Beautiful rolling hills and scenic bogs alongside a chain of 11 lakes make up this Indiana attraction. Boating, fishing, hiking and camping are just a few of the most popular things to do at Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Some other activities include swimming, skiing, picnicking, horseback riding and many more fun things to do in Indiana. This day trip from Indianapolis is only a three hour road trip away.
Boater’s paradise is found in Noble County, Indiana at Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Boat launch areas are available for fishing, canoeing, paddle boating and kayaking on this *Indiana park’s eight connecting lakes and three additional waterways. Ice fishing and cross country skiing are other fun things to do in the winter months. Bowen Lake is the deepest lake at the park stretching 65-feet down, and the shallowest one is the 22-foot Dock Lake. Turner Lake takes up more than 40 acres inside the park. The kettle lakes in Noble County were formed 10,000 years ago from glacial melt that carved its way through northeast Indiana.
Camping at Chain O’ Lakes State Park is a great way to extend a day trip from Indianapolis into a weekend getaway. There are 331 sites with electricity, a youth tent area, a canoe camp and a horseman’s camp. If you prefer a more natural outdoor experience they have 33 primitive sites and 49 sites without electricity. Reservations are available in advance, so be sure to plan ahead for camping trips in the popular summer and fall months.
Hiking is another popular thing to do at Chain O’ Lakes State Park, and there are several trails to choose from. A six mile hiking and biking trail is the longest and most vigorous path in the park. The shortest and easiest trail is found by the Pike Marsh North Picnic Area, and it’s designed for the enjoyment of disabled nature lovers. Nature’s War hiking trail is about two miles long, slightly challenging but good for a day’s workout. During the winter months, when there is at least three inches of snow, all trails are open to cross country skiers. Eight miles of equestrian trails also loop through the park.
Seven picnic areas are spread throughout Chain O’ Lakes State Park. Each picnic site has grills, tables, water fountains and toilets. Some picnic areas are located near playgrounds, so Indiana kids can play while the family gathers for a cookout. Shelters are available to rent for large parties and other Indiana events. Parties of 25 or more people must make an advanced reservation to use one of the shelters.
Before European settlement in northeast Indiana, the area was inhabited by Miami Indians. More than 30 wigwam homes once stood just north of Bowen Lake, and today park visitors can learn a little about Indiana history before white settlers came in the 1600s. There’s even an ancient Indian burial ground found in the same area. Chain O’ Lakes State Park was officially made into an Indiana State Park in 1960.
A small fee is charged per car to enter Chain O’ Lakes State Park, and Hoosier residents receive an admission discount. On a day trip from Indianapolis, be sure to check out some of the other attractions in the region. The Mid-America Windmill Museum is located in nearby Kendallville, Indiana, and it’s an educational day trip destination that teaches visitors about wind power of the past and present. Fort Wayne, Indiana is within an hour’s drive of Chain O’ Lakes State Park, and one of the fun things to do there includes an educational trip to The History Center. Warsaw, Indiana is another nearby town that’s home to the Warsaw Biblical Gardens, a peaceful and relaxing day trip destination in the northeast Hoosier State. Break away from Indianapolis on a fun and eventful outdoor day trip at Chain O’ Lakes State Park.
Chain O’ Lakes State Park
2355 East 75 South
Albion, Indiana 46701