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Clifty Falls State Park is in Southern Indiana outside Madison. 2221 Clifty Dr., Madison. +1 812 273-8885.


The most popular visitation time is December through June, when the falls are at their fullest.


Clifty Falls entered the State Park system in 1920, now covering more than 1400 acres. The Ice Age brought on the formation of Clifty Falls, when south flowing waters of Clifty Creek met the Ohio River, plunging two hundred feet high. Eventually the falls cut their way more than two miles into the bedrock. Now it's sixty feet high, slowly making its way upstream at around one-quarter inch a year.

Many of the stone work and pathways got their start from the Madison and Indianapolis railroad being built in the area around 1852. The railroad went bankrupt, leaving excellent foot trails and a muddy rock strewn 600-foot tunnel accessible by the trails.


425 million year old shale and limestone containing countless fossils can be viewed throughout the park in the bedrock. The numerous falls and canyon are a huge draw for the park. Sinkholes and a cave too. It's quite a beautiful park!

Flora and fauna


Located in Southern Indiana, Clifty Falls experience warm Spring and Summers with nice amounts of precipitation (i.e. hot and steamy at times), Winter and Fall is moderate with temps rarely dipping low.

Get in

Car is your best bet. I-65 heads south from Indianapolis and north from Louisville. From 65, head east on IN-256 right to the park.


  • Weekdays - $4 (Indiana plates)
  • Weekends (Fri-Sun, Holidays) - $5 (Indiana plates)
  • Non-Indiana Residents - $7
  • Pedestrians, bikes, by horse - $2

Get around

There are many nice paths through Clifty Falls for all types of visitors.

Car gets you in, and foot will get you around!


  • The observation tower overlooking the Ohio River (Trail 1).
  • The falls - numerous falls trail the park.
  • The fossils in the rock beds along the falls and trails.


  • Hike - the hiking in this park is unlike any other in the Midwest. 10 trails ranging from easy to very rugged offer countless view points, sights, and scenes.
  • Take a nature tour - inquire at the park office.
  • Picnic in one of the many picnic areas featuring table, shelters, toilets, and playgrounds.
  • Go swimming. (Swimming and climbing on the falls themselves, while lots of fun, is now prohibited.)
  • Play tennis at the Clifty Inn.


The park Inn features a gift shop. Major shopping areas are located in Madison.


The wiki page for Madison features plenty of dining options in the nearby town.

  • Picnic at one of the many picnic areas within the park.
  • Clifty Falls Restaurant located in the park hotel offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Refreshments are available at the park inn. Booze is not served or allowed on the premise. Head to Madison for coffee shops and bars.


Please visit the Madison wiki page for plenty of options for lodging and camping.



The park features a camp ground with electric and primitive sites, as well as youth camping areas.


Stay safe

  • Use common sense
    • Stay on the designated trails. Clifty Falls offers very rugged hiking on some trails and rockslides are frequent on these tougher trails. Visit the park office for details regarding trail status before exploring.
    • Only build fires in designated areas.
    • Camping is allowed only in campgrounds.
    • Carry In/Carry Out all of your goods.
    • Drink water only from park supplied pumps.
    • Do not swim in the creek or falls areas. They might look tempting but the rockiness and frequent rockslides and undertows are a danger.

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