Equipped with campgrounds, boat ramps, playgrounds, picnic shelters and other amenities, the Charlestown state Park is the third largest Indiana park today. Nearly 5,000 acres on the Kentucky border make up this Indiana attraction, and it’s a prime spot for an outdoor day trip form Indianapolis. On top of being one of the largest Hoosier parks, it’s also one of the youngest. The land was once used for government operations and private property. In 1995, there were 2,00 acres given to Indiana from the federal government, and later in 2004, the state bought an additional 2,700 acres. There’s plenty of room to spread out on a camping trip, family adventure or a simple day trip.
Boaters and fisherman frequent Charlestown State Park because of their excellent waterways. Fourteen Mile Creek runs through the park and out into the Ohio River, allowing visitors, full access to the waters. Bluegill, catfish and bass are the major game in the area, along with several other freshwater river fish. Sometimes visitors are confused about the Fourteen Mile Creek because it appears to flow north. The water in the creek is actually backed up from the Ohio River, partially because the Army Corps of Engineers raised the level of the river. The Department of Natural Resources installed a nice riverbank boardwalk for visitors to enjoy.
Not only is Charlestown State Park a great day trip destination, it can extend into a weekend getaway from Indianapolis too. Camping is available at the park’s luxury campgrounds. Over 130 electric sites can be rented and amenities include running water, flushing toilets and showers. Only one other park in the Crossroads of America offers full hookup campsites. Sixty full hookup sites area available, but they’re booked up fast in the warm weather seasons.
Six challenging hiking trails show outstanding nature views throughout Charlestown State Park. Some trails wind through densely wooded forest, and others include very steep uphill climbs. Hikers enjoy the challenging trails, but they are not designed for beginners. In fact, no easy trails can be found on the grounds, as they all range from moderate to rugged.
Like much of Indiana, the grounds inside the park were once used as farms and pastures. The farming industry is now a shrinking Indiana business, and hundrds of acres of former farm country have been converted to state parks and other day trip destinations. For example, the O’Bannon Woods State Park and Squire Boone Caverns can be found just one county west of Charlestown State Park. Other attractions close by are the Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest in Paoli, the Lost River in Orangeville and Marengo Cave in Marengo are located just a short distance from Clark County.
Optimize your day trip by planning ahead. Reservations for the campgrounds are available in advance, and a small admission fee is charged to enter Charlestown State Park.
Charlestown State Park
12500 Highway 62