13 of the Best Places to Go Camping in Indiana

Brown County State Park Camping in Indiana

Planning your next trip to Indiana? One of the best things you can do on vacation there–or even if you just live there–is go camping. Camping in Indiana is an experience that you simply cannot turn down. With beautiful views and amazing wildlife, there are a lot of wonderful places for you to go camping in Indiana.

But, to help you out, we’ve made a list of our favorite camping spots in Indiana. From licensed campgrounds to state parks and recreation areas, there’s a perfect place for you and your family to sit back and enjoy Mother Nature.

13. Pokagon State Park

The first destination in our picks for the best camping in Indiana is Pokagon State Park.

Pokagon State Park is one of Indiana’s beautiful state parks, this one located in Angola. The park is named after the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi tribes in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan and has several historical buildings and landmarks dedicated to these very Indigenous peoples. 

This beautiful campground has a hefty 275 campsites available year-round. These campgrounds offer beach access to campers, as well as showers, boat rentals, playgrounds, and plenty of perfect spots for tent camping. If you happen to visit during the winter months, this campground is known as a winter wonderland, with options for cross-country ski rentals, sledding, ice fishing, and even a twin-track toboggan run if you’re wanting to have an extra dose of fun. But, whether you want to go on a hike, go for a swim, or even ride horseback, you can do all of that and more at Pokagon State Park. 

12. Brown County State Park

Autumn at Brown County State Park, Camping in Indiana

Brown County State Park has an uncanny resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains. This beautifully rugged state park is full of various hills, mountains, and ridges that give you incredible views for miles. In the state park, you’ll find extra spacious campgrounds and over 70 miles of hiking trails for you to explore. And, if you want to escape the great outdoors for just a bit, there’s an indoor waterpark waiting for you.

During the summer, the pools and natural water make Brown County State Park one of the best places to go camping in Indiana. In the fall, too, the scenery cannot be beaten: the tree-lined paths turn ombre orange, red, and yellow colors that are simply picturesque. 

11. Chain O’Lakes Campground 

As the name suggests, this campground is surrounded by a literal chain of lakes–eight lakes, to be exact. No matter where you camp in their over 300 campgrounds, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful lush oak and hickory hardwood trees, as well as the beautiful crystal clear waters of one of the many surrounding lakes. 

Chain O’Lakes Campground is full of wildlife that’ll help you feel directly connected to nature during your outdoor adventures. Whether you’re camping in a tent or camping in an RV, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of Noble County. If you’re looking for a spot that’s great for water sports and more bird species than you can count, Chain O’Lakes Campground is the one of the best places to go camping in Indiana. 

10. Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run State Park in Indiana

Looking to experience some of Indiana’s natural beauty? Turkey Run State Park showcases 300 to 600 million years of erosion, resulting in stunning sandstone gorges you can walk through by bridge. These deep canyons boast incredible views that you can explore by trail, either on foot or on horse. The journey is up to you. 

Turkey Run State Park has over 200 modern campgrounds and even a camp store in case there’s something you forgot. You’re welcome to park your RV or set up your tent–whatever floats your boat, this state park accommodates to you. This state park offers everything from canoeing to horseback riding to tennis and basketball courts. With this much to do, it’s hard not to consider Turkey Run an idyllic place to camp. 

9. Whitewater State Park

Whitewater State Park is a memorial state park dedicated to the men and women who served in World War II. This park is surrounded by 200 acres of the famous Whitewater Lake, making for scenic views and a fun, safe spot for the whole family. With the lake so close by, your camping adventures can include swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, and so much more. If you’re someone who likes to enjoy the water when you’re camping, Whitewater is truly the spot for you.

This campground has around 230 campsites as well as a handy camp store to make your trip easier than ever before. During the spring summertime, this site is open to all of the camping and outdoor activities you can think of. Even in the fall and winter months, you can go ice fishing and hiking. No matter when you’re wanting to go camping, Whitewater State Park is one of the best places in Indiana to go camping. 

8. Starve Hollow State Recreation Area

Located in beautiful southern Indiana, Starve Hollow State Recreation Area is a wonderful spot to reconnect with nature. This site is made up of 280 acres, as well as an almost 150-acre lake perfect for all the water sports you can think of. 

There are large sandy beaches for you to relax on, as well as boat rentals in case you want to get out in the water. Not to mention, this campsite is full of scenic fishing spots that’ll help you catch dinner. 

Starve Hollow State Recreation has almost 100 campsites and 55 full-hookup sites to accommodate to your camping style. You can choose to camp right on the beach or tucked further back into the trees for more privacy–it’s totally up to you. 

The various outdoor recreation options and beautiful views are great for the whole family. All in all, this recreation area makes for one of the most stunning camping spots in Indiana. 

7. Hardin Ridge Recreation Area

For a smaller, more private camping in Indiana experience, Hardin Ridge Recreation Area is the place to go. This camping area is right on Monroe Lake in Bloomington, offering a wonderful spot to wake up and go to bed in. 

Year-round, you can find various hiking trails and engage in fun water sport activities that’ll make your camping trip even more enjoyable. You’re welcome to go fishing and boating, but their trails are not permitted for biking, so leave the bicycles at home this trip.

The Hardin Ridge Recreation Area only has six campground loops, so you’ll want to make a reservation for a campsite online. You can pitch your tent or park your RV in the recreation area, allowing you to be one with nature. Or, if you don’t feel like doing that kind of camping, the campgrounds even offer rental cabins, still giving you the rustic, outdoor experience. No matter what you choose to do or how you go camping, Hardin Ridge is the perfect place to go. 

6. Hardy Lake

For a true lakeside camping experience, Hardy Lake is the place to go. This is actually the only state reservoir that wasn’t made by man for flood control, so the water levels stay perfect all year long. 

Regardless of when you choose to go camping, Hardy Lake has beautiful limestone bluffs and caves to explore, as well as the typical hiking, fishing, and boating experiences. At Hardy Lake, you can even go skiing if you’re up for an adrenaline rush.

When it comes to campsites, Hardy Lake has 149 electric sites and 15 primitive sites, depending on what floats your boat. Camp near a fishing pier or a good place to have a picnic here at Hardy Lake, and you’ll experience wildlife beyond belief. Boating, hiking, waterskiing–you name it, this campsite offers it. That’s why we believe it’s easily one of the best places to go camping in all of Indiana. 

5. Yellowwood Campground

If you’re looking to truly connect with nature and experience traditional camping in Indiana, Yellowwood Campground is the place for you. This means that there are no water hook-ups or outlets, leaving you to be one with Mother Earth. 

Often, this makes for the best camping possible. You can choose to go canoeing on the water, fish in Yellowwood lake, or horseback riding on one of the many designated horse trails (but you do have to bring your own horse). 

In total, this campground offers the views of three different lakes and more wildlife than you could ever imagine. Binoculars are a must at Yellowwood Campground, helping you truly appreciate the nature around you–even if it’s a few hundred yards away. With 90 campsites total, you can find the perfect spot to go camping in Brown County. 

4. McCormick’s Creek State Park

McCormick's Creek State Park in Indiana

McCormick Creek State Park is full of some of Indiana’s most beautiful natural landmarks and makes for an amazing place to go camping in Indiana. You can explore Wolf Cave, hike across the Twin Bridges, or even enjoy some waterfalls all across the park. 

The various hiking trails throughout the campground offer scenic views of these waterfalls, as well as other lush trees, flowers, and wildlife. Eventually, you’ll find your way to the fire tower that you can climb up and experience Indiana from a whole new perspective. Or, you can walk across the stone arch bridge made by the CCC.

Here, you’ll have access to 190 modern campgrounds and 33 primitive ones. There are also two group campsites in case you and you a big group want to experience a true camping experience. With this, McCormick offers dining halls, commercial kitchens, bathrooms, showers, and even an amphitheatre. When it comes down to it McCormick Creek State Park is a perfect place to pitch your tent or park your RV. 

3. Summit Lake Campground

There’s nothing better than camping in Indiana right alongside a beautiful lake. At the Summit Lake Campground in Indiana, you’re surrounded by the beauty of an 800-acre lake and wildlife for miles. 

The lake is home to so many different fish species, making fishing more exciting than ever before. There are various wonderful fishing spots, or, you can hop into one of their boats and find your own ideal location across the water. At Summit Lake Campground, Mother Nature is all yours. 

This campground offers campers 120 different campsites to choose from, each location being just as pristine as the next. The entire park stretches over almost 3,000 acres of land, so there are plenty of spaces for you to explore, with or without the family. Whether you want to go birdwatching, hiking, or simply dip in the lake, you’re welcome to do it all at one of the best places to go camping in all of Indiana. 

2. Racoon State Recreation Area

Racoon State Recreation Area is a staple for camping in Indiana. This all-natural recreation area is full of wildlife, botany, and some of the most gorgeous lakes you’ll find in the whole state. 

The Cecil M. Harden Lake was originally created to help flood control, but it has become home to some many fish and wildlife nowadays. In fact, you’re free to go fishing in the lake and awe at the various different species that live there. But, if you’re not a fishing person, that’s cool, too! At Racoon State Recreation Area, you can enjoy everything from bird watching to jet skiing and stargazing. 

They have almost 250 electric, modern campsites for you to camp in, or you can choose from one of their 35 primitive campsites for a closer-to-nature experience. If you explore enough, you’ll even find the Historic Mansfield Roller Mill and an 1880s flour mill. History is preserved right in front of you at Racoon State Recreation Area. 

1. Dunewood Campground

 Indiana Dunes State Park

Finally, our favorite place to go camping in Indiana is Dunewood Campground. This campground is different from the others, offering both beach and dune views, right on the edge of Lake Michigan. Open only from April to October, you have just a few months to enjoy the beauty that Dunewood Campground has to offer. 

The entire campground is surrounded by lush forests, incredible wildlife, and paved paths for easy hiking and exploring. Whether you’re walking through the dunes or going for a swim in the lake, Dunewood Campground is our number one spot for camping in Indiana. 

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