Shades State Park Travel Guide

  • Deer Mill Covered Bridge
    Deer Mill Covered Bridge
    by Toughluck
  • River section of the Backbone loop
    River section of the Backbone loop
    by Toughluck
  • Things to Do
    by Toughluck

Shades State Park Things to Do

  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    by Toughluck Updated May 7, 2007

    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

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    by Toughluck Written May 7, 2007

    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.

    River section of the Backbone loop
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • National/State Park

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  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    by sambarnett Written Nov 29, 2002

    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.

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Shades State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    by sambarnett Written Oct 19, 2002

    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.

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