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Let's Camp America Weekend
Start Date: 5/4/2018 All Day
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Event Description:

‘Let’s Camp, America! Weekend’ is May 4-6 at Indiana State Park properties

Learn to pitch a tent, build a fire, cook outdoors and more during Let’s Camp America! Weekend at Indiana State Parks, May 4-6.

Let’s Camp America! Weekend is a nationwide initiative of the National Association of State Parks Directors.

The weekend is a chance for beginners to learn basic camping skills, and for experienced campers to get their equipment out for a spring weekend. Activities will take place at all 32 Indiana State Parks properties and on social media. The weekend celebrates all forms of camping, including tents, trailers, recreational vehicles and camper cabins. This year it also includes some family cabin options.

The weekend concludes with free admission for everyone — campers and day-users alike — on Sunday, May 6, in honor of Visit Indiana Week, sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. DNR’s State Forest Recreation Areas and ORV sites at Redbird and Interlake will also offer free admission on May 6.

The 32 properties owned and managed by Indiana State Parks offer a combined 7,700 campsites and more than 150 cabins, and nearly 700 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.

Each state park and state reservoir property will offer the usual educational talks and hikes with interpreters, along with a special camping or outdoor skills program sometime during the weekend. Programs are listed at, and also will be posted later at Topics vary from s’more-making to fire building.

“We really want to celebrate the joy of camping with family and friends, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the activity,” said Ginger Murphy, Indiana State Parks deputy director. “We have lots of folks who camp after Labor Day in the fall, but not as many who camp in the spring. The bugs aren’t bad, and the fishing and wildflower watching are both good. We encourage Hoosiers to start a new spring camping tradition.”

“Camping 101” programs at select properties offer 12 families who have never camped at a state park the opportunity to do so for free that Friday and Saturday. Participants will also receive free guidance with campsite set up as needed, and the use of essential gear for up to four people, including sleeping bags, pillows, a cooler, camp chairs, lantern and firewood, plus free gate admission for the weekend and a free one-day pass for future use.

“Camping 101” tent-camping programs will be at Whitewater Memorial, Summit Lake, Potato Creek and Versailles state parks. Space is limited to three families at each of the four parks, and advance reservations are required.

If sleeping in a tent isn’t for you, Mississinewa Lake and Shakamak State Park will host “Camping 101” programs with their camper cabins. These cabins are basically “four-walled camping” structures with simple bunks, a table and an outdoor fire ring. Three cabins at each property are being held for first-time campers. Participating families at Mississinewa and Shakamak will also receive use of the camping gear listed above, along with free gate admission for the weekend and a free one-day pass for future use.

In addition, two family cabins at Lincoln, Chain O’Lakes and Harmonie state parks are available for first-time cabin users at half price. Family cabins provide a living/dining area, kitchen with some pots and pans, room to sleep up to six in beds/sleeper sofas, and indoor restrooms and showers. Bedding and any personal items must be provided by cabin users. For more complete information on cabins, visit

For all “Camping 101” programs, participants must bring their own food, and submit an equipment deposit of $25 for tent camping and $30 for camper cabins. The deposit will be returned after the campsite or camper cabins are used and gear is left in good condition.

To reserve a “Camping 101” site for either tent-camping, camper-cabin, or family cabin use, contact Christie Sorrels at Sites will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and will include a check of our camping and cabin reservation system to make sure those who seek a reservation haven’t camped or stayed in a cabin with us before.

The weekend also includes these social media elements and giveaways on the Indiana State Parks Facebook page at for all campers to enjoy:

  -Share a photo of your favorite camping gadget on the page using the hashtag #myfavcampgadget2018. Youcan do this whether or not you are camping during the weekend. Selected favorites will win a 2018 annual pass or camping gift card.

  -Post your campsite photo, camping selfie or scenic spring image from the weekend. Use the hashtag #LetsCampAmericaFunPix. Selected favorites will receive a 2018 annual pass or a camping gift card.

  -Participate in the ongoing Indiana State Parks Spring Photo Contest with scenic park photos, selfies of your park activities or spring wildflower pictures and post them with the hashtag #INStateParksSpringPix. The contest ends on May 12.

Any campers during this weekend can complete the Let’s Camp America State Parks Scavenger Hunt posted at and return it as indicated on the form to be entered in a drawing for a 2018 annual pass or camping gift card.  (There’s even a rainy day version if the weekend is wet and you need to stay in the tent or camper.) There are also lots of great ideas for outdoor activities in the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights at

In addition, if you make and keep a regular camping reservation on your own for the weekend, you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of two $50 camping gift cards to be presented for future use, or for an outdoor prize package donated by REI, an outdoor retail partner of Indiana State Parks.

“Anytime you camp at an Indiana State Park or one of our big lakes, you are surrounded by acres of open space for hiking, fishing, playing, relaxing and making great memories,” said Dan Bortner, Indiana State Parks director. “So ‘Let’s Camp, Hoosiers!”

To view all DNR news releases, please see


Media contact: Ginger Murphy, deputy director for stewardship, DNR Division of State Parks, 317-232-4143,

Location Information:
Falls of the Ohio State Park
201 W. Riverside Drive
Clarksville, IN 47129
Phone: (812) 280-9970

Fort Harrison State Park
6000 N. Post Road
Indianapolis, IN 46216
Phone: (317) 591-0904

Indiana Dunes State Park
1600 N. 25 E.
Chesterton, IN 46304
Phone: (219) 926-1952

Lincoln State Park
State Road 162
Lincoln City, IN 47552
Phone: (812) 937-4710

Monroe Lake
4850 S. State Road 446
Bloomington, IN 47401

Mounds State Park
4306 Mounds Road
Anderson, IN 46017
Phone: (765) 642-6627

O'Bannon Woods State Park
7234 Old Forest Road SW
Corydon, IN 47112
Phone: (812) 738-8232

Patoka Lake
3084 N. Dillard Road
Birdseye, IN 47513
Phone: (812) 685-2464

Pokagon State Park
450 Lane 100 Lake James
Angola, IN 46703
Phone: (260) 833-2012

Prophetstown State Park
5545 Swisher Road
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 567-4919

Salamonie Lake
9214 Lost Bridge Road W.
Andrews, IN 46702
Phone: 260-468-2125

Shades State Park
7751 S. 890 W.
Waveland, IN 47989
Phone: (765) 435-2810

Shakamak State Park
6265 W. State Road 48
Jasonville, IN 47438
Phone: (812) 665-2158

Spring Mill State Park
3333 State Road 60 East
Mitchell, IN 47446
Phone: (812) 849-3534

Summit Lake State Park
5993 N. Messick Road
New Castle, IN 47362
Phone: (765) 766-5873

Tippecanoe River State Park
4200 N. U.S. 35
Winamac, IN 46996
Phone: (574) 946-3213

Turkey Run State Park
8121 E. Park Road
Marshall, IN 47859
Phone: (765) 597-2635

Versailles State Park
1387 U.S. 50 East
Versailles, IN 47042
Phone: (812) 689-6424

Whitewater Memorial State Park
1418 S. State Road 101
Liberty, IN 47353
Phone: (765) 458-5565

Brookville Lake
P.O. Box 100
Brookville, IN 47012
Phone: (765) 647-2657

Brown County State Park
1405 S.R. 46 W
Nashville, IN

Chain O' Lakes State Park
2355 E. 75 S.
Albion, IN 46701
Phone: (260) 636-2654

Charlestown State Park
12500 State Road 62
Charlestown, IN 47111
Phone: (812) 256-5600

Redbird SRA
15298 W County Road 350 N
Linton, IN, IN 47441

Interlake State Recreation Area
200 East SR 68
(3.2 miles east of SR 61)
Lynnville, IN 47619
Phone: 812-922-0002

Hardy Lake
5620 N. Hardy Lake Road
Scottsburg, IN 47170
Phone: (812) 794-3800

Clifty Falls State Park
2221 Clifty Drive
Madison, IN 47520
Phone: (812) 273-8885

Mississinewa Lake
4673 S. 625 E.
Peru, IN 46970
Phone: (765) 473-6528

Harmonie State Park
3451 Harmonie State Park Road
New Harmony, IN 47631
Phone: (812) 682-4821

McCormick's Creek State Park
250 McCormick's Creek Park Road
Spencer, IN 47460
Phone: (812) 829-2235

Ouabache State Park
4930 E. State Road 201
Bluffton, IN 46714
Phone: (260) 824-0926

Potato Creek State Park
25601 State Road 4
North Liberty, IN 46554
St Joseph
Phone: (574) 656-8186

Lieber State Recreation Area, Cagles Mill Lake
1317 W. Lieber Road
Suite 1
Cloverdale, IN 46120
Phone: (765) 795-4576

Cecil M. Harden Lake (Raccoon State Recreation Area)
1588 S. Raccoon Parkway
Rockville, IN 47872
Phone: (765) 344-1412
State calendar entry type:
State calendar entry category:
Kids and Families
State calendar classification:
  • Residents
  • Visiting and Playing
  • Agency Name:
  • Natural Resources, Department of

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