You must be signed in to save park lists.
Your Park Lists
add New List
Add Photo
You must be signed in to add photos.
state route ranger badge

Indiana State Parks

responsive menu icon
USA Parks
Southern Region
Clifty Falls State Park
start slideshow
Clifty Falls State Park Upstream © Michael E. Ruby
Looking upstream from the bridge above Hoffman Falls
Clifty Falls State Park Just a trickle © Michael E. Ruby
Big Clifty Falls
Clifty Falls State Park Hoffman Falls © Michael E. Ruby
Hoffman Falls after a major rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Tunnel Falls © Michael E. Ruby
Tunnel Falls after a major rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Bridge over stream © Michael E. Ruby
Bridge over the stream that feeds Hoffman Falls
Clifty Falls State Park Up stream © Michael E. Ruby
Upstream from Little Clifty Falls after a major rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Little Clifty Falls © Michael E. Ruby
After a small rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Big Clifty Falls © Michael E. Ruby
After a major rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Big Clifty Falls © Michael E. Ruby
After a small rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Little Clifty Falls © Michael E. Ruby
After a major rain event
Clifty Falls State Park Small falls © Michael E. Ruby
Upstream from the bridge
Clifty Falls State Park Cake Rock © David Hyde
Cake Rock early in the morning
Clifty Falls State Park Walking a trail with Grandma © Jeanette Melis
Memorial Weekend 2015 at Clifty Falls State Park walking a trail that is close to the in. Ellie Brie walking ahead of Grandma Nettie
Clifty Falls State Park Trail 7 © David Hyde
Protected overlook of Big Clifty Falls along trail 7
Clifty Falls State Park TUrkey © Jeanette Melis
Turkey at Clifty Falls State Park we saw several Memorial Weekend 2015
Clifty Falls State Park Bridge © Michael E. Ruby
This bridge is above Hoffman Falls.
Clifty Falls State Park Above Hoffman © Michael E. Ruby
Standing on the bridge looking toward Hoffman Falls
Clifty Falls State Park Lilly Memorial © Michael E. Ruby
Looking out over the Lilly Memorial
Clifty Falls State Park Abandon © Michael E. Ruby
Looking into the abandoned train tunnel.
Clifty Falls State Park Trail 4 Stairs to Lilly Memorial © David Hyde
Stairs at the end of trail 4 - 154 straight up to the Lilly Memorial
Clifty Falls State Park View south from High Bridge © Joseph Herring
High Bridge is well-named. Spanning a gaping chasm carved by Little Crooked Creek, it has stunning views from both its sides. To the south, the hills of Kentucky are visible. High Bridge is located near the parks southern boundary.
Clifty Falls State Park Rapids on Clifty Creek © Joseph Herring
Indiana Looks more like a scene from the Smokies
Clifty Falls State Park Rocky Wonderland © Joseph Herring
I discovered this amazing jumble of huge boulders somewhere on the upper reaches of Clifty Creek.
Clifty Falls State Park Ohio River Overlook © Joseph Herring
This magnificent panorama unfolds when you pass around the back of Clifty Inn.
Clifty Falls State Park © Tammy Davis
One of the views from fire tower.
Clifty Falls State Park © Tammy Davis
Tammy Davis
Clifty Falls State Park © Tammy Davis
Big Clifty
Clifty Falls State Park © Tammy Davis
Big Clifty after heavy rains
Clifty Falls State Park Clifty Falls © Michael R. Johnson
Clifty Falls
Clifty Falls State Park Stone stairs © Michael R. Johnson
Stone stairs on hiking trail 7.
Clifty Falls State Park Platforms © Michael R. Johnson
Wooden structures on a trail at Clifty Falls.
Clifty Falls State Park Secret cascade © Joseph Herring
This picturesque, unnamed cascade is hidden amid boulders on a hillside.
Clifty Falls State Park Cascading Stream © Joseph Herring
This small and pretty cascade is found on a creek above Hoffman Falls.
Clifty Falls State Park Cascade above Little Clifty Falls © Joseph Herring
This beautiful cascade lies at your left when you cross the bridge spanning Little Clifty Creek, on trail 7. At your right, the creek spills into a deep hollow as Little Clifty Falls.
Clifty Falls State Park Hidden Falls © Joseph Herring
The cascade shown is just the bottom of a tremendously high waterfall. This falls is one of many spectacular, yet hidden waterfalls that exist in Clifty Falls state park. This particular waterfall is only barely accessible, and the dangerous creek bed hike to it is not at all recommended.
Clifty Falls State Park Tunnel Falls © Joseph Herring
One of the tallest waterfalls in the park, Tunnel Falls has a drop of around 80 feet.
Clifty Falls State Park Looking up at Cake Rock © Joseph Herring
Cake Rock is a massive limestone slump block which towers above trail 7.
Clifty Falls State Park Limestone boulder on Trail 1 © Joseph Herring
Trail 1 is a lovely trail in the morning.
Clifty Falls State Park Hiker at the mouth of the Tunnel © Joseph Herring
The old railroad tunnel is a weird place. Springs in the walls create flowstone cave formations, and bats sleep in crannies in the ceiling.
Availability Search
1501 Green Rd
Madison, Indiana   47250
(lat:38.7551 lon:-85.4212) map location

Phone: (812) 273-8885
Clifty Falls State Park is located near Madison with entrances off state roads 56 and 62. The name Clifty Falls paints a beautiful picture in your mind. Winter and spring hiking shows the falls at their best while the rugged splendor of the creek and canyon offer exciting scenery year-round.

In historic Madison tour the Lanier State Historic Site, mansion of frontier banker James F.D. Lanier and enjoy the drive along the beautiful Ohio River. Plan a park visit during one of the community's special events such as the Madison Chautauqua Art Festival or Regatta hydroplane boat race.
History of the Area
People have always been fascinated by scenes of rugged geologic splendor, places which give witness to awesome powers at work in nature. Clifty Falls Sate Park, with its deeply cut gorges, sheet rock walls and plunging waterfalls, is such a place. Like the proverbial cowboy who first viewed the Grand Canyon one cannot help think, "Something has happened here!"

Clifty Falls and the nearby Ohio River are products of the Ice Age. The Ohio River is a trench cut by sand and gravel laden melt waters of the glacial ice mass and basically marks the southern most advance of the glaciers which came from the north. Clifty Falls and its canyon are a subsequent erosion feature. From the lip of Clifty Falls at an elevation near the general level of the county, Clifty Creek plunges down more than 70 feet. In nearly three miles of canyon, the creek descends another 250 feet to the Ohio River below. There are four major waterfalls and numerous minor ones in the park.

The 425 million-year-old hales and limestones of the park are among the oldest bedrock exposures in Indiana. They are some 100 million years older than the sandstones and shales of the south central 'Knobs' region and nearly 150 million years older than the coal-bearing deposits of southwestern Indiana. An abundance of fossil remains of ancient marine life are interred in the formation of the rock.

In 1853, the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad Company began work on a railway which was to have run west from Madison then up Clifty Creek Canyon and Dean's Branch to connect with the mail line about one mile north of Madison. Two tunnels were planned for the 4 3/4 mile line. The lower tunnel was barely started and excavation of the upper tunnel which traverses the cliff just south of the Tunnel Falls was in progress when financial problems made it necessary to suspend operations. Portions of the park's hiking trails follow the original grade and several piers and trestle abutments may still be seen.

For many years, the park consisted of 617 acres which included the falls, the canyon and the immediate upland rim. In 1965, the park was more than doubled in size by the acquisition of adjoining upland fields from the Madison State Hospital. This 'old field' area has provided the space needed for modern recreational demands. The city of Madison and the Ohio River Valley make up the panorama seen from Clifty Inn.
State park permits can be purchased at any of the state park property locations across Indiana. State park permits can also be ordered online by visiting the INDINIA ENTRANCE FEE web page.
GeneralLand, acres1,300
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
 Picnic Sheltersyes
 Swimming Beachyes
 Nature Centeryes
 Nature Programsyes
CampingPrimitive, #59
 Electric Sites, #106
 Flush Toiletsyes
 Youth Group Campyes
AccommodationsLodge Rooms, #63
 Indoor Swimming Poolyes
* Electric / 106 sites * Primitive / 59 sites * Youth Tent Areas * Dumping Station
Clifty inn located in Clifty Falls State Park sits high atop a bluff overlooking the Ohio River. The original Clifty Inn first opened its doors to guests in august of 1924. Since then countless numbers of travelers from all over the World have visited clifty inn to relax and enjoy some of natures most scenic wonders.

Over the years Clifty Inn has changed in appearance. The most recent renovation has just been completed. Clifty Inn is now comprised of 63 rooms and 4 suites. 36 of those rooms are in the riverview building and with balconies in all rooms, you are always afforded a beautiful view overlooking historic downtown Madison. The remaining 27 rooms and 4 suites are in the main building which also houses our indoor pool and hot tub. Also in the main building is the dining room with a fantastic view of the Ohio River and downtown Madison.

With 76 years of service, Clifty Inn continues to provide comfortable accommodations, good food and a professional staff to attend the needs of the business traveler, the family, and all those who seek the beauty and history of the Madison area.

Area Attractions
* Nature Center/Interpretive Naturalist Services * Shelters (Shelter Reservations) * Picnicking * Hiking Trails * Tennis & Other Games * Meeting & Conference Facilities * Clifty Inn and Restaurant * Swimming Pool / Waterslide Open Memorial Day (Policy)

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 13 Murphy family reunion
park review stars; one to five Murphy family reunion was at the Inn on June 10. We had good food and most especially great service from our waitress. Thank you for a delightful experience !!
June 19 Great Staff by William Smith
park review stars; one to five We arrived at our non electric camp site that we reserved to find it had no trees at that camping space. We had hammocks and envisioned a different experience. My daughter talked to the person staffing the entrance shack to camping and that person let us know which sites were not reserved and let us look at them and pick the one we wanted. The staff member was super nice in helping us have a better camping experience, she was very nice and seemed sincerely concerned about our request. We are so thankful to her for making our weekend great.
January 11 Disappointing... by pinkpajamas
park review stars; one to five Park needs forest management.Why let vines & greenbriar kill all the trees? Is out of control. Inn had peeling wallpaper, 1 mattress turned upside down with pillow side down. Too afraid to turn it over to see why. Unsmiling check-in employees.Seal broken on sliding door obscuring the river/power plant/3 mile island-like view. We have been here 3 times previously.Yes, the falls are beautiful.Park would be such a treasure with some forest management. Really liked the soap.
write a review read more reviews
Share On

Nearby Hotels

Due to a quirk with how our 1501 Green Road address is interpreted by major on-line mapping services, customers using this as a destination address are often lead to a dead end street. To successfully build a map that will get you to our our gate off of state road 62 please use "2221 Clifty Drive" as your destination address.

state route ranger badge

Indiana State Parks