Indiana State Parks

Makayla Faulk, MVC Writer/Photographer

Waterfall at McCormick’s Creek State Park.

Indiana is full of beautiful wildlife. There are 24 state parks in Indiana that work to preserve the natural beauty of the state. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources(DNR) is working to keep the plants and animals native to Indiana healthy and thriving while allowing visitors to see the wildlife in a safe manner for the environment. The buildings inside each park are very rustic, with only the welcome centers, lodges, and a few other buildings having running water or electricity in order to preserve the ecosystems within the parks.


In these parks, visitors can go on hikes, picnics, and play on playgrounds. Some parks have water access that allows visitors to boat, kayak, and canoe in the beautiful waters. All the parks also have campgrounds that allow people to stay overnight in the park to observe the innate beauty of nature for as long as they would like. The campgrounds are often very cheap, especially for state park pass holders. Visitors can also ride horses at some state parks such as Turkey Run, and Fort Harrison. In many of the waterfront parks, people can look for geodes as they walk on trails.


Horses from the riding barn at Turkey Run State Park.

In Mounds, visitors can hike ancient Native American burial mounds and learn about the Native American culture in Indiana. Visitors can tour the Bronnenberg House which gives the history of the land and how it came to be a state park.


At Whitewater Memorial, there is a beautiful river that people can explore. Many visitors kayak and canoe down the river. There are some companies that allow visitors to rent boats and pick people up downstream and take them back to the starting point. 


Indiana Dunes has a beautiful beach that is a part of Lake Michigan, with a stunning view of the coastline. Visitors can hike in the woods, stroll on the beach, or do both. 

Overlook at Shades State Park.


Shades has many incredible hiking trails that take visitors up steep ravines and waterfront views. There are ladder trails too that hikers can explore. These trails are typically rugged and the ladders are on steep cliffs that people could not normally get over.


Brown County has beautiful views of nature and wildlife on the plentiful trails that visitors can walk. Visitors can climb the 90-foot fire towers, or picnic at a vista to see the incredible hills and valleys inside the park. People can also visit the Abe Martin Lodge to eat a meal or stay the night and take a dip in the lodge pool.


State parks are a great place to go for families and friends to relax and connect with nature.