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The 10 Best State Parks in Indiana


The State of Indiana is loaded with plenty of outdoor recreational activities. While some of the larger cities may get stifling with the hustle and bustle, there are some great places where couples, individuals, and families can get away from it all for some much-needed relaxation. If you haven't yet checked out the state parks available, you've been missing out on some of the most rejuvenating destinations that Indiana has to offer. Here are the 10 best state parks in Indiana for your consideration.

10. Potato Creek State Park

Potato Creek State Park is located in St. Joseph County in the northern-central part of the state. It's about twelve miles out of South Bend. The park is open until 11:00 PM daily and provides visitors with a range of trails that are available for multiple uses including hiking, walking, running, and biking. It' a scenic area that offers a variety of opportunities for recreational activities including a lake for boating and fishing, maintained campgrounds for spending a few days, and public archaeological sites to learn more about the ancient history of the area. Get away from the business of the city at the Potato Creek State Park and enjoy the use of well-kept camping and other public areas, with courteous and attentive park patrons.

9. Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park is located in Porter Country, a 47-mile drive to the east of Chicago, Illinois, in the city of Chesterton, Indiana. The park is open until 11 pm daily. It features well-kept campsites for overnight or longer camping. While there, you'll find plenty of recreational opportunities including a visitor's center for information about the area, with bodies of water for swimming or fishing. In the wintertime, it's a popular locale for cross-country skiing. It's also a haven for bird and wildlife watchers. The Three Dunes Trailhead provides multiple trails for hiking, walking, jogging, or bicycling. Enjoy walking on the beach, climbing the dunes, or playing in the water. Free maps of the area are available at the visitor center. You can also park in the secure parking area of the park for $12 or park just outside for free.

8. Turkey Run State Park

The Turkey Run State Park is located in Parke County w miles east of US 41 wet of State Road 47. The park features canyon hiking along with pioneer-era sites for educational information about the area. There are also horseback riding, camping, and creek boating opportunities. It costs $9 a carload for visitors out of state and less for residents of Indiana. The limestone canyons are picturesque and it's a pet-friendly park so you can bring your furry friends. The campsites cost $23 per night and they're all electric for plugging in your RVs. Enjoy walking along the suspension bridge for amazing views of the sandstone and limestone features of the canyon. The park is clean and well-maintained and features several waterfalls, hiking trails, and geographical features that are ideal for climbing. There are multiple camping sites with horse stables, a nature center, a large swimming pool, restaurants with delicious food, and more.

7. Ouabache State Park

Ouabache State Park is located in Wells County about a half-hour drive from Fort Wayne. It's been in operation since the early 1930s, first as a game preserve. The area became a state park in 1983. It features a large campground with a swimming pool, a nature center, a playground, tennis courts, and hiking and biking trails. There is also a small beach area with bathrooms and outdoor showers at the beach. You can also rent paddle boats for more fun in the water.

6. Summit Lake State Park

Summit Lake State Park is located near New Castle, Indiana in Henry County. It became a state park in 1988 and encompasses 2,680 acres with an 800-acre lake. The park is one of the most popular places in the area for fishing and swimming. The campgrounds are large and the bathrooms are huge. There are five miles of hiking and walking trails in the Zeigler woods nature preserve. The cost is $7 per car if you're just going for a day trip.

5. Prophetstown State Park

The Prophetstown State Park is located in West Lafayette in Tippecanoe County. One of the most interesting features of the park is the Native American village of the Shawnee people founded by Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa in 1808. The cost is only $5 per carload for ay use and $11 per night if you want to pitch a tent. If you stay in an RV, the cost is $40 per night. It's a great place for hiking, walking, or biking the trails with diverse trails. The park is home to a working farm with public programs for a variety of diverse and fun activities available. You can book a historical farm tour or go through the early settlement village. The trails are paved and well-maintained with mowed grass areas, a fishing pond, an aquatic center, and more.

4. Brown County State Park

Brown County State Park is located in the southern part of Indiana in Brown County. It's one of the largest parks in the state, with an area of 15,776 acres. Here you can enjoy a well-maintained campsite area for tents or RVs or stay in the lodge. The staff is friendly and the campsites are spacious. There is plenty to do here with a water park, guided horseback riding, beautiful scenery, and some of the best fishing in the state. You can even rent a cabin. Entrance into the state park is $9 per car.

3. Spring Mill State Park

Spring Mill State Park is located in Lawrence County just south of Bloomington. One of the most fascinating features of the park is the Gus Grisson Memorial, along with a settler's village, a nature center, a restored village dating back to 1814, an inn, and lovely campsites. There are also numerous hiking trails for hiking walking or bicycling. The restaurant serves delicious foods in a family-friendly environment. You can also watch the functional mill work and learn more about the history of the area.

2. Charlestown State Park

Charlestown State Park is located in Clark County, on 5,100 acres bordering the Ohio River. It's a scenic area with rugged terrain that makes it ideal for bird-watching and hiking. The trails are well-maintained and offer amazing views of the wildlife and natural elements of the park. There are full hookup camping sites available along with opportunities for fishing and swimming. Showers are also available at the park with lots of hot water and great pressure.

1. McCormick's Creek State Park

McCormick's Creek State Park was established on July 4, 1916, and is the oldest state park in the state. It is located in Owen County Spencer, Indiana. The park offers both outdoor and indoor recreational opportunities with an indoor recreation center, spacious campsites, hiking and horseback riding trails, and fishing in the river. The restaurant offers good food at reasonable prices and the campsites maintain clean restrooms. There is a waterfall to view with easy access, and you can explore Wolf Cave.

Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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