HIDDEN GEMS IN THE MIDWEST – TURKEY RUN STATE PARK, IN

One of the reasons we decided to come to Illinois was to be closer to my migo for a little while. She is my best friend and has been for so many years that we’ve lost count.

So, I drove my happy ass up to her house which was a 2 hour drive to grace her with my presence.

The challenge of the day was to find a place to go hiking. However, when you think of hiking Indiana isn’t the state that comes to mind. But like all professional explorers… if there’s a will, there’s a way!

AllTrails came to the rescue with some suggestions. Turkey Run SP was the most interesting of our options so we gave it a whirl.

Turns out, it was super cool and not what we were expecting to find in good ol’ Indiana. There is more to Indiana than cornfields! Who knew?! 😛

Turkey Run SP contains deep sandstone canyons and one of the last remnants of the magnificent forest that originally covered most of Indiana. You almost felt like you were in a jungle. The bedrock seen all around you is called Mansfield sandstone (named after the town). It was formed during the Carboniferous Period, when the buildup of sand at the mouth of the ancient Michigan River was slowly compacted and cemented int o solid rock. The swampy environment of this period produced the vast coal deposits. The coal was mined here in the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s. Some seams of coal are still visible along many of the hiking trails.

The sandstone bedrock was carved into today’s familiar canyons and formations by the eroding action of glacial meltwaters. Some of the pieces of bedrock were carried here from Canada by the glaciers!

We hiked only 3 of the trails for a total of 4 miles. We took some photos but we mostly enjoyed the views and each others company. The skeeters enjoyed our company as well…

Overall, it was a splendid way to spend a day with my bestest friend. We rewarded ourselves with some much deserved sushi and called it a night.

Until next time my migo!

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