Clifty Falls State Park

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2221 Clifty Drive, Madison, IN, USA

Clifty Falls State Park Madison Reviews

vances vances
575 reviews
Big Red Falls Aug 22, 2015
I was expecting to offer an in-depth review of Clifty State Park, but you will have to settle for the abridged version as our camping plans were abandoned. Fortunately we still dropped in for a picnic lunch and a short hike. A brilliant state park deserving promotion.

Though we had planned on pitching a tent, I was astonished by the Clifty Inn, far and away the most upscale lodging option I have ever seen within a state park. My apologies for failing to snap a photo so you could see what I’m talking about – really impressive (and according to Laura, $250 per night). We entered via the South Gate off of State Road 56 and passed Clifty Inn almost immediately, so I guess it surprised me. There is also a North Gate entrance off of SR62.

Continuing on into the park, we stopped at the Hoffman Falls trailhead for a picnic. We wanted to tackle this path because the trail guide we received after paying admission indicated this would sweep past the second highest falls (after Clifty Falls) within park grounds. By the way, entrance cost $7 for a carload, though that was discounted from $9 since Laura has Indiana plates. Park literature proclaimed the falls ranged from “roaring plunges to delicate bridal-veil mists”, but we were disappointed to see not so much as a drop of water.

Once we had circled back to the car, it was a return towards the front gate. We made one more stop at the park’s Nature Center, full of informative displays and children with their parents. The ulterior motive was hiking down the first stretch of another trail to an observation deck, which turned out to be pleasant, though far from stunning. A big downer was the tower’s view of a huge electric plant along the river, with gargantuan smoke towers belching into the sky.

The hike was not a complete loss, however. I started chatting with a fellow on the return and he led me a short ways down a spur to check out some copperheads he had spotted (Laura, quickly passed on this opportunity). Apologies for offering limited insight, but the park facilities all appeared clear and well maintained. There was much more to explore and I would be keen to return.
Laura descending a stairwell along…
Nature Center at Clifty Falls Stat…
Pleasant bird garden outside the N…
The observation deck.
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Nana_gincin says:
Yep, worth coming back :)
Posted on: Nov 10, 2015
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photo by: vances