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Summit Lake State Park

Summit Lake State Park

5993 N. Messick Road
New Castle, IN 47362


Summit Lake State Park advisories

  • The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has adjusted services, events and operations to protect Hoosiers and prevent further spread of COVID-19. Please visit on.IN.gov/dnrcovid19 for a listing of what is open, closed, restricted and canceled.
  • Blue-Green Algae: Found in lakes year-round. More information.

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  • Description


    This property is a stop on the

    Indiana Birding Trail Logo

    Learn more at www.indianabirdingtrail.com.

    An expansive view and good fishing beckon you to Summit Lake State Park, near New Castle. More than 2,680 acres, including a large lake, await your visit. Facilities include 120 electric campsites, three boat ramps, a beach bathhouse and two large open shelters that can be reserved for family picnics and other events.

    Summit Lake has an excellent bird watching and wildlife observation area. The property has always been an important area for waterfowl because of the many low-lying wet meadows and prairies. Migratory species have included rare species like the black tern, bald eagle, sandhill crane, American bittern, least bittern, king rail and osprey.

    Zeigler Woods, in the southwest corner of the park, is Henry County’s first nature preserve. Zeigler Woods has rich flora and fauna with little evidence of human disturbance.

    Water safety matters! If you use one of our big reservoirs for swimming, fishing, boating or skiing, check out Bobber the Water Dog, brought to you by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • Activities


    Camping - See campground maps under MAPS tab

  • Trails


    Note: For trail locations, view the property map under the MAPS tab.

    1. PRAIRIE TRAIL-MODERATE (2 miles)—Starts in the open but soon enters the largest wood lot in the park. Hikers will see areas of oak-hickory mixed with cherry, ash and areas of beech-maple mix. The topography includes uplands and low glacial depressions. The remainder of the trail traverses open rolling established prairie, with views of the lake.

    2. CAMPGROUND-MODERATE (1.25 miles)—Starts in the small oak-hickory woods, with a glacial depression that stays wet year-round. The trail then goes through some scrub growth on the edge of the fields, then into open fields across rolling terrain, with excellent views of the lake.

    3. BEACH TRAIL- Accessible (.9 mile) —This trail has a firm and stable surface with less than 2% cross slopes, grades no greater than 5% and widths no less than 60 inches. The trail starts in a small wooded lot. The trees include maple, oak and cherry. The remainder of the trail is mostly open, with views of the lake across rolling topography.

    4. SELF-GUIDED NATURE TRAIL-MODERATE (.75 mile)—The trail begins in a field of prairie grasses punctuated with the bright colors of wildflowers in the summer. It winds through a meadow with young tuliptrees, second-growth shrubs and a wet area with a short boardwalk. The trail ends with a scenic view of the lake. Hikers may see waterfowl, swallows and other water-loving birds, depending on the season. A bench along the path offers a quiet resting place for bird watching.


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