Nubbin Ridge Trail
If you are looking for a really unique and secluded hike, then you definitely want to check out the two and a half mile Nubbin Ridge Trail at the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve. A long drive to get there is well-rewarded with interesting and scenic views along one of the better hikes in Indiana.
Right from the parking lot, follow a quick jaunt along the gravel road, which will take you along beautiful pastel-colored bluffs that tower vertically above you, while the White River gently snakes low on your right. In the spring and winter, don’t miss the small stream that crashes down from the very top, in a tall, narrow waterfall that lands in front of a recess in the rocks. But don’t let the stunning scenery cause you to miss a key left turn onto a narrow woodland path that winds its way up the hill. That stretch can be tough, but before you know it, you realize you are atop that very bluff you were admiring just a few minutes earlier.
The trail then follows along the high bluff, with broad views out over the White River Valley, where you can also see the town of Shoals. Be very careful in this area, do not stray from the path, and keep pets and children close. The sheer drop of the bluffs is not always so obvious from the top.
The trail dips back away from the bluffs and winds its way through the high, rolling terrain, well-shaded by the mature hardwood forests of the preserve. It eventually turns back toward White River, again offering more views above it, as you gently wind your way back to the bluff bottoms where you started.
Here’s a Google map showing the location of the Bluffs of Beaver Bend Nature Preserve on Spout Springs Road near Shoals, Indiana: