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Shades State Park, Waveland

4.8
#16 of 33 in Nature in Indiana
Shades State Park is a state park in Montgomery, Parke, and Fountain Counties in Indiana. It is located 47mi west-northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana.HistoryIn the last decades of the 19th century, the area was a resort with a forty-room inn. In the 1930s a man named Joseph Frisz acquired the land in order to protect it, and purchased more land around. His heirs sold the land in 1947 to the holding company "Save the Shades", who in turn gave the land to the state to create Indiana's 15th state park.Originally, the area was known as the "Shades of Death". There is debate as to why it got that name. Some say it was due to the way the trees cast their shadow on the ground below, making it look like a black forest. Others say it was because of a settler's death, although sources disagree if the settler in question died due to Indian attacks, or was killed by an angry, axe-wielding wife.FeaturesSteep sandstone cliffs within the park were formed when Indiana was covered by an ocean hundreds of millions of years ago. Fossils can be found on the nearby sandbars.Sugar Creek, which runs through the park, is too unsafe for swimming, but canoeing is available. Sugar Creek also runs through Turkey Run State Park which is about to the southwest. The two parks share similar features including steep ravines, slate and sandstone valleys, and small waterfalls.
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Shades State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
78 reviews
Google
4.9
TripAdvisor
  • A big part of me does not want to review this park. Frankly, because I would like to keep it the secret that it appears to be. this park offers a beautiful setting for a day of hiking and beautiful tr...  more »
  • We hiked at Turkey Run the day before, and this park was much less crowded but still had a nice variety to the trails. We enjoyed it very much. Our only complaint was that we could hear gunshots, whic...  more »
  • There is NO electricity at this park and it is very isolated. It is the best for those who like the solitary camping style and don't mind using camp facilities. VERY isolated but very nice!!!!  more »
Google
  • Took trail 4 backwards to start with the rugged and then return in the moderate. The rugged straight down a ravine with ladders and steps. Most of the hike was in shake water and mud which made it tough on my young kids. We then hiked the Devil's Punch Bowl to the waterfall. This was a much easier rugged hike. The descent into the ravine was by stair and the ravine much wider. Shades State Park is the rugged version of Turkey Run and should be a must do for anyone who likes adventure.
  • Shades is one of my all time favorite state parks. Lots of cool wildlife to be seen. Exciting land formations, especially if you're coming from North of Indy where the ground is flat.
  • Beautiful park for hiking and the camp sites are much more wooded than most. Great if you have a hammock. The trails are beautiful and very easy, nothing too "technical" makes for nice relaxing day hikes.
  • If you love nature and hiking THIS is an unforgettable experience. One of the best I've been to.
  • Rugged trails, amazing rock formations. People are friendly and the dogs are mostly friendly. :)

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