Hike, bike, and float through these beautiful Indiana state parks while getting a perfect taste of the state’s natural beauty
There are dozens of Indiana State parks with varied landscapes that include coastlines, lush forests, and dramatic waterfalls. Experience the best of what Indiana has to offer by checking these state parks off your outdoor bucket list.
Brown County State Park in Nashville
Brown County State Park is Indiana’s largest state park. The tree-covered landscapes are magnificent, especially during fall foliage season, and 20 miles of scenic roads afford stunning vistas any time of the year. After a morning of hiking or mountain biking on trails that wind through rugged ravines and across streams, embark on a horseback ride or fishing excursion.
Turkey Run State Park in Marshall
Spend your afternoon exploring the extraordinarily beautiful topography of Turkey Run State Park. A verdant landscape of mossy canyons, waterfalls and winding streams, this lush environment can be traversed by an interconnected network of ladders, bridges and hiking trails. Also, your park itinerary should include stops at the Colonel Richard Lieber Cabin (which commemorates the founder of Indiana’s state parks system), the suspension footbridge above Sugar Creek and the saddle barns (for groups interested in guided horseback rides).
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore hugs Lake Michigan for 15 beautiful miles with its signature sand dunes. Sport and sunbathing opportunities await groups along the water at seven available beaches and hiking and biking trails pass through Miller Woods and the Great Marsh. Interested in history? Your group can tour the Bailly Homestead, a popular rendezvous for Canadian fur traders, and Chellberg Farm, a historic farmstead that grants a peek into Swedish immigrant life in the 19th century. An expansive system of boardwalks lets visitors traverse the mounds and see neighboring Illinois and Michigan on clear days.
Clifty Falls State Park in Madison
Especially beautiful during the autumn months, Clifty Falls State Park is a pocket of scenic splendor just outside the historic Ohio River city of Madison. Deeply-cut gorges and sheetrock walls, along with four major waterfalls and numerous minor ones, create a wonderland for serious hikers. Moreover, the trail system is one of Indiana’s most rugged. Nature enthusiasts may spot marine fossils in the 425-million year-old shale and limestone rocks.
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