Fall Creek Gorge Waterfall

The Waterfall of Fall Creek Gorge Visiting the potholes of Fall Creek Gorge, we explored a bit more of the preserve, following a narrow trail upstream until we heard the sound of falling water. We came upon a waterfall that seemed to be carved into a perfect stone wall - almost as if it was man-made. The rock here, changes level abruptly, and evenly, giving this natural waterfall the look of a stone dam. Looking Downstream Stopping on the "dam" of rock following a bit of exploration, gave us the perfect view downstream toward the popular potholes of the gorge, and a bit of time to take in our surroundings. This very small preserve isn't too well known, so running into other visitors is unlikely - we had the place to ourselves, and enjoyed hearing only the sounds of nature. Exploring Fall Creek Gorge The potholes were only about 100 meters downstream, but with our camera gear, it's all but impossible to walk back through them, plus, it's not allowed. But we did explore a bit more of the creek.

The Potholes of Fall Creek Gorge

Potholes When one thinks of potholes, damaged city streets come to mind, but the potholes of Fall Creek Gorge are far from any urban area, and actually a welcome sight. Found along the narrow canyon formed by Fall Creek, these round holes in the creek bed were formed long ago as water pushed rocks around small depressions in the rock. Over time, the eroding action of the water and stones created these potholes. Each pothole is around 4 feet in diameter, and around 3 feet deep, making a series of small pools perfect for relaxing in - just like a personal spa. And on previous visits, I've encountered people lounging in them. The Potholes Beneath Fall Creek The most interesting potholes are along the narrow gorge, where the elevation changes, creating a series of interesting waterfalls. But the formations are more easily seen along the level stretch of creek just downstream of the falls. It's a good thing the water is clear, walking through this area could result in stepping into one of the potholes, a change in water depth from 3 inches to 3 feet or more. Cascades The small waterfalls provide seemingly endless photographic opportunities, but I found myself, as usual, stepping back to take in the surroundings for a while. There aren't too many environments like this in the Midwest, or anywhere for that matter. Exploring Fall Creek Gorge Fall Creek Gorge is a bit out of the way, and certainly off the grid. There are no signs guiding you to this preserve, and the only access is a small parking area, suitable for three or four cars. Once the parking area is full, visitors are asked to come again some other time, as too many people can damage the area. Volunteers keep the gorge clean, and also make sure visitors are obeying the rules outlined on a small sign at the trail head.

Green Canyon

Green Canyon A seemingly less traveled trail at Turkey Run State Park is trail 6, a rather short hike through a deep canyon. Most visitors wish to see the popular trails and waterfalls found on the other side of Sugar Creek, but after hiking those trails, we decided to explore this short trail. This canyon is a bit wider and deeper than those of trail 3, and even more wooded overhead, giving it the feel of a rain forest. Walking down this quick trail gives visitors the an idea of this part of the country before the last ice age. The sandstone here was deposited about 600 million years ago, then worn away by the rushing waters of the creeks and streams of the area. Deep Canyon

Exploring Wedge Rock

Passing Wedge Rock Just two and a half hours south of Chicago, Turkey Run State Park is a short trip to the ancient geologic world. Featuring rock dating back up to 600 million years, the natural features of the park entice visitors year round. Many of the trails in the park follow creeks and canyon floors, taking hikers through natural wonders not seen elsewhere in the region. Wedge Rock One of the most recognized features in the park is Wedge Rock, a wedge-shaped rock that broke away from the canyon wall a long time ago. At an estimated 30 feet tall, and six feet thick, this must have made quite a sound when it fell to the canyon floor. Because the rock landed on an angle, hikers are able to walk under it as well as climb on top of it. Posing on top is a popular take-away photo of many visitors. The Backside of Wedge Rock Most of the canyon walls of Trail 3 are composed of Mansfield Sandstone, but some other rocks and minerals can be found in the area, including glacial erratics and veins of coal. The trail follows the winding creek and even requires hikers to walk up a waterfall or two. It's refreshing in this day and age to visit a park where you're not discouraged from walking on the actual ground! Certainly worth the trip down to Parke County.