Continuing our hike along trail 3 of Turkey Run State Park in west central Indiana, we encountered a narrowing of the canyon. Following the climb up the waterfall from the wider canyon near Wedge Rock, the canyon narrows, giving hikers two options. Option one is to continue walking on the canyon floor, which is now almost completely covered by the creek. Option two is to use the small steps and hand holds cut into the rock wall, and bypass the creek all together. Add wet leaves to the wet, mossy rock, and this can be a challenge. Then consider a large backpack, and the climb becomes a bit more cumbersome. This is one of the areas of trail 3 that bottlenecks with hikers either waiting to climb up, or deciding to turn around.
An accidental fall could be dangerous, even though the height is only about 10 feet, but the small hand holds carved into the rock are very helpful. Climbing up this small amount gives you a surprisingly nice view of the narrow canyon - if you're brave enough to turn around on these tiny steps.
In my visits to Turkey Run State Park, I've seen quite a few people do some interesting and dangerous things. Kids climbing up the canyon walls as parents watch, sometimes up 30 or 40 feet; a teenager attempting to get down from the rock wall he climbed, only to slide uncontrollably and hit the canyon floor with his back side at a high rate of speed. Even people standing under the waterfalls in 50 degree weather.
This group of visitors was one of the most interesting. They suspended two hammocks across the canyon near the Punch Bowl. I'm not sure why, perhaps a photo opportunity, or just plain fun, but it was interesting to watch them, and the reactions of the hikers walking below.
Posted by Tom Gill at Friday, November 18, 2016