Winter waterfall hike at Clifty Falls

Straddling the border line between Indiana and Kentucky, Clifty Falls State Park is barely a thirty-minute drive up from Louisville. Known for its deep ravines, muddy trails, and limestone cliffs, the park is without a question the best location in the state for beautiful waterfall sightseeing.

I’ll admit, a post about a park with summertime appeal seems a bit out of place for February, but Clifty is actually offering a guided winter tour of the park’s magnificently frozen features. The state’s official website has posted that on February 26 at 2 p.m., Clifty park rangers are setting out on a guided walk through “one of Clifty Canyons’ most beautiful sections.”

If you’ve never been part of the wonder and awe that accompanies witnessing a frozen-over waterfall, this is your chance to do it, before the first warms breaths of Spring begin to sweep across the icy grounds. As with any Indiana state park, especially in the frozen winter season, you can expect the trails to be rugged, and messy. So make sure to bundle up your toes with some proper insulation and thick boots. And don’t forget a change of gloves – I’d be awfully surprised if you managed to keep your first pair dry throughout the entire trek.

You’ll be stopping at the five most scenic waterfalls the park has to offer, making for a one hour total hike – a perfect amount of time to be braving the elements in a Hoosier February. The hike is only a small glimpse at what the rest of the park has to offer, though, so if you’re blood is still warm by the end I’d recommend exploring the other sightseeing opportunities inside Clifty.

Afterward, the historic nearby rivertown of Madison is a great place to wind down and warm up. Filled to the brim with cozy coffee shops, old wineries, and famous landmarks, it’d be a shame not to cap off the waterfall outing with a steaming cup of Joe in one of Indiana’s oldest towns.

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The Lanier Mansion is one of those historic landmarks in Madison worth taking the time to stop and see

 

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