INPAWS Hike: Hemlock Cliffs

Saturday, June 9 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Eastern Daylight Time, Hemlock Cliffs, Crawford County

Leader:  Kirk W. Larson, Hoosier National Forest

Trail Conditions: The approximately 1-mile trail takes hikers down into the box canyon, through rockshelters and past seasonal waterfalls. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery when wet, especially where the trail crosses the stream and on stone steps or other rock surfaces.  Ticks and chiggers are common in southern Indiana, but generally not prevalent in the canyon.

What To See: The cool climate created by the box canyon shape, sandstone rock formations, and seasonal waterfalls is responsible for the unique trees and plants that grow here. Eastern hemlock is lightly scattered in the canyon with mountain laurel present on the top of sandstone cliffs and bluffs. Other rare plants found on cliff ledges or in rockshelters include French’s shootingstar and Appalachian vittaria. A wide variety of other wildflowers grow along the trail as you continue through mesic forest and parallel a small stream.

Directions: We will meet at the Hemlock Cliffs parking area on the Hoosier National Forest.  The parking area is north of Interstate 64, south of State Route 64, and between State Routes 37 and 237. Starting from English, travel south on SR 237 for 5-6 miles, then turn west onto Union Chapel Road. Continue about 2.5 miles to the junction of Eckert-Hatfield Roads, staying right on Hatfield road for approx.1.5 miles to a Forest Service road on the right. Travel 0.5 miles to the parking area. From Interstate I-64 go north on SR 237 about 2.7 miles to Union Chapel Road and continue with directions provided above.

Questions?  Contact Kirk W. Larson by email ( or phone (812) 276-4773, cell phone (812) 278-4621 by June 7, 2012. No RSVP required. We will hike rain or shine.


    Mido wrote on July 24, 2012

    Which south rim trails would you rmonmeecd for a nice day hike? We were unable to obtain lodging in the Canyon and will be driving in and out from Williams. We will be there in mid October, and have two full days to hike. We would need to be out by dark as our driver does not like driving at night. Suggestions?

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