Fort Harrison State Park: Beautiful Scenery, Venerable History

Fort Harrison State Park, along with the Fort Golf Course, occupies a good-sized chunk of the northeastern sector of Indianapolis. It has quite a history; it was constructed in 1908 as a commissioned United States Army post named Fort Benjamin Harrison (sometimes affectionately known as “Fort Ben”).

Tree at Fort Harrison State ParkFort Harrison was best known as the nation’s largest reception center during the Second World War. For the two years between 1948 and 1950, it belonged to the U.S. Air Force, which used the fort as a functional air force base, after which the Army reacquired it.

During the years that followed, Fort Benjamin Harrison became the central training school for all the branches of U.S. military, with the Defense Information School (DINFOS) at its core. This school, now in Maryland, disseminates information to personnel through its highly specialized and demanding curriculum.

Fort Harrison State ParkAfter its closure in 1991, Fort Harrison was renovated and transformed into what is now a major Indianapolis attraction: Fort Harrison State Park. Although a full 18-hole golf course is located within its green expanses as well as many residential areas, there still exist several vestiges of the old Armed Forces days in Fort Harrison. Indiana National Guard units, U.S. Army Reserve units, a Post Exchange and Commissary and the Defense Finance and Accounting Service are all located at Fort Harrison State Park.

Creek walk at Fort Harrison State ParkFort Harrison State Park is now comprised of 1,700 acres of well cared for, meticulously regenerated parklands, water parks, preserves, trails, picnic areas and buildings. There is a nominal entry fee, depending on the manner of entrance and the age, with discounts for groups and seniors and annual permits that allow a full year’s entrance.

One of the unique attributes of this Indianapolis park is that it contains an enormous unbroken tract of hardwood trees, one of the largest such in Central Indiana. Other characteristics that make Fort Harrison State Park attractive are its lakes and waterways, which allow for fishing, hiking and picnicking. For Harrison State Park even sports a brand new nature center and guided hiking with well-trained naturalists who share fascinating facts along the way.

Gazebo at Fort Harrison State ParkGazebo at Fort Harrison State Park

Articles Related to Fort Harrison State Park

Fort Harrison State Park
5753 Glenn Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46216
Phone: 317.591.0904
Golf Course: 317.543.9597
Lodging: 317.543.9592

For more information on Fort Harrison State Park, please visit the park’s homepage.

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