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Clifty Falls State Park

Clifty Falls State Park
Clifty Falls from the Overlook
Clifty Falls State Park is located in Indiana
Map of the U.S. state of Indiana showing the location of Clifty Falls State Park
Location Jefferson County, Indiana, USA
Nearest city Madison, Indiana
Area 1,416 acres (573 ha)
Created 1920
Operated by Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Visitors 425,506 (in 2003-2004)

Clifty Falls State Park is an Indiana state park on 1,416 acres (573 ha) in Jefferson County, Indiana in the United States. It is 46 miles (74 km) northeast of Louisville, Kentucky.

On Oct. 27, 1920, citizens of Madison, Indiana gave the land for the park, 570 acres (230 ha), to the state of Indiana at the suggestion of Richard Lieber. This was after a year's work by the citizens. A system of naturalist programs for Indiana state parks started in 1927, with Clifty Falls being one of the first four with one.[1]

The park features Clifty Creek, Little Clifty Creek, and a canyon in which the sun only shines during midday.

It has many beautiful nature trails, especially those that go near Clifty Falls. The Clifty Inn is available for overnight guests, and the park contains a campground with sites for RV and tent campers.


  • Canyons 1
  • Waterfalls 2
  • Trails 3
  • Gallery 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Clifty Creek Canyon traverses the entire north-south length of the state park. The upper rim of the canyon at the north end of the park is 800 feet (240 m) above sea level, descending to the valley of the Ohio River which is 500 feet (150 m) above sea level. The creek descends down to about 750 feet (230 m) before dropping over one of the two Clifty Falls.[2] Then it runs downward until reaching the Ohio River. Two other major canyons enter Clifty Creek Canyon from the east, they are Deans Branch (Tunnel Falls) and Hoffman Branch (Hoffman Falls).[3]


Clifty Falls State Park is named for the waterfalls on Clifty Creek.[3]

  • Big Clifty Falls - 60 feet (18 m)
  • Little Clifty Falls - 60 feet (18 m)
  • Hoffman Falls - 78 feet (24 m)
  • Tunnel Falls - 83 feet (25 m)


Clifty Falls State Park has ten trails that vary from easy, moderate, rugged and very rugged. Trail two is the only very rugged trail and it is the most rugged trail in all of Indiana. Because of the danger of falling rocks, the end of the trail is blocked from the public. There are old steps, also blocked, that used to lead down to the falls. You can see the falls from an overlook carved out of the side of the canyon.


See also


  1. ^ Official (Indiana) DNR Historical Timeline
  2. ^ U.S.G.S. Topographical Map, Madision, Indiana Quadrant
  3. ^ a b Clifty Falls State Park brochure, Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • "Clifty Falls State Park". (official site)  
  • "Statistics: Parks & Reservoirs Visitation".  
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