Indiana offers nature and outdoor enthusiasts a plethora of different ecosystems and natural settings to explore through its system of parks and preserves. You can explore islands, creeks, marshes and coastlands all without leaving the state. Bring a picnic, go kayaking or bicycling, enjoy birdwatching and observing wildlife and learn about the history and nature of Indiana’s rich and diverse natural landscapes. Before heading out to visit any of the Indiana’s parks, be sure
Parks to Visit in Indiana
Indiana is a gorgeous state with plenty of beautiful state parks. Many tourists who travel through Indiana end up visiting at least a few state parks on their trip. Part of what makes the state parks such popular destinations to visit is the weather in Indiana, which allows residents and visitors to enjoy the outdoors long after other states’ weather has turned intemperate. Many of the state parks in Indiana are open to the public and are accessible without having to pay an entry fee, which is very helpful for visitors and residents on a budget. Parks cover a variety of terrain and come in a wide variety of sizes. Visitors who want to avoid crowds will still have plenty of smaller, more private parks to choose from that are just as magnificent as the more popular parks in the state. The majority of the larger parks have options for camping. Listed below is just a small sample of the various state parks worth visiting in Indiana.
Lake Monroe in Indiana
Lake Monroe is one of the most visited parks in Indiana with nearly a million visitors each year. Lake Monroe, sometimes referred to as the Monroe Reservoir, is the largest lake in Indiana and one of the most popular boating parks in the state. Part of the popularity also comes from being so close to the Bloomington campus of Indiana University, making it a popular destination. The lake is certainly the main appeal of the park, but it is actually located right in the park’s center, so there is still plenty of woodland areas for any visitors who simply want good hiking trails near the water.
Indiana Dunes Park
The Indiana Dunes Park is another popular destination in the state. It is one of the most unique parks in all of Indiana, since it is a primarily sandy location. The dunes are located along the southernmost part of Lake Michigan. The dunes vary in size, with the highest dunes rising up over 200 feet above the lake. The dunes are home to the nearly extinct Karner blue butterflies, easily spotted by their unique coloring. Two thirds of the park are treated as a nature preserve. Any visitors looking for a unique state park should visit the Indiana Dunes.
Brookville Lake in Indiana
Much like Lake Monroe, Brookville Lake is much more than just a large body of water. While the lake itself is appealing, one of the biggest attractions of this park is its rich history, because it is home to many Native American ceremonial mounds. In addition, the wooded part of the camp has no shortage of campsites and swimming areas. Many visitors enjoy the 16-mile hiking trail, known as Wolf Creek Trail. The park is also famous for the discovery of many prehistoric fossils.
Brown County State Park in Indiana
Brown County State Park is a popular destination because it is close to both the major hubs of Indianapolis and Bloomington. The park is the largest in Indiana at 16,000 acres, but it is located close to many metropolitan areas, so visitors have plenty of restaurants and shops to visit after traveling through the park.
The park itself has numerous trails for several activities, such as biking and horseback riding. In autumn, many visitors like to camp out on the tall hills to take in all the brightly colored foliage of the surrounding forests.
Turkey Run State Park in Indiana
Turkey Run is a great park for both campers and any visitors who enjoy indoor comforts. Visitors who do not want to stay outside can instead rent a room at the historic Turkey Run Inn. The paths of the park run along Sugar Creek, which is an excellent spot for canoeing in the state. The park has quite a few hiking trails, although the ones located along the creek are known for being particularly rocky, so it might not be the best destination for new hikers.
Spring Mill State Park in Indiana
Spring Mill is located just a few miles outside of Mitchell. While it is a great spot for campers, especially since it has many comfortable cabins, it is also a fantastic spot for spelunkers. Visitors can also take the Twin Caves boat tour, though the tour might not be best for small children. The park also has the Grissom Memorial, which is a tribute to the astronaut Gus Grissom.
McCormick’s Creek State Park in Indiana
McCormick’s is a good park for any visitors who want a more rugged environment. The park is made up of a series of canyons, with plenty of caves to explore. The park is home to a number of waterfalls as well, which are a breathtaking sight to behold. Due to the rocky terrain, the park is not the best spot for campers, but it is still worth a day trip.
Summit Lake State Park in Indiana
Although it is not the largest body of water in the state, Summit Lake is the go-to location for fishermen. Birdwatchers enjoy the park because there is such a large variety of birds in the area. Summit Lake state park is a very peaceful destination, and it is good for visitors that are looking for a secluded park visit.