The 8 best Indiana state parks for outdoor fun


Are you making plans for a spring break getaway or starting to think about your family’s summer vacation? Indiana is full of breathtaking state parks that are perfect for outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to swimming and fishing.

Celebrate the warmer weather by packing up the family car and heading out to explore the beauty of Indiana. Here are eight of our favorite Indiana state parks for scenic views and outdoor activities:

Turkey Run State Park
Located about 170 miles from Goshen is beautiful Turkey Run State Park. Turkey Run features deep ravines in sandstone gorges, hiking and bridle trails, camping, historic sites, a nature center and the scenic Sugar Creek for canoeing and fishing. Hanging above Sugar Creek is a suspension bridge, which is sure to give you a thrill as you walk across.

Pokagon State Park 
This scenic park is only a short 50-mile drive from Goshen. Perhaps best known for its refrigerated toboggan run, Pokagon State Park is one of the state’s original parks. Pokagon also features natural lakes created by melted glaciers, providing abundant opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and catching scenic sunsets. There are nine hiking trails in Pokagon State Park, ranging from easy to moderate in skill level. 

Morgan-Monroe State Forest
Morgan-Monroe State Forest is the second-largest state forest in Indiana, with 37.5 square miles of forest and parkland. The forest offers two 10-mile loop trails through mature hardwood forests: The Three Lakes Trail and the Low Gap Trail. Morgan-Monroe State Forest is located near Martinsville, about 175 miles from Goshen, and is accessible all year round.

Clifty Falls State Park 
Home to what many consider the best hiking trails in the state, Clifty Falls State Park contains a 14-mile dog-friendly looping trail (just be sure to keep your four-legged friend on a leash!). Clifty Falls is about 245 miles from Goshen in Madison, Indiana.

Hemlock Cliffs Hoosier National Forest 
A popular destination in Indiana, Hemlock Cliffs is a unique park characterized by its cool climate, sandstone rock formations and seasonal waterfalls. With lush vegetation along the cliffs, waterfalls and canyon floor, Hemlock Cliffs is a peaceful oasis about 300 miles south of Goshen.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Situated on the southern shore of Lake Michigan about 73 miles from Goshen is Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The park boasts a string of sandy beaches and trails that run through dunes, marshland and jack pine forests. The Dune Succession Trail at West Beach has stunning views of the Chicago skyline, and visitors will also enjoy the Bailly Homestead, an 1820s fur-trading post, and the restored Chellberg Farm.

Spring Mills State Park
Featuring the restored Pioneer Village with 20 historic buildings to explore, Spring Mills State Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore the history of the area and see it reflected in the landscape. Selected caves at the park are open with limited access for self-guided recreational groups and the Twin Caves Boat Tour. Spring Mill Park is located near Mitchell, about 240 miles from Goshen.

McCormick’s Creek State Park
The oldest state park in Indiana, McCormick’s Creek State Park offers hiking and horseback-riding trails, river fishing, camping and an indoor recreational center. Hikers with some experience will enjoy hiking to the waterfall on the beautiful Falls Canyon Trail of McCormick’s Creek State Park, located about 200 miles from Goshen.

Whether you’re looking for something a short drive from home or you're ready to take a road trip, Indiana’s state parks offer something for everyone.