals that operate along the creek.
The Olympic-sized swimming pool at Turkey Run State Park is one of the many aquatic recreations you can revel in during your stay. The park also features a bathhouse and wading pool, so visitors have options when choosing how they want to wind down. The pool opens most days so make sure you pack your swimsuit in your camper.
Exploring Historical Sites
History buffs and curious onlookers alike will enjoy exploring all the amazing 19th-century historical sites at the park. The Lieber Cabin features a small museum where you can learn more about the founder of the state's park system. The Log Church is a fascinating and still-operational historic church that was originally built in 1871. You can tour the Lusk Home, which is a beautiful brick building that once served as a pioneer home and grist mill. Perhaps the most picture-worthy historic site is the red, pedestrian Narrows Covered Bridge which runs over Sugar Creek and was built in in 1882.
Playing Recreational Sports
If you're itching to get in some exercise during the off-season, head out of the RV and onto the sports courts located at the park. You can play a game of tennis, basketball, or volleyball at any of the park's multiple courts. Recreational sports are a great way to get the whole family to enjoy a friendly or competitive game.
There’s an abundance of wildlife to see here, and you don’t have to come in the off-season in order to witness a variety of flora and fauna. However, peak months allow for a much more full crowd, and a little less time to always stop to take in what is around you. Be sure to bring your binoculars in your camper. You’re sure to find, at the very least, evidence of the wood’s creatures. Beaver-chewed trees, tracks in the mud, and more are common sights throughout the year.
This state park is an ideal setting for a picnic. There are several spots to choose from all throughout the park. Tables are available to the public and are first-come, first-served. Saddle Barn has a picnic area that sports charcoal grills and is situated near the ball courts and shelter houses. There is also a rather large picnic area with plenty of tables just off of the parking lot located near the Nature Center. Go on - get out of the RV and enjoy a nice lunch outside among this perfect landscape.
Visiting the Nature Center
This state park offers interpretive naturalist services all year long, with off-season hours running mostly on the weekends. There are a whole host of programs available including guided hikes, planetarium programs, a junior program, evening programs, and history talks. It’s a perfect way to get to dive deeper into the park and see what helps to make this place tick.