IN - Shades State Park

Discussion in 'Indiana' started by magic612, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. magic612

    magic612 New Member

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    I'm a bit surprised there aren't any reviews here about this park - it's a fantastic spot and less expensive than Turkey Run. The difference is no electric hook up - but if you can live without that or have a battery on your PUP, I like this campground better than Turkey Run.

    First off, the campsites are generally further apart from each other. Turkey Run, in some areas, can feel like you're very close to your neighbors. Not so with Shades; there's more distance between them. Secondly, you're right at a lesser-visited State Park that has hiking and trails nearly as nice (in some cases, just as impressive) as what Turkey Run offers. And if you want to go to Turkey Run? It's only 20 minutes away.

    What I really like about Shades though, is that because there's no electric hookup, you don't wind up with these massive travel trailers lit up like Times Square. Maybe it's just me, but when I go camping and it gets dark, I just like a little bit of light, if any. When darkness falls, mostly all that's around for light is campfires and lanterns. The stars - at least in Locust Grove and a few spots near Racoon Run - are wonderfully visible overhead, except for the lights from the showerhouse, and those are well protected by trees from almost every site nearby.

    It's generally quiet, at least the times I've been there - again, perhaps due to no electric hookup. The showers are clean, just like Turkey Run. The last several times going, I can clearly remember seeing the forest preserve trucks around constantly, so there's lots of staff presence. Our last time there, I went with my SIL and my niece/nephew to an interpretive program at the amphitheater about snakes, insects, and other wildlife in the park. The ranger giving the talk was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable - great with the kids too; let them hold snakes and other fun stuff.

    At $15 a night vs. $26 for Turkey Run, you can camp for longer for the same amount, or camp the same amount of time for less. And what was kinda cool was that most people camping there were tent campers - 85%-90%, I'd guess. The remaining trailer campers were mostly pop ups, so when it rained on occasion, I felt like it was a whole lot more comfortable sitting a foot off the ground in a PUP than either scrambling to a car or sitting in a tent.

    (Hopefully these pictures post properly.)

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  2. magic612

    magic612 New Member

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    The last time were there there, in 2013, the trail that allowed you to get to Silver Cascade Falls was impassable due to serious erosion. I got this photo back in 2010 when one could still take that trail to see it - I hope that gets fixed in the future; that is such an amazing feature of this park:

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    A few more photos:

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  3. CampQuinn

    CampQuinn New Member

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    Thank you for the review! We visited Shades and Turkey Run a couple years ago before we had a pup and while I can't comment on the camping, I liked the hiking at Shades almost better than at Turkey Run just for the fact that it was so crowded at Turkey Run. Shades has some beautiful and rugged trails which are a lot of fun and the Silver Cascade is one impressive "waterfall". I have never seen anything like it before. This park is a must see!
     
  4. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Thanks for posting this. Can't wait to go there.

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. mamabean5

    mamabean5 Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful shots, Magic! Looks like a place we need to explore!
     
  6. magic612

    magic612 New Member

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    Thanks! It's easy to take great photos when the nature is that beautiful. :)

    One other thing I forgot to mention: While people often fill up Turkey Run camping sites on weekends quite far in advance, that is often not the case for Shades. There tends to be sites still available, though it will often fill up during the weekend in nice weather (so reserve in advance if you can). The exception is mid-October during the Covered Bridge Festival which reserves a long way out, but other than that time period, I've yet to have a problem reserving a site at Shades close to when I want to camp.
     
  7. bburgcamper

    bburgcamper 16 weekends a year camping just isn't enough.

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    Please quit telling people about Shades. It is normally not crowded and it has great hiking along with large private sites. If everyone learns about it, it will make it harder to get a site. In all reality, the lack of electricity does a nice job of keeping the majority of campers out. We use it for Scouts as well as family camping. It is definitely worth a visit.
     
  8. haroldpe

    haroldpe Campin' Engineer

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    Will be camping there this June - 1st time, and am excited to check out the trails. Been to T.R. last year, and 2006. Love the area.
     
  9. FrankNBeans

    FrankNBeans New Member

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    Shades is an awesome park. Only thing to be aware of is sap. It is heavily wooded campground and during the summer you can expect sap over everything and also a lot of spiders that like to eat the sap. I would recommend covering your tent ends with a tarp if you are popping up under the trees.
     
  10. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    Thx for the write-up. Turkey Run is our (read mine) favorite park. We always get one site that's at the end of a loop in the trees and faces the forest. I'll have to look into Shades.
     
  11. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Anybody know when Shades opens for camping?

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk HD
     
  12. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Are they open year round?
     
  13. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Anyone know?
     
  14. vike-king

    vike-king My worst camping trip ever, was terriffic!

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    Just Googled it and yes they are open year round.
     
  15. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Thanks, Roth Family. Anyone know if there is campfire wood available near there?
     
  16. highlander70

    highlander70 New Member

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    We visited shades last fall, we stopped by after we left turkey run so we did not stay overnight but it was a nice spot, had som nice trails.
    We drove thru the cg and it was roomy.
    Rockville lake cg is also a nice cg, it's like 10 min down the street from turkey run. They also have roomy spots to camp
     
  17. haroldpe

    haroldpe Campin' Engineer

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    Hi NovaGirl

    Firewood?? I think I've only bought from Turkey Run campstore, but I see that Turkey run camping is open all year, but I have only been there in the summer. If Turkey Run campstore is also open, then they would have firewood, not that far from Shades.

    I bet there are private sellers all around, though.

    http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/6413.htm
     
  18. novagirl

    novagirl retired camper

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    Thanks, haroldpe. I bet you are right.

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  19. bburgcamper

    bburgcamper 16 weekends a year camping just isn't enough.

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    If I may correct the last post (from experience). Shades is open year round as a day use park and camping opens in April. We camped at Turkey Run a few weeks ago and I was talking to one of the rangers and we were discussing availability of camping at Shades. She works both parks and it is a staffing issue that causes the off season camping closure. She also told me that DNR has really cracked down at Shades due to drug related issues. They have gone as far as using night vision goggles and hiding in the woods to catch the people doing illegal activities. We have never observed anything or had an issue while there but I found it interesting that they were seeing some undesirable activity.
     
  20. haroldpe

    haroldpe Campin' Engineer

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    Fascinating. We'll take our chances, though sounds like the cure may be worse than the cause.
     

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