By Gabby Davis
Camping in Indiana is an adventure, and a beautiful one at that. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up next to a blue, picturesque lake and watching it sparkle under the sun. Before the temperatures turn cold, be sure to visit these five gorgeous lakeside campsites in Indiana!
With over 10,000 acres of water surrounded by thousands of acres of state and federally-owned forest, Monroe Lake (also known as Lake Monroe or Monroe Reservoir) is Indiana’s largest inland lake. The area is so peaceful and has over 200 electric campsites in addition to 94 non-electric (traditional) campsites. The views are spectacular with rolling hills, thick forests, and the many whispering streams. It’s an oasis and a favorite of Hoosiers.
This summer’s most gorgeous lakeside campsite is that of Brookville Lake in southern Indiana. The lake stretches 17 miles from north to south, and attracts more than a million visitors each year because of its beauty. Watch as eagles soar through the skies and wind-blown sails glide through the water. Here you will find remnants of prehistoric Native American mounds, as well as 450-million-year-old Ordovician fossils. There are more than 25 miles of hiking trails available, as well as 400 campsites to choose from, and the best part: two beaches. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered heaven when you come to Brookville Lake!
Located 25 miles outside of Fort Wayne, Salamonie Lake is the ideal place for a family getaway. The views are impressive and can be seen from nearly all angles no matter where you are. For camping, be sure to stay at the Lost Bridge West SRA. There is a modern camping facility which includes flush toilets and hot showers. There are also self-reservation campgrounds which are more primitive— these are located right next to the lake. These sites have a fire ring and picnic table, as well as convenient access to the beach. Not too far outside Salamonie Lake is the Salamonie River State Forest in Lagro, Indiana. This is where you will find more of the recreational activities for the whole family to enjoy!
Cecil M. Harden Lake, known to most Hoosiers as Raccoon Lake (and formerly known as Mansfield Lake), opened in 1960 as part of the U.S. Army Corps flood-control project. Since then, it has become a favorite lakeside destination of Hoosiers and visitors alike. With native forests and large rock structures, Cecil is a sight to see, especially in the fall when the leaves start to change, adding even more color along the lake. Besides camping, visitors can also boat, fish, and swim. In October, be sure to take part in the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, which is just a few minutes away!
Head toward Borden, Indiana, this summer and enjoy the beautiful sight of Deam Lake, named after Indiana’s first state forester, Charles C. Deam. Camping is permitted from March 1 to the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The lake is 194 acres, and has over 100 Class A campsites (modern campsites) with an additional 68 sites in the horsemen’s campground. This area is designed for recreation, and there are a multitude of activities available for everyone!