List of Indiana state parks

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The U.S. state of Indiana has 24 state parks maintained and operated by Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Marion and Clark are the only counties to have two. Brown County, the largest state park, has the greatest number of visitors, followed by Indiana Dunes State Park.[1] In addition, a separate state agency operates White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis.[2]

Richard Lieber was instrumental in the foundation of the Indiana State Park system. The first state park in Indiana was McCormick's Creek State Park, in Owen County in 1916, followed in the same year by Turkey Run State Park in Parke County. A steady climb in the number of state parks rose in the 1920s, mostly by donation from local authorities to the state government for the purpose of a state park. Of the initial twelve, only Muscatatuck State Park is no longer a state park, having been given back to Jennings County in 1968.[3] It was during the Great Depression of the 1930s that much infrastructure was built within the park, constructed by New Deal agencies such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration, with the majority of this Depression-era construction still in use in the 21st Century. This delay in infrastructure was due in part to Richard Lieber believing that the parks should be kept as natural as possible.[4]

Initially, the state parks were meant to feature natural environments in Indiana; establishing Mounds State Park for its historical nature and establishing Shakamak State Park purely for recreational purposes (it was an abandoned strip mine) strayed from the initial purposes of the Indiana state park system.[5]

While Indiana does not have as many state parks as some other states, it has avoided obtaining too many smaller properties that would be hard to manage. A goal of having at least one state park within an hour's drive for every Hoosier was met when Prophetstown State Park was established.[6]

State parks[edit]

Name Photo City County Established Area[7] Description[7]
Brown County Brown-County-Szmurlo.jpg Nashville
39°07′N 86°16′W / 39.11°N 86.26°W / 39.11; -86.26 (Brown County)
Brown 1929 15,776 acres (63.84 km2) Largest State Park in Indiana[8]
Chain O' Lakes
Albion
41°20′N 85°23′W / 41.33°N 85.38°W / 41.33; -85.38 (Chain O'Lakes)
Noble 1960 2,718 acres (11.00 km2) Features eight connected kettle lakes[9]
Charlestown Fourteen Mile Creek waterfront.jpg Charlestown
38°26′N 85°38′W / 38.43°N 85.63°W / 38.43; -85.63 (Charlestown)
Clark 1996 5,100 acres (21 km2) Built on the grounds of the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant[10]
Clifty Falls Clifty Falls at Clifty Falls State Park.JPG Madison
38°46′N 85°25′W / 38.76°N 85.42°W / 38.76; -85.42 (Clifty Falls)
Jefferson 1920 1,416 acres (5.73 km2) Features a canyon that has daylight only at midday[11]
Falls of the Ohio Clarksville
38°16′37″N 85°45′47″W / 38.277°N 85.763°W / 38.277; -85.763 (Falls of the Ohio)
Clark 1990 165 acres (0.67 km2) Offers views of the Falls of the Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky[12]
Fort Harrison Fort Ben - Fall Creek Boardwalk.jpg Indianapolis
39°52′N 86°01′W / 39.87°N 86.01°W / 39.87; -86.01 (Fort Harrison)
Marion 1996 1,700 acres (6.9 km2) Built on the site of old Fort Benjamin Harrison[13]
Harmonie
New Harmony
38°04′N 87°57′W / 38.06°N 87.95°W / 38.06; -87.95 (Harmonie)
Posey 1966 3,465 acres (14.02 km2) Near historic Rappite and Owenite villages.[14]
Indiana Dunes Indiana Dunes-State-Park-02.jpg Porter
41°40′N 87°02′W / 41.66°N 87.04°W / 41.66; -87.04 (Indiana Dunes)
Porter 1925 2,182 acres (8.83 km2) Attached to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.[15]
Lincoln Lincoln state part1.jpg Lincoln City
38°06′N 86°00′W / 38.10°N 86.00°W / 38.10; -86.00 (Lincoln)
Spencer 1932 1,847 acres (7.47 km2) Across from Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, it was the last state park established by Richard Lieber.[16]
McCormick's Creek McCormicks Creek falls Indiana.JPG Spencer
39°17′N 86°44′W / 39.29°N 86.73°W / 39.29; -86.73 (McCormick's Creek)
Owen 1916 1,924 acres (7.79 km2) First state park in Indiana[17]
Mounds MoundsHouse.jpg Anderson
40°06′N 85°37′W / 40.10°N 85.62°W / 40.10; -85.62 (Mounds)
Madison 1930 290 acres (1.2 km2) [18]
O'Bannon Woods O'Bannon Woods Entrance.jpg Corydon
38°14′N 86°18′W / 38.23°N 86.30°W / 38.23; -86.30 (O'Bannon Woods)
Harrison 2004 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) Formerly the Wyandotte SRA, renamed in honor of the late Indiana governor Frank O'Bannon.[19]
Ouabache
Bluffton
40°43′N 85°07′W / 40.72°N 85.11°W / 40.72; -85.11 (Ouabache)
Wells 1962 1,104 acres (4.47 km2) Name comes from the French spelling of "Wabash"[20]
Pokagon Potawatomi Inn Pokagon State Park.jpg Angola
41°43′N 85°22′W / 41.71°N 85.36°W / 41.71; -85.36 (Pokagon)
Steuben 1925 1,260 acres (5.1 km2) Well known for its skiing.[21]
Potato Creek
North Liberty
41°33′N 86°35′W / 41.55°N 86.58°W / 41.55; -86.58 (Potato Creek)
St. Joseph 1969 3,840 acres (15.5 km2) [22]
Prophetstown
West Lafayette
40°30′N 86°50′W / 40.50°N 86.83°W / 40.50; -86.83 (Prophetstown)
Tippecanoe 2004 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) [23]
Shades Deer Mill Covered Bridge Indiana 4.jpg Waveland
39°56′N 87°05′W / 39.93°N 87.08°W / 39.93; -87.08 (Shades)
Montgomery 1947 3,082 acres (12.47 km2) Only state park to ever have its own airstrip.[24]
Shakamak Shakamak Nature Center 181.jpg Jasonville
39°10′N 87°14′W / 39.17°N 87.24°W / 39.17; -87.24 (Shakamak)
Clay, Greene and Sullivan 1929 1,766 acres (7.15 km2) Used to be a strip mine[25]
Spring Mill Spring Mill Gristmill.jpg Mitchell
38°44′N 86°25′W / 38.73°N 86.42°W / 38.73; -86.42 (Spring Mill)
Lawrence 1927 1,358 acres (5.50 km2) Featured a pioneer village, numerous caves, and a memorial to Gus Grissom[26]
Summit Lake SummitLakeStatePark.jpg New Castle
40°02′N 85°18′W / 40.03°N 85.30°W / 40.03; -85.30 (Summit Lake)
Henry 1988 2,680 acres (10.8 km2) [27]
Tippecanoe River Tippecanoe R SP Indiana TheRiver P1300080.jpg Winamac
41°09′N 86°36′W / 41.15°N 86.60°W / 41.15; -86.60 (Tippecanoe River)
Pulaski 1943 2,761 acres (11.17 km2) [28]
Turkey Run Turkey Run SP, IN 4.jpg Marshall
39°53′N 87°13′W / 39.88°N 87.21°W / 39.88; -87.21 (Turkey Run)
Parke 1916 2,382 acres (9.64 km2) Famous for its sandstone gorges and unique terrain[29]
Versailles 036 34A Busching, Versailles SP, Versailles Cty.jpg Versailles
39°05′N 85°14′W / 39.08°N 85.23°W / 39.08; -85.23 (Versailles)
Ripley 1943 5,988 acres (24.23 km2) [30]
White River C4241-Indianapolis-Canal.jpg Indianapolis
39°46′N 86°10′W / 39.77°N 86.17°W / 39.77; -86.17 (White River)
Marion 1979 250 acres (1.0 km2) An urban park in downtown Indianapolis[31]
Whitewater Memorial Whitewatersign.jpg Liberty
39°37′N 84°58′W / 39.61°N 84.97°W / 39.61; -84.97 (Whitewater Memorial)
Union 1949 1,710 acres (6.9 km2) Built on land donated by four counties[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statistics". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ "White River State Park". in.gov. State of Indiana. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ History
  4. ^ Ralston, Patrick. New Deal Resources in Indiana State Parks MPS
  5. ^ Ralston
  6. ^ DNR - State Parks & Reservoirs: History & Culture
  7. ^ a b "Indiana Recreation Guide 2010" (PDF). Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Brown County". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Chain O' Lakes". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Charlestown". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Clifty Falls". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Falls of the Ohio". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "Fort Harrison". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Harmonie". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Indiana Dunes". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "Lincoln". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "McCormick's Creek". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Mounds". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "O'Bannon Woods". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "Ouabache". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Pokagon". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "Potato Creek". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "Prophetstown". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Shades". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "Shakamak". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  26. ^ "Spring Mill". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  27. ^ "Summit Lake". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  28. ^ "Tippecanoe River". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  29. ^ "Turkey Run". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  30. ^ "Versailles". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  31. ^ "White River". White River State Park. Retrieved March 28, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Whitewater Memorial". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 

External links[edit]