Indiana is blessed with unique places and remarkable natural features. From state parks to forests and lakes, this passport includes almost 60 outdoor locations to explore. It’s free to sign up. All you need to do is check in to one of the passport locations, and you are on your way to earning prizes. The more you visit, the more you win. You can also qualify for a grand prize giveaway and specific drawings throughout the year. This program is 100% free, but property entrance fees apply when you visit.
How this Pass Works
The curated state nature locations featured in this passport are yours to enjoy when you sign up now. Simply click the “Sign Up” button and fill out your information. This program is 100% free.
Get Your Pass
After you sign-up, your passport will be instantly delivered to your phone via text and email and is ready to use immediately! There is no app to download. If you want one-tap access to your passport, you have the option of saving it to your phone’s home screen.
When visiting a participating location, simply select check-in. You will need to have your location services turned on and be within range of the property you are visiting in order to check-in.
Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
Scenic Brown County State Park, in Nashville, welcomes all visitors with its rolling hills and scenic vistas. Abe Martin Lodge, inside the park, offers comfortable lodging in both the lodge and cabins. All ages will enjoy the indoor aquatic center with its slide, lazy river, and hot tub.
Brookville Lake (Mounds SRA)
Brookville Lake, in Liberty, has more than 25 miles of hiking trails, boating opportunities, and nationally known recreational and sport fishing. Two beaches and more than 400 campsites make this an ideal family vacation spot. There are also traces of prehistoric Native American mounds throughout this valley, as well as a significant deposit of 450-million-year-old fossils.
Brown County State Park
Mountain bikers come from all over the country for the challenging trails at Brown County State Park in Nashville. Indiana’s largest State Park is also great for hiking — be sure to check out the views from their log observation shelters — plus horseback riding and more.
Cagles Mill Lake (Lieber SRA)
Lieber State Recreation Area at Cagles Mill Lake in Cloverdale is home to the beautiful Cataract Falls. These falls resulted from two pre-glacial bedrock ridges buried beneath ancient lake sediments of the Illinoisan glacial period. There’s also fishing, boat rentals and plenty of hiking here.
Canyon Inn, McCormick’s Creek State Park
Beautiful scenery and history blend together at Indiana’s oldest state park to make your visit unforgettable. Enjoy the peaceful calm of McCormick’s Creek State Park’s canyon and cliffs, view the waterfall and visit the fire tower for a view you won’t soon forget. The historic inn was opened in Spencer in 1916. It currently has 76 guest rooms.
Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon SRA)
Native forest and large rock outcrops line the upper part of Big Raccoon Creek. Cecil M. Harden Lake, near Rockville, resulted from the damming of the creek for flood control. The lake also provides recreation, wildlife management and economic benefits. A variety of fish, flora and fauna can be viewed at the property.
Chain O’ Lakes State Park
As its name implies, Chain O’ Lakes State Park in Albion has nine connecting lakes. Paddle through the chain of serene kettle lakes, hike the 23 miles of forested trails, fish the electric-motors-only lakes, stay overnight in a forested hillside family cabin, visit the park’s historic one-room Stanley Schoolhouse, or explore the Nature Center.
Charlestown State Park
Enjoy scenic vistas of the Fourteen Mile Creek Valley and Ohio River when you visit Charlestown State Park in Clark County. Hiking trails traverse rugged hills and deep ravines, with elevation changes over 200 feet. One trail takes you to the abandoned Rose Island Theme Park, a once-booming spot that now lies in ruin with interesting signs describing what was there.
Clark State Forest
Clark State Forest, established in Henryville in 1903, is the oldest state forest in Indiana. The original appropriations to purchase a 2,000 acre tract took place during the administration of Governor Winfield Durbin. In the ensuing 96 years, additional acquisitions have increased this area to the present 24,000 acres.
Clifty Falls State Park
Situated high above the Ohio River near Madison, Clifty Fall State Park provides breathtaking views, not just of the river but also of the many waterfalls for which it’s named. Depending on the season, the falls vary from roaring plunges to delicate mists. The stony bed of the creek has fossil remnants showing a vanished marine ecosystem.
Clifty Inn, Clifty Falls State Park
The inn overlooks the Ohio River and offers rooms and suites. The location allows you to nestle in the park’s scenic beauty and be close to historic downtown Madison and its many offerings. Waterfalls and trails are some of the main attractions in the park, and so is the delicious home cooking in The Falls Restaurant.
Covered Bridge Retreat
This 300 acre vacation / retreat property in Bloomingdale is an outdoorsman’s paradise! Featuring 300 beautiful acres, 4.5 miles of well marked woodland trails, a fishing pond out the front door, equestrian facilities, wildlife viewing galore. Just want to relax away from the hustle and bustle of city life? The main lodge’s large wrap-around deck overlooks acres of amazing beauty. Meander around 10 acres of well-kept grounds and keep an eye out for deer or wild turkeys. Add variety by hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding 4.5 miles of multi-use trails. Like to fish? Wet your line in the scenic 1 acre lake, only a stone’s throw away from the front porch.
Deam Lake State Recreation Area
Deam Lake offers recreational activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking and hunting in designated areas. The 194-acre lake was constructed in 1965 in Borden and was named in honor of Charles Deam, Indiana’s first state forester.
Falls Of The Ohio State Park
Falls of the Ohio State Park in Clarksville connects the environment of the ancient past with the natural and cultural history of yesterday and today. Its spectacular interpretive center overlooks 390-million-year-old fossil beds — among the largest exposed Devonian fossil beds in the world. The park’s impressive interpretive center invites you to learn about the area through state-of-the-art, immersive exhibits. Outside the interpretive center stands “When They Shook Hands,” a statue of Lewis and Clark mounted on Jeffersonville limestone commemorating the important part Indiana played in this duo’s epic expedition.
Ferdinand State Forest
In 1933, a local conservation club raised funds to buy 900 acres to build a lake and establish an area to hunt and fish. They offered management of the project to the Indiana Department of Conservation the following year, and this marked the establishment of Ferdinand State Forest in Dubois County.
Fort Harrison Inn, Fort Harrison State Park
Stay in a historic Inn and former officers homes at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. The Inn also features a full-service restaurant, conference center and a Pete Dye-designed golf course. Stay/Play packages are available.
Fort Harrison State Park
You’ll forget you’re in a city the size of Indianapolis when you’re hiking through Fort Harrison State Park. Named for U.S. President and Indianapolis native Benjamin Harrison, the site began as a military facility in 1902. When it closed in the 1990s, the State acquired parts of the base designated as natural areas. Now it’s also home to the beautiful Fort Harrison Inn, an 18-hole Pete Dye-designed golf course, and dog park.
Frances Slocum State Forest
Frances Slocum State Forest is located southeast from Peru, Indiana and north of the Mississinewa Reservoir dam. It encompasses 515 acres of contiguous forested landscape bordering the Mississinewa River. The terrain ranges from flat, to gentle slopes, to locally steep areas. The area is characterized as mixed hardwoods and pine.
Greene Sullivan State Forest
For a day of fishing, camping, hunting or just rest and relaxation, Greene-Sullivan State Forest is one of the most beautiful and serene places to visit. Greene-Sullivan was founded in Dugger in 1936 when various coal companies donated more than 3,000 acres of property to the Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. But that was just the beginning. Now the forest boasts almost 9,000 acres of beautiful woodland and rolling hills dotted with more than 120 lakes, making it one of the most unique areas in Indiana.
Hardy Lake in Scottsburg is a multi-use facility offering hiking, swimming, boating, skiing, camping and more. The lake is surrounded on all sides by limestone and rocky bluffs, caves and great fossils, but the property has only slate and shale exposure. It is the only DNR property with a raptor rehabilitation center. This center cares for injured birds of prey (raptors) and educates visitors about Indiana’s hawks, owls, falcons and vultures.
Harmonie State Park
You’ll be humming a happy tune when you visit Harmonie State Park, located on the banks of the Wabash at New Harmony about 25 miles northwest of Evansville. The park is a trail lover’s paradise as you see the pristine landscape and wind through ravines. There are log-style family cabins, mountain biking trails and a boat launch ramp onto the river.
Harrison-Crawford State Forest
Harrison-Crawford State Forest lies in the central and extreme southern part of the state, bordering the Ohio River. Established in 1932 in Harrison and Crawford counties, the forest contains about 24,000 acres of rugged hardwood forest in western Harrison and eastern Crawford counties. This working forest is a favorite destination for sightseers, birdwatchers, hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders, anglers and hunters.
Indiana Dunes State Park
Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton offers three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline. Large sand dunes, located beyond the entire shoreline, have taken thousands of years to form and tower nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan, providing amazing views for those who climb to the top.
Interlake State Recreation Area
Interlake State Recreation Area (ISRA), former coal mine land straddling Pike and Warrick counties, is a multi-use recreational facility focusing on off-road vehicle (ORV) recreation. Interlake is approximately 3,550 acres with nearly 100 miles of trails and 17 lakes (many of which can be accessed for fishing). The three areas of mining and reclamation create a variety of trail experiences for ORV enthusiasts, horse riders, hikers and mountain bikers. From steep spoil banks to rolling grasslands, man-made lakes and strip pits, Interlake offers a diverse array of topography and scenic views.
Jackson-Washington State Forest
Jackson-Washington State Forest encompasses nearly 18,000 acres in Jackson and Washington counties in the heart of southern Indiana. This part of the state contains unique topography known as the “knobs”. This region provides scenic views second to none and offers some breathtaking hiking opportunities.
Lincoln State Park
Abraham Lincoln grew up on the very land that is now Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City. In addition to hiking, canoeing, fishing and swimming (the park has two lakes), you can see the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza, a showcase of the beloved 16th President. Take time to tour the Colonel James Home, the historic home of the merchant and Civil War officer who employed young Lincoln. There’s also a memorial to Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks.
Martin State Forest
Martin State Forest was established in Shoals in 1932 with the purchase of 1,205 acres. The property has grown to 7,863 acres through additional land purchases and trades with the U.S. Forest Service. Primitive camping, fishing, hunting and picnicking are available to visitors.
McCormick’s Creek State Park
Explore the spectacular limestone canyon and scenic waterfalls at McCormick’s Creek State Park, Indiana’s oldest. Located near Spencer, McCormick’s Creek’s trails feature diverse forest trees, spicebrush, native wildflowers and Wolf Cave Nature Preserve. You can stay overnight at a campsite, a cabin or the relaxing Canyon Inn, where you can watch birds through the enormous windows in the dining room.
Mississinewa Lake (Miami SRA)
Mississinewa Lake in Peru offers excellent fishing, hunting and boating opportunities in the heart of north-central Indiana. The expanses of forests, prairies and farmland surrounding the lake provide attractive habitat to a wide variety of wildlife, exhibiting exceptional viewing opportunities for hikers, bird watchers and touring bicyclists.
Monroe Lake (Paynetown SRA)
Monroe Lake near Bloomington is Indiana’s largest land-bound body of water. At over 10,750 surface acres, this lake has more than ample space for recreation of all types. Whether you’re looking for camping in spring, boating in summer, fishing in fall, or hiking in winter, there’s a good chance the lake and the thousands of acres surrounding it have something for you!
Morgan-Monroe State Forest
Morgan-Monroe State Forest encompasses more than 25,000 acres in Morgan and Monroe counties in south central Indiana. The forest land encompasses many steep ridges and valleys, and is forested with some of the state’s finest hardwoods.
Mounds State Park
Mounds State Park in Anderson features 10 earthworks built by prehistoric Indians known as the Adena-Hopewell people. Visitors enjoy camping and hiking here, in addition to seeing and learning about the mounds. Look carefully for dragonfly species only found in this area.
Mountain Tea State Forest
Mountain Tea State Forest currently encompasses more than 1,153 acres in Brown County, 705 acres of which was deeded to the State of Indiana in 2013. The deeded portion was locally known as a part of the Mountain Tea property and was previously managed by The Nature Conservancy.
O’Bannon Woods State Park
O’Bannon Woods State Park (formerly Wyandotte Woods State Recreation Area) lies in the central and extreme southern part of the state, bordering the Ohio River. It is nestled inside 2,400-acre Harrison Crawford State Forest, but is managed separately, along with Wyandotte Caves State Recreation Area. Wyandotte Caves features fee-based guided summer tours, including an easy tour and a rugged tour for more experienced explorers.
Ouabache State Park
Ouabache is the French spelling of a Miami Indian word and is simply pronounced “Wabash,” like the river that forms the southwest boundary of Ouabache State Park. There is fishing, hiking and camping, and a bicycle greenway connects the park to Bluffton. Not to mention a herd of bison calls the park home!
Owen-Putnam State Forest
Hike through some of the best hardwood forests in the country in Owen and Putnam counties. Enjoy deer, squirrel and turkey hunting. Fish in one of the ponds. Horseback ride through some of the beautiful hills of south central Indiana, including a view of a 50-foot sandstone bluff.
Patoka Lake (Newton-Stewart SRA)
With 26,000 acres of land and water, Patoka Lake, in Birdseye, Ind., is a fine example of lake ecology. An 8,800-acre lake provides habitat for freshwater jellyfish and bald eagle nesting sites. River otters and osprey were reintroduced at Patoka by the DNR.
Pike State Forest
Pike State Forest consists of 4,444 acres in southwestern Indiana. Acquisition of the land that makes up the forest began in the 1930s continuing through the 1950s. Topography at Pike State Forest varies from hilly uplands to the low bottomlands of the Patoka River. Because of the diversity of sites, a wide variety of plant and animal life make their homes at Pike. Several recreational opportunities are available at Pike State Forest, including hunting, horseback riding, picnicking, bird watching and hiking.
Pokagon State Park
Enjoy beautiful Lake James when you visit Pokagon State Park in Angola. The park is home to one of the Midwest’s only refrigerated toboggan runs (come back in the winter to enjoy that). Fun fact: this park is named after Leopold and Simon Pokagon, two notable leaders of the Potawatomi tribe.
Potato Creek State Park
A variety of natural habitats await at Potato Creek State Park in North Liberty, including the 327-acre Worster Lake, old fields, mature woodlands, restored prairies and diverse wetlands. Bring your horse for the bridle trails or fishing poles for the lake. Canoe rental is also available.
Potawatomi Inn, Pokagon State Park
Experience nature at its finest at Potawatomi Inn Resort and Conference Center. Enjoy restful comfort on the shores of beautiful Lake James, one of Indiana’s largest lakes. The Inn offers 126 guest rooms, 12 cabins, and a spacious 10,000 square-foot banquet and conference center. The Inn is located just 5 miles south of the Indiana/Michigan boarder off of I-69 near Angola.
Prophetstown State Park
Prophetstown State Park is Indiana’s newest, featuring dramatic prairie and restored wet slopes called fens. It is located where the Tippecanoe River meets the Wabash near the town of Battle Ground northeast of Lafayette. Through a unique partnership with The Farm at Prophetstown, visitors can discover 1920s farm lifestyles, Native American culture and take a stroll through 900 acres of restored prairie.
Ravinia State Forest
Ravinia State Forest encompasses 1,500 acres of wooded rolling hills and valleys of Morgan County, and can be accessed via several parking areas located off Duckworth, Parker and Big Hurricane roads.
Redbird State Recreation Area
Named after the Redbird Coal Mine, the property is approximately 1,400 acres of former surface and underground coal mine land near Linton. Its unique history has given us both treasures and challenges. Miles of trails for all skill levels bring ORV enthusiasts to the property and reward them with rich and diverse experiences. Gentle slopes to the technically difficult, can be found at Redbird.
Salamonie Lake (Lost Bridge West SRA)
Salamonie Lake is centrally located between the cities of Wabash, Huntington and Marion. Enjoy scenic trails, wildlife and bird watching, hunting, and camping at this 2,665-acre lake property. The 12,554 land acres provide 40 ponds, marshes, and wetlands, contributing to diverse wildlife and recreational opportunities.
Salamonie River State Forest
The name Salamonie was derived from the Native American word “O-sah-mo-nee,” which means “yellow paint.” Native Americans made yellow paint from the bloodroot plant which grew in great abundance along the winding banks of the river. Salamonie River State Forest in Wabash County was created as a demonstration riverside forest for the reclamation of eroded land. Today, the forest encompasses 950 acres offering many recreational opportunities to visitors.
Selmier State Forest
Selmier State Forest in North Vernon was donated to the state of Indiana by Mrs. Frank Selmier on behalf of her husband. Frank Selmier had a strong interest in the outdoors. He planted several acres on this property of pine, black locust, black walnut, sycamore and tuliptree from 1921 to 1934. Most of the property was placed in Indiana’s Classified Forest Program between 1927 and 1931.
Shades State Park
True to its name, Shades State Park lets you hike through shady ravines and sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek in Western Indiana. Trails go from easy to rugged, with some having you walk in a creek, step over logs and rocks, and go up and down ladders. The park’s Pine Hills Nature Preserve is also a beautiful setting for hiking. Bring your tent to stay over, because there’s only non-electric camping here.
Shakamak State Park
Located near Jasonville, Shakamak State Park is known for its great fishing as it’s home to three serene lakes. There’s also a large area for outdoor games, as well as campsites, cabins and hiking trails.
Spring Mill Inn, Spring Mill State Park
The historic 73 room Inn with warm and cozy country decor welcomes you to relax in comfort. Enjoy the indoor/outdoor pool, delicious dining room menu, and Service State Park Style! Spring Mill State Park is located in Mitchell.
Spring Mill State Park
In addition to the hiking you’d expect, Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell also has a pioneer village with grist and sawmill as well as a memorial to Hoosier astronaut Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom. You can also take a boat tour through Twin Caves.
Starve-Hollow State Recreation Area
Starve-Hollow State Recreation Area encompasses approximately 280 acres near Vallonia offering some of the best camping in southern Indiana. Carved out of 18,000-acre Jackson-Washington State Forest, it provides fishing and boat rental on 145-acre Starve Hollow Lake, swimming on the large sandy beach or the chance to learn about conservation at the Education Center. For the more avid outdoor enthusiast, hiking and mountain biking on nearby trails is available.
Summit Lake State Park
Summit Lake State Park, near New Castle, has an excellent birdwatching and wildlife observation area, attracting rare migratory species like the black tern, bald eagle and sandhill crane. In the southwest corner of the park is Henry County’s first nature preserve: Zeigler Woods. You can also camp, fish and enjoy the beach.
Tippecanoe River State Park
Canoers and kayakers love paddling along at Tippecanoe River State Park in Winamac. There are also 23 miles of trails, 14 of which are shared by horses and hikers. Camping ranges from primitive to electric.
Turkey Run Inn, Turkey Run State Park
Enjoy Turkey Run Inn and the Narrows Restaurant, right in the middle of the beautiful Turkey Run State Park in Parke County. Wake up to adventure just steps from you room and enjoy fantastic hiking trails with canyons and ravines. Step across the swinging bridge for a view you won’t forget.
Turkey Run State Park
Two of the trails at Parke County’s Turkey Run State Park were voted first and second place among all Indiana trails. Explore the deep sandstone ravines, walk along stands of aged forests and enjoy the scenic views along Sugar Creek. It’s always fun to cross the suspension bridge, too. Turkey Run has horseback riding, a planetarium, tennis and fishing. You can camp, stay in a cabin or overnight in the homey Turkey Run Inn.
Versailles State Park
Indiana’s second-largest state park invites you to relax while fishing or kayaking on its 230-acre lake. Versailles State Park, in Ripley County, has a deep history rooted in both the Civil War and the Civilian Conservation Corps, so you’ll want to take a look at the CCC commemorative statue dedicated in 2010. The park’s many fossils tell the story of an ancient sea that once covered the region. You can also bring your horse or mountain bike to explore the trails.
Whitewater Memorial State Park Office
Located in East Central Indiana – Whitewater Memorial State Park was established as a memorial to those American soldiers who lost their lives in World War I & II. Recreational options include houseboats, five hiking trails, a nine-mile horse trail including escorted rides, archery range, lake swimming, boating, and fishing, as well as camping and cabins.
Yellowwood State Forest
Yellowwood State Forest was created in Brown County in 1940 when federal land was leased to the state of Indiana. More than 2,000 abandoned and eroded acres were planted to pine (red, jack, shortleaf, white and scotch), black locust, black walnut, white and red oak. Red and white pines are the true northern pines and are still in good condition. Yellowwood Lake was completed in 1939. The 133-acre lake is about 30 feet deep.
Source: Visit Indiana