Gypsy Gulch in Winter

The Falls at Gypsy Gulch in Winter 
 Indiana's Turkey Run State Park protects some of central Indiana's most interesting natural features. These canyons, hollows, gulches, and ravines all give visitors a look at our geologic past, and are fascinating to explore in any season. 

Just a few hundred feet from Sugar Creek sits Gypsy Gulch, and boulder filled ravine with a periodic waterfall that freezes each winter into a solid column of ice. This icefall is approximately 35 feet tall, and cascades from an overhang, allowing hikers to walk behind it to view the ice from a most
interesting perspective.

  Translucent Falls 

This box ravine holds the most impressive icefall of the 2022 winter season, and quite possibly the most interesting in the park. The 35 foot tall column of ice has thousands of intricate tiny icicles all along it's height. At the base, spherical formations build where droplets of water splash repeatedly on the boulders and canyon floor. 

A moderate hike in the summertime, the trail leading to the gulch is very slippery in winter, and shouldn't be attempted by anyone without ice cleats, and excellent sure-footedness. We encountered a group of hikers without cleats, and they were having a very difficult time with the narrow, winding trail up, over, and around boulders. Some were sitting down to gently slide from place to place. Even wearing ice cleats doesn't ensure a non-slip hike; one of our group (an excellent skateboarder with great balance) slipped and fell on this trail.
  Entering Gypsy Gulch 
 In the image above, visitors can be seen along the far wall of the gulch hiking toward the frozen waterfall. The people give scale to the ravine, and to the column of ice. 

Not only do hikers need to watch for ice and slippery obstructions in the trails of Turkey Run, some of the trails on the canyon floor are actually waterfalls and narrow slot canyons with fast running water on the floors. Hikers are guaranteed to get wet boots and pants on these trails. Portions of Trail 3 were "closed due to high water" on our visit, but we managed to explore them all without getting too wet - other visitors were not as lucky, as they passed us wet to the knees. Our ice cleats gave us a bit of an advantage in these situations, but in others, ingenuity helped get us past some obstructions that would otherwise get people hemmed up.

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