Southern Indiana State Parks
While you can make memories at all of the Indiana State Parks, each one provides unique experiences. Make it a goal to visit all of them! This road trip guides you as you explore the State Parks gracing the southern half of the state.
About This Road Trip
Shakamak State Park
Located near Jasonville, Shakamak State Park is known for its great fishing as it’s home to three serene lakes. There’s also a large area for outdoor games, as well as campsites, cabins and hiking trails.
Charlestown State Park
Enjoy scenic vistas of the Fourteen Mile Creek Valley and Ohio River when you visit Charlestown State Park. Hiking trails traverse rugged hills and deep ravines, with elevation changes over 200 feet. One trail takes you to the abandoned Rose Island Theme Park, a once-booming spot that now lies in ruin with interesting signs describing what was there.
Brown County State Park
Mountain bikers come from all over the country for the challenging trails at Brown County State Park. Indiana’s largest State Park is also great for hiking — be sure to check out the views from their log observation shelters — plus horseback riding and more. The Abe Martin Lodge is a great place to stay, where families enjoy the indoor aquatic center with a slide, lazy river and hot tub.
Spring Mill State Park
In addition to the hiking you’d expect, Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell also has a pioneer village with grist and sawmill as well as a memorial to Hoosier astronaut Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom. You can also take a boat tour through Twin Caves. With so much to do, it’s good you can stay overnight in the Spring Mill Inn.
Versailles State Park
Indiana’s second-largest state park invites you to relax while fishing or kayaking on its 230-acre lake. Versailles State Park has a deep history rooted in both the Civil War and the Civilian Conservation Corps, so you’ll want to take a look at the CCC commemorative statue dedicated in 2010. The park’s many fossils tell the story of an ancient sea that once covered the region. You can also bring your horse or mountain bike to explore the trails.
Clifty Falls State Park
Situated high above the Ohio River near Madison, Clifty Falls State Park provides breathtaking views, not just of the river but also of the many waterfalls for which it’s named. Depending on the season, the falls vary from roaring plunges to delicate mists. The stony bed of the creek has fossil remnants showing a vanished marine ecosystem. You’ll have a room with a view when you stay at Clifty Inn.
Falls of the Ohio State Park
Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville connects the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today. Its spectacular interpretive center overlooks 390-million-year-old fossil beds — among the largest exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world. The park’s impressive interpretive center invites you to learn about the area through state-of-the-art, immersive exhibits. Outside the interpretive center stands “When They Shook Hands,” a statue of Lewis and Clark mounted on Jeffersonville limestone commemorating the important part Indiana played in this duo’s epic expedition.
Lincoln State Park
Abraham Lincoln grew up on the very land that is now Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City. In addition to hiking, canoeing, fishing and swimming (the park has two lakes), you can see the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza, a showcase of the beloved 16th President. Take time to tour the Colonel James Home, the historic home of the merchant and Civil War officer who employed young Lincoln. There’s also a memorial to Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks.
Harmonie State Park
You’ll be humming a happy tune when you visit Harmonie State Park, located on the banks of the Wabash at New Harmony about 25 miles northwest of Evansville. The park is a trail lover’s paradise as you see the pristine landscape and wind through ravines. There are log-style family cabins, mountain biking trails and a boat launch ramp onto the river.
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