Central Indiana Birding Opportunities - Turkey Run State Park

Indiana’s second State Park, Turkey Run, covers just over 2,300 acres.

Turkey Run State Park along the Indiana Birding trail


A variety of habitats make up the park, including upper woodland, floodplain forest, small streams, river, canyon, and mature forest. Waterthrushes, swallows, and rock doves populate the canyons which are the main features of the park.

A great birding trail to take in the spring loops around Sugar Creek. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks consistently visit the Nature Center feeders and it is a perfect place to start a birding trip. Hike down the 70 steps and take Trail 1 along Sugar Creek. Migrating warblers, kinglets, thrushes, and tanagers are within the floodplain and upper woodlands. Cross the Narrows Covered Bridge to see the swallows nesting on the underside, Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers can be seen as well if you can get out in the morning before all of the canoes and kayaks hit the water. Trail 4 leads back through floodplain and more woodlands. It crosses two small streams, so look for waterthrushes and other warblers. Total time 2 hours

In winter, year-round residents are easier to see. Take a hike along Trail 3, left from the suspension bridge, to look for woodpeckers, winter wrens, and kinglets. Keep your eye on Sugar Creek as Bald Eagles use this as a major flyway. They also enjoy watching for fish along creek, especially at the overlook near the Ice Box. Sunset Point behind the Inn (Trail 6) is also a great Bald Eagle lookout. Total time 1 hour.

Throughout the summer, Turkey Vultures roost near the Turkey Run Inn, gatehouse, and tennis courts. They can often be seen warming up in the sunlight at daybreak.

Barred and Screech Owls are reliably heard in the campground, near the Inn and on Trail 4.

eBird Hotspot Link:

Total Birding Time:
2-6 hours

Best Times to Bird:
Spring and Fall are the most species rich for birding. Start early if you are coming on weekend, or better yet come on a weekday. Winter birding can be extremely rewarding with beautiful views, few visitors and a fire going in the Turkey Run Inn to warm up by after hiking.


Address: 8121 E. Park Road, Marshall, IN 47859
Directions: Turkey Run State Park is on Highway 47, one mile East for Highway 41.

Hours: Regular park hours are 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
Ownership: Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks
Admission: $7/vehicle with Indiana license plate, $9/vehicle out-of-state. Free admission with annual entrance permit.
Restrictions:  Please obey all rules and regulations. A summary of property rules can be found at stateparks.IN.gov/6468.htm
Parking: Ample parking is available the Turkey Run Inn and the nature center.
Nearby Amenities: Turkey Run Inn serves food to all visitors. The park has a nature center with modern restrooms and a birdwatching area. Modern restrooms are also available at the Turkey Run Inn and park office, and vault toilets are located in the park as well. Rockville and Marshall are the two closest towns. Marshall has only one restaurant and a historic memorial arch. Rockville has gas stations, restaurants including great coffee and donuts locations. 
Accessibility: Trail 6 leading to Sunset Point is paved. Facilities are ADA accessible.
Website: stateparks.IN.gov
Phone Number:
Office (765)597-2635 Nature Center (765) 597-2654

Written By: Aaron Douglas
Photo By: 
Mary Kauffmann-Kennel