An Impromptu Day Hike

My wife and I have been trying to take an extended walk/hike several times a week; usually at least five miles with minimal gear. Nothing fancy or terribly difficult, we’re just trying to keep moving. Usually, we end up at Fort Harrison because it’s close to home and has a paved trail that allows us to bring along our youngest in a stroller and still keep up a quick walking pace. However, yesterday, it was just us, and we had already done the grocery shopping for the week, so we decided to branch out a bit.

We wound up at McCormick’s Creek State Park. Despite having resided in Indiana for most of my life, I’d never been and it had some decent reviews online. It was only about 90 minutes from our house, so we grabbed our water bottles and set out for a quick road-trip, just the two of us.

In terms of beauty, relative to other Indiana State Parks, it’s slightly above average.

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You don’t get the same sense of stepping into the prehistoric that you might experience at Turkey Run, for example, but there are still some beautiful sights to see.

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Oh … and there is a CAVE!  Wolf Cave, in fact.

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The cave is a bit tight in spots, and you can walk through the entire thing in about 3 minutes.

You spend the duration of your short spelunking adventure at a crouch.

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You even have to crawl through some sand to get out – but if you don’t mind enclosed spaces it’s definitely worth the minimal effort required.

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We combined some of the trails in order to hit our 5 miles. I believe the cave is on Trail 7, and we had a lot of fun with Trail 10 because it crosses the Creek several times and is poorly marked in places – which adds to the adventure. “Poorly marked” makes it sound dangerous, but you have to keep in mind that the entirety of Trail 10 is less than a mile and you’re never outside of shouting distance of campers or other trail walkers.  If you ever got lost, you could just start walking in a straight line and you’d hit a significant road inside of a mile.

Aside from some steep inclines and an occasional narrow path next to the creek, I wouldn’t classify anything we encountered as either rugged or too difficult for children. There are a few steep drops to watch out for, but nothing that would catch you by surprise.

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We saw zero wild animals, aside from the occasional bird and a fish or two, but it was the middle of a hot day and there were tons of people walking the trails, so I’m not really surprised by that at all.

Overall, it was a good day hike and one we’ll likely do again.  Most likely, we’ll bring at least a couple of our kids next time around.  I could see them enjoying the cave quite a bit.

How about you Dear Reader? What’s your favorite Indiana hike?

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