Deer Mill Covered Bridge crosses Sugar Creek and is the furthest upstream covered bridge on the creek. From here, down river, you head into Parke County, the self proclaimed 'Covered Bridge Capital' of the world. This 2-span Burr Arch Truss is often missed by bridge enthusiast because it is so remote from the 30+ bridges in Parke County another 10 miles down the road.
For additional covered bridges in neighboring countys see:
West - Turkey Run State Park page
- Narrows CB Travelogue
Southwest - Rockville - Parke County page
Northwest - Veedersburg - Fountain County page
South - Greencastle - Putnam County page
Pine Hills has several formations called backbones. These are very narrow cliffs with sheer sides. You enter through a hemlock forest. Hemlocks are evergreens with feathery leaves; they are not very common in Indiana. You'll walk out onto a ridge with sheer drops on both sides. A stairway down to two loop trail.
The loop to the right wanders around the valley floor with some good views of the cliffs and a former mill site.
The loop to the left takes you right up to Devil’s Backbone. The trail goes up and along the top of the ridge. There are no handrails and the top is very narrow (4-5' or 1.2-1.4 m). The trail follows the botton of the river bluff part of the way.
Built in 1878, now decomissioned, Deer's Mill covered bridge crosses Sugar Creek at the northeast part of Shades. IND 234 runs right next to it.
Unless you fancy taking a tumble, don't stray too far off the trail or lose your footing. Wear sturdy shoes with good soles. Some of the trails are actually creek beds and can be impassable after rain.