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3 Local Camping Destinations & Why You Should Visit Them

Indiana provides these three State Park gems, all within 50-100 miles of Indianapolis.


There are many good camping destinations in Indiana. Having grown up in Indianapolis, I have always heard of many camping options. The following three are my personal favorite. As a daytrip, overnight backpacking escape, or a place to bring your RV, all have accomodations.

       1. McCormick’s Creek State Park. 

Just 53 miles Southwest of downtown Indianapolis, McCormick’s Creek is Indiana’s first state park. Nestled near the town of Spencer, the park has a spectacular limestone canyon, a flowing creek, and scenic waterfalls. With 1,833 acres of land, you are sure to find something to keep you busy! There are 10+ miles of well-marked hiking trails, picnic areas, several shelter houses, and two bedroom family cabins for rent. Activities available are horseback riding, the nature center, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tennis courts, playgrounds, and an olympic sized swimming pool. Other notable attractions are Wolf Cave, a Nature Preserve, the stone arch bridge, and the Canyon Inn.


       2. Clifty Falls State Park.

Located in deep Southern Indiana, Clifty Falls is perched a stone’s throw away from the Ohio River. The park is home to the Clifty Falls Inn & Restaurant, offering majastic views of the river and well into the Buckeye State itself. It contains 12 miles of hiking trails and four waterfalls. In addition, its stony bed is caked with fossil remnants that tell of a long vanished marine ecosystem.  The 600 foot abandoned railroad tunnel on the parks 1,519 acres is a great place to visit as well.  Amenities include 106 electric campsites, 63 non-electric campsites, Youth Tent areas, a dumping station, a campground, and a pool.


       3. Turkey Run State Park. 

Located 68 miles due West of Indianapolis, Turkey Run has 2,382 acres. As Indiana’s second state park, the name was presumed to come from wild turkeys flocking to the canyon  bottoms to avoid the cold. The park has over 11 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to very rugged. There are many ravines, and sandstone gorges. Frequest visitors remember the suspension bridge used to cross over Sugar Creek, where the trails begin. Some trails even have ladders hikers must climb.  Turkey Run also includes several cabin rental options, campgrounds, RV rentals, canoeing, fishing, picnic areas, horseback riding and the Turkey Run Inn.

Depending upon your desire, among many other camping destinations, Indiana provides these three State Park gems, all within 50-100 miles of Indianapolis. Happy camping!