Indiana State Parks: Acres and Acres of Things to Do

Though Indianapolis parks are usually more than enough to keep nature lovers in Central Indiana interested, Indiana state parks are where residents go to be truly immersed in the countryside. There are over 25 state parks in the Hoosier State, several of them within easy driving distance of Indianapolis. Below are a few of the more popular Indiana state parks:

Canal and White River State Park – White River State Park is the nation’s only urban state park and provides a wide variety of fun from its many attractions and entertainment options. The 250 acre park covers both sides of the White River just west of downtown Indianapolis, between Washington and New York Streets.
Morgan-Monroe State Forest – Covering over 24,000 acres of fertile deciduous forest, it’s easy to immerse yourself in this massive monument to the former wilds of Central Indiana. Morgan-Monroe State Forest is filled with high ridges, sweeping valleys, and plenty of interesting landscape and wildlife.
Brown County State Park – Brown County State Park stretches on for 15,696 acres, making it the largest Indiana park by far. It features more than twenty miles of hiking trails that range from easy to rugged, and range from .5 miles to 3 miles in length. Parts of the trails even take visitors to the Knobstone Escarpment, an area known to be the most rugged region in the state.
Mounds State Park – The ten ”mounds” at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana are prehistoric earthworks made by early Indian dwellers of the region, the Adena-Hopewell peoples. Aside from the mounds themselves, Mounds State Park offers campgrounds, canoeing on the White River, easy walking trails, a pool and a new splash zone and sprinkler area, which the kids love.
Fort Harrison State Park – Fort Harrison State Park in Lawrence, Indiana is comprised of 1,700 acres of well cared for, meticulously regenerated parklands, water parks, preserves, trails, picnic areas and buildings. 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.
McCormick’s Creek State Park – On July 4, 1916, the 350-acre McCormick’s Creek State Park in Spencer, Indiana was dedicated, and nearly a century later it still functions as an outdoor escape for family getaways, field trips, vacations, retreats and even day trips from Indianapolis. Ten miles of hiking trails are what attract so many outdoorsmen and hikers to this hilly area in Spencer; they take visitors through some of the most scenic waterfalls and caverns in the park.
O’Bannon Woods State Park – Formerly the Wyandotte Woods State Recreational Area, O’Bannon Woods State Park is a 2,000 acre park that features hiking, 300 rentable campsites, 80 miles of horse trails, the historic Potato Run Church and cemetery, a family aquatic center, and an 1830’s replicated farmestead.
Oubache State Park – As one of the many beautiful Indiana state parks, Ouabache State Park in Bluffton, Indiana is a great destination for a vacation, family getaway or day trip from Indianapolis: 1,104 acres of nature’s beauty stretch on for miles. The park has the usual assortment of trails and scenic vistas, but it is also the home of the Ouabache State Park Nature Center and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Harmonie State Park – On the banks of the Wabash River in New Harmony, Indiana is a quiet and serene atmosphere full of natural adventures. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are popular things to do at Harmonie State Park, swimming, boating and fishing are some of the fun water activities offered here, and it’s all within a 3.5 hour drive of the Circle City.
Chain O’ Lakes State Park – Beautiful rolling hills and scenic bogs alongside a chain of 11 lakes make up Chain O’ Lakes State Park in Albion, Indiana. Boating, fishing, hiking and camping are just a few of the most popular things to do at Chain O’ Lakes State Park.
Falls of the Ohio State Park – The largest known exposed fossil beds in the world from the Devonian Period can be found in Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville, Indiana. The Falls of Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area is also part of this Indiana state park; it is 1,404 acres of thriving flora and fauna, all protected by federal law.
Charlestown State Park – Equipped with campgrounds, boat ramps, playgrounds, picnic shelters and other amenities, the Charlestown State Park is the third largest Indiana state 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.
Lincoln State Park – Lincoln State Park is special because of its historic value; the grave of Lincoln’s sister and her husband can be found on the grounds. Two lakes in Lincoln State Park are open for dozens of water activities, and a nature preserve on the south side of Lincoln State Park is named in honor of President Lincoln’s sister Sarah.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park – More than 15 miles of beautiful beaches and breathtaking sand dunes stretch across northwest Indiana along Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park. There really is something for everyone at the historical, educational and downright fun Indiana Dunes.
Clifty Falls State Park – Nature lovers, outdoorsmen and vacationers enjoy visiting Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana because of its 1,416-acres of uninhibited natural beauty. The hiking trails, nature preserve and observation tower inside this Indiana park offer breathtaking views.
Spring Mill State Park – Corn is Indiana‘s claim to fame, and at Spring Mill State Park, Hoosiers can watch an 1817 gristmill that uses a water wheel to grind and produce cornmeal. Other fun activies at Spring Mill State Park include spelunking in one of the park’s three caves, relaxing at the Spring Mill Inn, or learning at the Grissom Memorial.
Tippecanoe River State Park – Tippecanoe River State Park in Winimac, Indiana is the ideal destination for an outdoor day trip from Indianapolis. Camping, hiking, boating and picnicking are all popular activities at this Hoosier park, which also features 112 campsites, multiple hiking trails, a canoe launch, and more.
Hoosier National Forest – More than 200,000 acres of forest and natural beauty are preserved at Hoosier National Forest in Bedford, Indiana. This Hoosier park stretches into nine counties, and trees are seen inside the forest for miles and miles. Scenic views, ancient trees and riveting valleys make visitors feel at one with nature while hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, camping or simply exploring.
Prophetstown State Park – More than 2,000 acres of nature adventures await you at Prophetstown State Park in Battle Ground, Indiana, just north of Lafayette, Indiana. Hiking, bird-watching camping and biking are just a few of the popular fun activities at the Indiana park.

Indianapolis Parks

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Indiana Parks by Geographical Sector

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Indiana Parks by City

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