Is it just me, or does camping just take you back to being a kid again? Every single summer while I was growing up, my mom and dad would stuff us into our van (and then eventually SUV because my mom was a cool mom) and take frequent weekend trips to various campgrounds. We slept in tents, pop-up campers, and even upgraded to a huge trailer. Camping was a significant part of my childhood and I'm grateful for my mom and dad instilling a love of nature into me and my sister.
My sister, Gwen, and I would ride our bikes for hours, making new friends with kids at nearby campsites and catching lightning bugs at dusk. We even had "our campsite" that we would return to every year at Turkey Run. We would hike, canoe, ride bikes and even horses sometimes, get really dirty and stinky, too.
Recently, Michael (my boyfriend) and I planned a camping trip to Turkey Run for our anniversary. We both enjoy watching shows like Naked and Afraid, Alone, and Survivor, I thought "why not", so with a full Kia and a tent, off we went! From our house, Turkey Run is a relatively short drive of only an hour and a half.
Turkey Run has different types of campsites, some with electricity, and some not, some with shade and some in full sun. Make sure you are aware of the type of campsite you're booking to suit your needs! The specific site we stayed in was #163 - it was in the shade and very spacious, we could have easily fit another tent on the site.
Michael set up the tent while I unpacked the car and set up the picnic table. We then blew up the air mattress and made the bed (a sheet to lay on, pillows, a thick blanket, and a sleeping bag were needed because it got down to the 50s at night).
I love Turkey Run because everything is so close and accessible. Bath houses were a short bike ride or walk away, the main hiking trails were down the street, and the canoeing facility was across the street. There is also horse back riding on site that we did not do.
When you book a camp site you get a pass to come and go freely into Turkey Run State Park (there is a one time $7 Indiana resident fee, out of state-ers pay a $9 fee) during your camping stay.
Things you might need but wouldn't necessarily think about:
A clothes line - we used a dog lead to tether to two trees, but you can use paracord
Baby wipes or a water container with soap - this is nice to be able to wash/sanitize your hands without walking to and from the bath house
Long socks - while they look a little dorky, they are so important in keeping your ankles covered from bugs and problematic plants
Table cloth - I got a disposable picnic table cloth for easy clean up
A 2 liter full of water - freeze it and throw it in your cooler for a longer lasting ice pack
Waterproof sandals - WEAR SANDALS WHILE YOU SHOWER
Rubber mat or tarp - put this in front of your tent entrance so you can keep the inside
Security cable lock - lock up your coolers and bikes. Thankfully we had one because raccoons tried to get into our coolers!
Bike rack - having a bike to explore and ride to and from the bath house was a must
This is the view from the middle of the suspension bridge.
Some of the trails have gravel while others are more packed clay and mud.
We frequently detoured from the path and found some hidden gems like this red covered bridge.
Of course I had to make a little adventurous TikTok!
This is the Punch Bowl. The trail on the map is marked as #3, and was a pretty easy hike. It was definitely muddy and through a creek at times so make sure you are wearing the appropriate shoes! This was by far our favorite trail!
Michael and I thought this part of the hike looked like Avatar's Pandora (you know, the movie with the giant naked blue people, yeah that one). We didn't feel like we were in Indiana anymore, thats for sure!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Can you see Michael in the far right photo? These rocks were HUGE!
The first night we ate steak kabobs and hobo potatoes with cooked onions. I marinated the steak in balsamic based marinate to sit over night. Make sure you cook the potatoes and onions first, they take more time than the steak - I cooked them over the fire in a double layer of foil. On the little red potatoes, I cut them in fourths to cook faster and seasoned them with butter, garlic salt, pepper, and onion powder, the onions just got butter and salt. After dinner we made s'mores. Apparently Michael is crazy because he only likes his marshmallows warm and not actually browned, HAHA. I love my marshmallows brown and really gooey on the inside.
The second day we went canoeing on Sugar Creek. It was a gorgeous day for relaxing on the water. We opted for the 6 mile trip and finished it in about 2.5 hours with a lunch break on shore. Sugar Creek also provides tubes for floating, or kayaks!
Next we hiked to Boulder Canyon and Falls Canyon. These hikes were more strenuous than the previous day. The far right photo is me sitting on a rock - the same rock I used to sit on as a kid with Gwen. I made sure to snap a photo to show my parents and reminisce!
The second night I made Mac n cheese in the fire and hamburgers on the grate - a classic camping meal in my opinion!
All in all, we had an amazing trip to bond and just soak in time together with nature.
BOOK YOUR CAMPING TRIP HERE > https://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/campground/reservations/index.htm
BOOK YOUR CANOEING TRIP HERE > https://www.turkeyrunstatepark.com/turkey_run_canoeing/index.htm
This blog post was not paid for or sponsored by Turkey Run or Sugar Creek Canoeing.