The weather is finally warming up and you know what that means….camping season is here! There are many great places to camp in Indiana, most of which are within a 2-3 hour drive of Indianapolis. So grab your tent, purchase some s’mores fixins, and drive your family to one of these great Indiana campsites!
Turkey Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park is located in Marshall, Indiana and is less than a 90-minute drive from Indianapolis. Here you’ll find old-growth forests, ravines, and sandstone gorges. Sugar Creek cuts through the park and provides wonderful scenery for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. At Turkey Run, you’ll find miles of hiking trails, from moderate to very rugged, bridle trails, a nature center, swimming pool, and of course camping!
Located about 2.5 hours from Indianapolis on Lake Michigan in Chesterton, you’ll find countless things to do here. From swimming to biking to hiking, Indiana Dunes has it all! The State Park itself offers 2,182 acres of beautiful, primitive landscape that is unique from anything else you’ll find in the Hoosier state. The dunes line the entire shoreline and can reach up to 200 feet. If you’re feeling adventurous, see the dunes from the air. If you have a few days to spend in the area, don’t miss the nearby bison farm.
Patoka Lake is located within the Hoosier National Forest, about 130 miles south of Indy. The lake itself is nearly 9,000 acres. If boating and fishing are your thing, this is the place to go! Don’t own a boat? Don’t worry! At the Patoka Marina you can rent pontoon boats, fishing boats, or even party barges that hold 25 people and include a slide and a bathroom. Don’t be surprised if you spot a river otter, bald eagle, or freshwater jellyfish here.
Mounds State Park
If you don’t want to stray too far from Indy but still want a nice weekend camping adventure, Mounds State Park is the place to go. Located in Anderson, this park is home to unique earthworks built by prehistoric Indians. You’ll also find hiking trails, river fishing, and an awesome swimming pool with a splash pad.
Spring Mills State Park
You’ll find your typical hiking and biking trails in Spring Mills State Park but the real treasures here are the caving and the Pioneer Village. Take Twin Caves Boat Tour to explore the park’s underground streams, sinkholes, and see the blind crayfish and bats. Pioneer Village includes over 20 historic structures and demonstrations on rope-making, candle-dipping, blacksmithing, gardening, and weaving. The Grist Mill still grinds corn daily.
Indiana is full of beautiful campsites. Whether you want to relax and unwind by the campfire or have a boating or fishing adventure, you’re sure to find it in Indiana. For a full list of state parks visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resource’s webite at http://www.in.gov/dnr/