04 July 2009

First stop: McCormick's Creek



We left Sunday after church for a short summer vacation. The itinerary included McCormick's Creek State Park as our first stop, followed by Turkey Run. Between those we spent time at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area and Shades State Park....so I'll post pictures from each of those. I'm also going to tag these posts "state parks" and go back into the archive and label a few of the old posts as such to allow readers to reference other state park posts.


This was our first time at McCormick's Creek, and my son noted that we had now stayed in all of the state park inns. I may do a post on rating our state parks in the future, but I felt by a wide margin, McCormick's Creek is probably the best cared for of the state parks. The facilities, including trails, buildings, even the landscaping was perfectly maintained. The food at the inn was great and offered a fair variety for a family with little kids.

The two natural highlights of McCormick's Creek is the waterfall, only a short hike from the inn, and Wolf Cave & the twin bridges located near each other on the same trail. The waterfall offered a small cavern one could climb into behind the falls. Speaking of behinds...one lady parked her big one under the falls, allowing no others to enjoy the cool waters including the kids.

Wolf Cave was officially off-limits, but we were told the kids could climb inside the front chamber. I think this might be because we had purchased official "Wolf Cave" spelunking hats for the kids....which we also took on a night hike. Wolf Cave got its name from a pioneer woman who was chased by wolves, who used it as a den, as she passed by it on her way back from the market. Around the corner from the cave, on the trail, are the twin bridges. These are remains from a larger interior chamber of the cave whose roof had collapsed leaving stone "bridges".


We also hiked a meandering trail, crossing McCormick's Creek several times along the way. One drawback is that we saw three snakes...one big one. Their nature center was undergoing renovations so the majority of the building was closed. All in all, though, a good time. The park is just outside of Spencer and close enough to Bloomington for wider dining options.

3 comments:

jimgrey said...

Been ages since I've been to McCormick's Creek. I think my stepson was 13 or 14 that time we went camping down there -- he's 23 now, 24 in a couple weeks. I'd forgotten about how nice it was. We always seem to gravitate towards Turkey Run; not sure why. My sons want to go back to Turkey Run this summer but maybe I can steer them toward McCormick's Creek.

Natalie said...

Wow, thanks for the journey down memory lane. I love McCormick's Creek. I don't remember them having an inn, but I do remember the wolf cave and back in the day you were allowed to go all the way through it. Yikes, it was scary. Toward the end you are literally squeezing through a small hole to get out.

Troy said...

Those places are really gorgeous! I should go there sometime.