Charlestown State Park
Charlestown State Park is relatively new; it includes about 2,300 acres, all of which were once part of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant. The principal physiographic features of the park are Fourteenmile Creek and its valley, along with a small Ohio River frontage.
There are presently five trails, and each is worth exploring. Be sure to pick up a map at the gatehouse.
Trail 3 is probably the most popular. It starts out as a flat gravel road but soon begins a knee-jarring descent into the valley of Fourteenmile Creek. The Ohio River controls the water level in the creek, and the latter sometimes appears to flow backward or even submerge its banks.
When the creek is low enough, you can walk south toward the Ohio along the creek’s tree-lined banks. The Ohio is accessible if you’re willing to cross a smaller creek; overhanging tree branches and a small waterfall combine to create a very pleasant scene.
The return follows the creek though flood plain woods, gradually turning away and then rising abruptly to the beginning of the trail.
Trail 4 starts at the same point as Trail 3 and offers overlooks of the valley below.
Trail 2 is the shortest trail in the park, but certainly not the least interesting. It’s a wooded loop of about a mile; it features overlooks of a pretty creek and a number of small but attractive waterfalls and cascades.
Trail 1 starts out as an unremarkable walk along an old lane, before entering the woods and descending a rocky path festooned with spring wildflowers. The trail squeezes between the stream valley to the right and impressive rock outcrops to the left, the latter having periodically shed house-sized chunks of rock that lie scattered about.
Trail 5 is the newest in the park; it begins near the campground visitor lot and descends to a platform that overlooks Fourteenmile Creek far below. Along the way, it skirts the campground and passes by large stands of twin leaf and phacelia.
Clark County. From the intersection of IN 3 and IN 62, go east 1.0 mile on IN 62 to the marked entrance on the right (south).
North 38 26.949 West 85 38.768
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Campground, shelter houses.
Nearby Natural Areas
Bloom: Hiking Indiana; Page 122
Habeck: Wild Indiana; Page 125
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
McPherson: Indiana Best Hikes; Page 312
McPherson: Nature Walks in Southern Indiana; Page 118