Shades State Park is that peaceful place you've sought. Located about 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville (off S.R. 47), it is a favorite for hikers and canoeists. The beautiful sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek and numerous shady ravines provide the backdrop for your journey through this nature lover's paradise. Also on the property is Pine Hills Nature Preserve, which affords spectacular topography for those willing to take a fairly long hike.
You'll marvel at the natural geologic wonders of this beautiful park as you hike along its famous trails. Nestled along State Road 47 southwest of Crawfordsville, the park offers the chance to explore deep, sandstone ravines, walk along stands of aged forests, and enjoy the scenic views along Sugar Creek. Make sure to visit the Colonel Richard Lieber Cabin, which commemorates the contributions of the father of Indiana's state park system.
Native forest and large rock outcrops line the upper part of Big Raccoon Creek. Cecil M. Harden Lake resulted from the damming of the creek for flood control. The lake also provides recreation, wildlife management and economic benefits. A variety of fish, flora and fauna can be viewed at the property. Nearby Historic Mansfield Roller Mill is a preserved, working example of industrialization in Indiana at the turn of the 20th century. This 1880s flour mill uses machinery from that time to show visitors how flour and cornmeal were processed from wheat and corn. It is an almost complete and unchanged example of flour mills from this time period.
This 400 acre hidden gem of Parke County, Indiana provides you and your family the opportunity to retreat outdoors to drift away from everyday routine. Chuckle as you witness family and friends create memories while enjoying the activities available at our park. Our lakefront recreation area hosts over 5oo feet of shoreline to fish. Along with our 125' wheelchair accessible fishing pier, you will have plenty of space to catch your mess. Our popular swimming beach, volleyball, horseshoes, one of three modern playgrounds, and plenty of open grass allow for numerous games and family memories. Our 18 hole disc golf course is one of our newest activities. We also have nature trails and wildlife viewing.