Hemlock Cliffs Special Place and Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Hemlock Cliffs creek

Hemlock Cliffs is a box canyon of special beauty in southern Indiana. A cool climate, sandstone rock formations, and seasonal waterfalls are responsible for the unique trees and plants that grow here. The area features sandstone rock outcrops, overhangs, cliffs, rock shelters, and ravines. Much of the sandstone is “Honeycombed” by weathering of iron ores. Springs, small caves, and subterranean drainage conduits are in the underlying Glen Dean Limestone. Archaeological excavations indicate Native American occupation as early as 10,000 years ago. The head of the canyon is a large, semi circular rock shelter, which undoubtedly provided cover and defense to the early occupants of this area.

A one-mile hiking trail leads you down into the canyon under a lush canopy of large trees and past high seasonal waterfalls. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery when wet, so use caution. It could take two leisurely hours to complete the loop. A one-mile hiking trail leads you down into the canyon under a lush canopy of large trees, through rock shelters, and past high seasonal waterfalls. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery when wet, so use caution. It could take two leisurely hours to complete the loop.

At a Glance

Usage: Medium
Restrictions:
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited, except on designated roadways.
  • Foot traffic is restricted from some areas for resource protection.
  • Respect Native American heritage - Avoid entering sacred rock shelters.
  • Camping, fires, climbing and rappelling are prohibited in certain areas for resource protection
Closest Towns: English, IN
Water: None
Restroom: None
Information Center: Tell City Ranger District

General Information

Directions:

Hemlock Cliffs is located between Highway 237 and Highway 37 about 2 miles north of Interstate 64.

From Ind. 37 

Take Governors Trace. Turn right on Hatfield Road and continue to the entrance to Hemlock Cliffs on the left. Continue 2.1 miles to the trailhead. 

GPS Coordinates

38⁰16’38.777”N, 86⁰32’20.317”W  


General Notes:

Maps and Brochures

A Special Area

Hemlock Cliffs is a valley of special beauty in southern Indiana. A cool climate, created by the box canyon shape, sandstone rock formations, and seasonal waterfalls is responsible for the unique trees and plants that grow here. 

Hemlock Cliffs has long been a popular destination for people seeking tranquility, and a chance for reflection. 

The area features, sandstone rock outcrops, overhangs, cliffs, rock shelters, and ravines. The rock you see is sandstone of the Tar Springs Formation. Much of the sandstone is “Honeycombed” by weathering of iron ores. Springs, small caves, and subterranean drainage conduits are in the underlying Glen Dean Limestone. 

Lush vegetation is found along the cliffs, waterfalls and canyon floor. Hemlock, a tall evergreen with short needles and small cones, thrives in the canyon’s cool climate. Wintergreen, a rare plant, is also found here. Wild geranium, French’s shooting star, mountain laurel, and liverwort are some of the other plants of interest found here. 

Archaeological excavations indicate Native American occupation as early as 10,000 years ago. The head of the canyon is a large, semi circular rock shelter, which undoubtedly provided cover and defense to the early occupants of this area. 

A one-mile hiking trail leads you down into the canyon under a lush canopy of large trees and past high seasonal waterfalls. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery when wet, so use caution. It could take two leisurely hours to complete the loop. 

In winter this area is especially beautiful after a snowfall or when cold temperatures freeze the waterfall. Use caution on ice or snow covered trails. 

To Preserve the Beauty and Tranquility of the Area

  • Stay on the trail 
  • Be aware that voices are amplified in the canyon. 
  • Minimize loud calling 
  • Pack out trash 
  • Report resource damage to the Forest Service. 

Violations are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 6 months. 


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Activities


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Location

 
  Area/Length : 
1 mile trail

  Latitude : 
38.2776

  Longitude : 
-86.5391

 

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hoosier/recarea/?recid=41570