Indiana, the “Crossroads of America,” boasts not only bustling cities and historical landmarks but also a selection of captivating national parks. These natural treasures allow visitors to immerse themselves in Indiana’s stunning landscapes, from serene lakes to dense forests. In this article, I will explore the ten best national parks in Indiana, each offering unique experiences and incredible adventures. So, get ready to embark on a journey through Indiana’s national parks, as we uncover the hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
10 Best National Parks in Indiana
Check out the ten top national parks you can find in Indiana:
1. Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park, nestled along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, is a breathtaking fusion of lush forests, towering sand dunes, and pristine beaches. Encompassing over 15,000 acres, the park invites visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems through hiking trails, birdwatching, swimming, and kayaking. Open year-round, the park welcomes visitors from sunrise to sunset, providing ample time to soak in its natural wonders.
- Address: 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304
- Phone: (219) 395-1882
- Website: www.nps.gov/indu
2. Brown County State Park
Located amidst the picturesque hills of southern Indiana, Brown County State Park stands as a testament to the state’s natural beauty. Brown County State Park ranks second among the ten best national parks in Indiana. Celebrated for its vibrant fall foliage, Brown County State Park offers an array of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fishing. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., visitors have ample time to traverse the park’s scenic trails and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the great outdoors.
- Address: 1810 State Road 46 East, Nashville, IN 47448
- Phone: (812) 988-6406
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2989.htm
3. Turkey Run State Park
Situated in western Indiana, Turkey Run State Park beckons adventurers with its rugged canyons, awe-inspiring sandstone cliffs, and breathtaking vistas. Visitors can partake in various activities, including hiking through picturesque trails, camping, fishing, and canoeing along Sugar Creek. The park’s captivating beauty is accessible year-round, offering nature enthusiasts the chance to immerse themselves in its wonders.
- Address: 8121 E Park Road, Marshall, IN 47859
- Phone: (765) 597-2635
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2964.htm
4. Chain O’Lakes State Park
Nestled within a chain of scenic lakes, Chain O’Lakes State Park provides a tranquil haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With eight interconnected lakes and miles of picturesque trails, visitors can engage in activities such as boating, fishing, hiking, and wildlife observation. The park’s diverse flora and fauna create an idyllic setting for nature lovers, making it a popular destination year-round. However, Chain O’Lakes State Park is one of the best national parks in Indiana.
- Address: 2355 E 75 South, Albion, IN 46701
- Phone: (260) 636-2654
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm
5. Indiana State Park
Indiana State Park system encompasses multiple stunning parks throughout the state, each with its own unique features and attractions. These parks provide opportunities for outdoor recreation, nature exploration, and relaxation. Some notable Indiana State Parks include McCormick’s Creek State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, and Shakamak State Park. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and picnicking, depending on the specific park. Each park has its own opening and closing hours, which may vary by season, so it’s recommended to check the official website or contact the park directly for the most up-to-date information.
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/
6. Hoosier National Forest
Spanning over 200,000 acres, Hoosier National Forest offers a haven of natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. Hoosier National Forest also appears among the top national parks in Indiana. This forest features an extensive trail system, ideal for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Visitors can also enjoy fishing in its lakes and streams or embark on scenic drives to take in the breathtaking views. The forest is open year-round, allowing nature enthusiasts to experience its wonders in every season.
- Address: 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421
- Phone: (812) 275-5987
- Website: www.fs.usda.gov/hoosier
7. Lincoln State Park
Lincoln State Park pays homage to the life and legacy of President Abraham Lincoln, who spent his formative years in Indiana. The park offers a combination of natural beauty and historical significance. Visitors can explore the scenic trails, go fishing in the park’s lakes, or visit the historic site of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. The park is open year-round, providing a tranquil setting to appreciate nature and learn about the nation’s history.
- Address: 15476 North County Road 300 East, Lincoln City, IN 47552
- Phone: (812) 937-4710
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2844.htm
8. Pokagon State Park
Situated in the northeastern part of Indiana, Pokagon State Park offers a diverse range of outdoor activities for visitors. With its expansive lake, the park is perfect for boating, swimming, and fishing. The park also features hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for camping and picnicking. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice fishing. The park’s natural beauty and recreational amenities make it a popular destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts. However, Pokagon State Parks falls among the best national parks in Indiana.
- Address: 450 Lane 100 Lake James, Angola, IN 46703
- Phone: (260) 833-2012
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2973.htm
9. Prophetstown State Park
Prophetstown State Park showcases the rich history and natural beauty of the Wabash River Valley. Visitors can explore the park’s prairies, woodlands, and wetlands while learning about the Native American and pioneer heritage of the region. The park offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, fishing, and camping. It also features an interactive nature center that provides educational exhibits and programs for visitors of all ages.
- Address: 5545 Swisher Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906
- Phone: (765) 567-4919
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2974.htm
10. Fort Harrison State Park
Located just a short drive from downtown Indianapolis, Fort Harrison State Park offers a serene retreat from city life. Fort Harrison State Park is counted as one of the best national parks in Indiana. This park’s expansive green spaces, woodlands, and scenic trails provide ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife observation. Visitors can also enjoy fishing in Fall Creek or engage in a round of golf at the park’s championship golf course. With its convenient location and array of recreational activities, Fort Harrison State Park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
- Address: 6000 North Post Road, Indianapolis, IN 46216
- Phone: (317) 591-0904
- Website: www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2982.htm
Indiana’s national parks showcase the state’s diverse and awe-inspiring natural landscapes. You can go through the above article carefully to see the ten top national parks in Indiana. From the pristine beaches of Indiana Dunes National Park to the rugged canyons of Turkey Run State Park, these national treasures offer countless opportunities for outdoor adventures and memorable experiences.