Indiana State Parks

The Indiana State Parks system’s origin began in 1916 under the guidance of Colonel Richard Lieber. It has since grown and developed under the influence of visionaries like Lieber and Lucy Pitchler, as well as groups like the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today, the parks reside under the purview of the Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources.

Discover Indiana invites you to take a journey across the 19th state and take in the beauty and history of the nine parks in this tour. The parks highlighted here showcase environmental sites in Indiana that have largely disparate backgrounds, yet consistently a profound impact on Indiana’s story. From the Spring Mill gristmill to the Falls of the Ohio fossils and everywhere in between, this tour contains some of the most adventurous and educational spots you will find in the state. Come make your down the trails of a park today and take part in your own Indiana adventure!

Please keep in mind that each tour is by no means a comprehensive list of sites in Indiana related to each theme. Please be respectful of private property lines when visiting each of these sites.

Spring Mill State Park

Each of Indiana’s state parks has something unique to offer and Spring Mill is no exception. Although currently encompassing over a thousand acres, the original 295 acres was purchased from a cement company for one dollar. Included in that purchase…

McCormick's Creek State Park

Eyeing the state’s centennial, Colonel Richard Lieber and others helped organize the creation of McCormick’s Creek State Park in 1916, making it Indiana’s first state park. McCormick’s Creek earned its named from John McCormick, a Revolutionary War…

Turkey Run State Park

Originally slated to be Indiana’s first state park, the failure to reach a deal on the purchase of park lands resulted in the creation of McCormick’s Creek S.P. a few months earlier than Turkey Run. The brainchild of Colonel Richard Lieber, who also…

Shades State Park

Though not as well known or as visited as Turkey Run, Shades State Park shares much of the same natural splendor, geology, and ecosystems that visitors to Turkey Run have enjoyed for one hundred years. Added to the state park system in 1947, “Shades…

Mounds State Park

From Native American mounds to merry-go-rounds, Mounds State Park attests to the varied history of Indiana. Named after the numerous Native American-constructed mounds dotting the park, these features drove the preservation of this land and the…

Indiana Dunes State Park

Garnering its name from its most prominent features, Indiana Dunes State Park offers an experience and ecosystem exclusive to the state park system. The ever-changing dunes began forming around 6,500 years ago with the retreat of the last glaciers,…

Falls of the Ohio State Park

Established in 1990, the Falls of the Ohio State Park encompasses a rich cultural and natural history unlike anywhere else along the Ohio or Mississippi rivers. Between the start of the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, PA and the confluence of the…

Brown County State Park

Opened in 1929, Brown County State Park is the largest of Indiana’s state parks. Known for many decades as the “Little Smokies” because of the area’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, the park draws more people to it than any other in the…

Pokagon State Park

Dedicated in 1925, Pokagon State Park is named for Potawatomi leaders Leopold and Simon Pokagon, who lived in this area during the 1800s. Potawatomi settlements date back to at least the early 1800s around Lake James, now part of Pokagon State Park.…