Shades State Park
The river bottom and canyons were originally called 'Shades of Death' and became shortened to just "shades". Today, it is a state park and nature preserve. The trail into Pine Hills Nature Preserve leads down a steep embankment (wooden stairs provided) to the creek bottom. There are two loops both short. One stays along the river flats circling southward. The other circles north and you climb up on the Backbone. Here you'll be on a 6 ft (1.8 m) wide rock ledge with nearly 100 foot (30.5 m) drop on both sides. At the point, you'll find a trail leading down again to the river.
The change from the deep forest, to open cliffs, the sparse vegetation on parks of the river bottom with dense clumps intersperced makes for an enjoyable hour.
Shades State Park page
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Deer's Mill Covered Bridge
Built in 1878 by J.J. Daniels, Deer's Mill Covered Bridge is located on Indiana Route 234. It's in Shades State Park. As you pass through the park, the road twist down hill into a valley, turning through the trees which close out the light from above. That's the reason the area was once known as the 'Shades of Death'.
The bridge is 275 ft (84.6 m) long. It is a Burr Arch design like all of Daniels bridges scattered across Parke County.
- Historical Travel
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