Beautiful caves and labyrinthine trails through valleys gleaming with sunlight await you in Indiana's state park system. Twenty-five emerald parks are located on the state's territory, and they are highly diverse, from the historical magnetism of Mounds State Park to the fascinating abandoned strip mine at entertaining Shakamak. Come and discover vast toboggan runs and gurgling waterfalls, historic forts, and beaches, all in Indiana.
From city parks to remote green glades, Indiana's state parks are bursting with dynamic family attractions and activities. Discover caves and dive into Olympic swimming pools, rent a pedalo, or immerse yourself in archaeological sites. Here's where to do so:
Enjoy the best views of Indianapolis' city skyline from its gorgeous park. There's much more to White River Park than its spectacular nature and scenery. Families can enjoy a movie on the park cinema's vast Imax screen, visit Indiana State Museum, and meet exotic animals at Indianapolis Zoo. Close by, you'll find the NCAA Hall of Champions, dedicated to the state's sporting prowess.
Indiana's most popular state park attracts around 1.3 million visitors annually. Unfolding over fifteen thousand acres, the park is particularly family friendly. More than 70 mi. of bridle trails welcome budding equestrians, while 18 mi. of hiking trails are interspersed with glorious views. Picnic areas are prevalent in the park, and there's even a swimming pool and an enthralling Nature Center.
Archaeological sites, a Nature Center with various programs, mountain biking, and motorized boat rentals are a few of the attractions that get families excited about this park. The 327 acre Worster Lake gleams in the sun, surrounded by wetlands and prairies replete with wildlife. Explore sun-dappled trails before alighting at the Picnic Pavilion, and racing with your family in paddle boats.
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Best Indiana State Parks for Hiking
Glittering lakes and ancient ravines, diverse wildlife and curious historic attractions. Indiana's state parks are packed with sights and scenery that will draw you in. Here are some of the best parks for your vacation hikes:
Topped by Lake Michigan and surrounded by the National Lakeshore, this sublime and historic landscape is a delight for visitors. Some 2,000 acres present idyllic hiking territory, and there are numerous cross country skiing trails in wintertime. In the summer, you can also hike to the beach, or visit the Nature Center.
Turkey Run is known for having some of the most scenic hiking trails in the state. Biking, equestrian trails, and canoeing are just a few of the other attractions for hikers at Turkey Run. Cross dramatic sandstone gorges via rope bridge, as you learn about the state's history. Dotted with historic covered bridges, log churches and cabins, the park's ravines transport you back some 600 million years. Trails may not be long, but they are certainly rugged.
Waterfall lovers are well served at Clifty State Park, where hiking trails to the park's prettiest scenery and watery attractions are plentiful. Don't forget to check out the Visitor Center, where you can learn more about the wildlife and geology you'll find in this spectacular 600 acre park. After your hike, cool off with a swim in the park's beloved lake.
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Best Indiana State Parks for Adventure Sports
Superbly well furnished for fans of adventure sport, Indiana's state parks are always exciting. From spirited horseback rides down sunny pathways to fishing on jewel-like lakes and thrilling toboggan runs, here are some of the state's top adventure parks:
The frozen toboggan run at Pokagon attracts about 90,000 riders each winter. The total vertical drop is 90 ft. over a 0.25 mi. course. The toboggan is the main attraction of the park, but you can also rent cross country skis here, and head off into the snow-adorned wilderness.
Fishing is the focus of Shakamak State Park, which boasts around 400 acres of water. A state of the art aquatic center provides swimming fun year-round, while fishing, paddling, and rowing on the lake are the popular summer activities.
Hike, horseback ride, fish, and picnic in this stunning state park in the center of the state. 10 mi. of well-marked trails lead you past intriguing attractions like caves and historic bridges. Take trail rides on horseback from the Saddle Barn, or enjoy a dip in the Olympic-sized swimming pool. Meanwhile, a plethora of sports and activities await at the Recreation Center.
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