McCormick’s Creek State Park is Indiana’s oldest state park, opened in 1916 as part of our state centennial celebration. It’s near Spencer in Owen County, about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis. I met my younger son there a few weeks ago. He lives nearby, and thanks to the pandemic it had been months and months since we saw each other.

McCormick's Creek

We hiked some of the park’s trails, and ended up on one that hugs the creek itself. As you can see, it’s quite rocky. One of the trails requires crossing the creek. I did that on a long-ago visit and ended up soaking my shoes. Not wanting a squishy hike, we stayed to one side of the creek.

McCormick's Creek

The highlight of the trail is the little waterfall.

Waterfall at McCormick's Creek

Hiking along the creek can be quite rugged. I wore flat-bottomed sneakers that were not up to the task of climbing rock. Why did I not think to put on my waterproof hiking shoes? Fortunately, most of the trail is just a nice walk through the woods.

Path in McCormick's Creek SP
Bridge in McCormick's Creek SP

The highlight of the day for me, aside from getting to see my son, was coming upon these horses. The park offers guided trail rides.

Horses at McCormick's Creek

Finally, I made a portrait of my son. I didn’t think the shadow across his body would come out with such strong contrast — it wasn’t so strong when I composed.


I made all of these with my Nikon F2AS and the big honking 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Nikkor lens on Fujicolor 200. Fulltone Photo did the developing and scanning.

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18 responses to “A hike along McCormick’s Creek”

  1. Gerald Greenwood Avatar

    Ah, beautiful place, lovely photos.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you! We have a wonderful state park system here.

  2. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    Beautiful spot. It’s nice that you were able to get together with your son after such a long time.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It was very good to see him. He’s back in school now, and a lot closer. I took him out for a cheeseburger last week.

  3. Ben Cotton Avatar

    Great shots. I love that park. My cross country team had camp there most years. We used to spend a lot of time damming up the water fall by having 10 or so of us sit across the top. Then we’d let go all at once for the enjoyment of the teammate standing below.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I first visited this park in the late 90s with my oldest, we went camping here. Now his mom and therefore our youngest live 10 minutes from here, so it’s a convenient place for me to meet him! It helps a lot that this place is so freaking gorgeous.

  4. DougD Avatar

    Nice! I saw my brother a couple of weeks ago for the first time since Christmas!

    Our son has only been gone for 3 weeks but I miss him in the house…

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The kids sure do leave a hole when they go.

  5. adventurepdx Avatar

    Adventures like this is one of the reasons I came around to sport sandals a la Keen. I used to dislike sandals of any kind, but now I can just go in the creek and not worry.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have a challenging left foot after foot surgery in 2014. I need serious arch and ball of foot support. So buying shoes that work for me is not easy. I wear Birkenstocks all summer because they have just the right support. But they’re not great for hiking — a little slippery, and I don’t like to get them wet. All of my other shoes need an orthotic put in them for me to be able to walk pain-free. That’s why I lean into my Merrell hikers on days like this normally — they are well constructed and take my orthotic.

      1. adventurepdx Avatar

        I know that Merrell makes sandals–maybe they’d work with the orthotic? (As long as that orthotic can get wet, I guess.)

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          It’s not good for it to be wet. Merrell’s hikers can be waterproof; that’s my best bet.

          I used to go hiking in these great Teva sandals I used to own. Man, those were the days.

          1. adventurepdx Avatar

            Ah man, that’s too bad. I tend to avoid the waterproof shoes, even here in wet Portland: Water can’t get in, then again, water can’t get out either.

  6. Nancy Stewart Avatar
    Nancy Stewart

    Last year in September Jerry and I went tent camping in the primitive camp ground at McCormick’s Creek for four days. We were the only ones in the whole primitive area. It was so nice. We were going to go this year at the same time, but this year , because of the virus, lots more people are camping, and so almost every site was reserved. After seeing that the weather didn’t look too good and too many other people around, we canceled our reservation. Really nice park. We have reservations at Salamonie with the RV the first week of October, if the weather co-operates.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve tent camped here too, but it’s been a long time. Our 35 year old was about 12 then!

  7. Darts and Letters Avatar
    Darts and Letters

    That was pretty neat to see the horses. Looks like they were practically begging you to come closer! Seeing this reminds me of how much I’ve always really wanted to try my hand at a portrait of a horse over a fence, as close as possible with a wide angle. It’s a fairly cliche idea which is recycled like crazy but I find them so charming and quirky. My little sister has a horse but he’s a nasty biter who will have no compunction about reaching over to take a bite out of someone just on the other side of the fence.

    Glad you could walk, visit with your son and get some exercise and fresh air. Sounds like a nice time.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m wary of horses. I’m not sure why. These horses were behind two fences and I was content to zoom in to the max to photograph them!

      It was a lovely afternoon with my son. It’s been so hard not to see him thanks to COVID.

  8. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    It is always good to catch up with kids, once they are grown they seem to vanish to the far corners of the earth….

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