Local News

McCormick's Creek State Park recovery from '23 tornado continues

In April 2023, McCormick's Creek State Park guests, staff and people around Indiana were waking up to the news that an EF-3 tornado had destroyed the park's campground, damaged cabins and comfort stations, impacted both dedicated nature preserves, and blocked many park trails.

Most who were staying in the campground that weekend experienced damage to their campers and vehicles. Two lives were lost as a result of the storm.

A post by the park details a year of non-stop planning and working toward recovery while managing the parts of the park that were not impacted and reminding people that the Canyon Inn and other facilities are open and ready to welcome Hoosiers.

The snapshot of recovery as of April 2024 includes:

•The four family cabins that were damaged reopened on March 29.

•Canyon Inn remains open and ready for overnight stays, conferences, and meals.

•The nature center, fire tower and park playgrounds are open. For information on park programs, visit calendar.dnr.IN.gov.

•3.7 miles of trails are currently open.

•Removal of trees blocking other trails has ramped up from January-March with division saw crews working daily and with a five-day visit from sawyers with Team Rubicon. Many trail structures must be repaired or replaced before these remaining trails can be reopened.

•The salvage harvest to remove the massive number of damaged trees from the campground is now complete.

•The next step for the campground is removing the large number of root balls (trees were simply pushed over, roots and all) and debris from the campground. We are developing a contract to begin that work.

•Repairs to Friendly Shelter will begin soon.

•The saddle barn will be closed during the 2024 season for barn maintenance and pasture restoration.

•A new accessible trail is under development near the Centennial Shelter that will provide a view of Echo Canyon when complete.

•The campground redesign process has begun, but because of the scope of the devastation, it will likely be several years before it reopens. Everything, from the foundational infrastructure like water lines and roads to comfort stations, must be repaired or replaced. The campground will remain closed until we are able to welcome campers back safely and we all certainly look forward to that happening!

•Division of Nature Preserves staff, with support from Indiana State Parks, are working to manage the impacts of invasive species on Wolf Cave and McCormick’s Cove Nature Preserves.

Visit on.IN.gov/mccormicks-recovery to sign up for email notices when updates are made to photos and information on the page.





Wet Ink