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Hardy Lake

  • Hardy Lake Alerts (3)
    • BLUE-GREEN ALGAE: Found in lakes year round. Don't drink the water. Shower after you swim. More information.
    • MARINA FUELING: Due to issues with the fuel system, the Hardy Lake marina will no longer provide fuel for sale. Because there is no other fuel for sale on the lake, watercraft operators must be self-contained and/or bring their own fuel if needed. We apologize for the inconvenience.
    • RAPTOR CENTER: DNR will be permanently closing the raptor rehab portion of the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center at Hardy Lake, while providing a greater focus on educational programming at Hardy Lake and across the state. DNR is grateful for the Friends of Hardy Lake, and for the staff and volunteers who have assisted with both the rehab and educational programming since the center’s inception.
      The Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center at Hardy Lake was established to introduce Hoosiers to live birds of prey and to offer a rehab facility where injured hawks, owls, and other raptors could be brought to be treated and, when possible, released. DNR stopped accepting birds for rehabilitation in spring 2022 due to an avian influenza outbreak. The impact of that outbreak has lessened, but there are still reports of this disease in the state. It is DNR's responsibility to protect the birds in the education program. Because avian flu is highly contagious, closing the rehabilitation side of the center reduces the potential of exposure for these educational ambassadors.
      With this change, DNR will devote more attention to training and enrichment for the education birds so their work of introducing Hoosiers to the habits and habitat of birds of prey is as effective as possible. Today, the number of licensed rehabilitators is greater than when the facility first opened. DNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of these licensed rehabilitators that is available at
Mailing Address:
4171 E. Harrod Road
Scottsburg, IN 47170
Mapping Address:
5620 N. Hardy Lake Road
Scottsburg, IN 47170
  • Description

    2,178.16 acres - 741 acre lake

    Hardy Lake is the only state reservoir not created for flood control. This means that the lake level stays stable year-round, positively affecting the appearance of the shoreline, fishing, and wildlife living there. The property is a multi-use facility offering hiking, swimming, boating, skiing, camping, and more.

    Hardy Lake is surrounded on all sides by limestone and rocky bluffs, caves, and great fossils, but the property has only slate and shale exposure.

    Hardy Lake is one of three DNR properties with a raptor center. This center houses several permanently injured birds of prey and educates property guests and Hoosiers around the state about Indiana’s hawks, owls, falcons, and vultures.

    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
    • Archery Range
    • Basketball Court
    • Open Playfield
    • Boating / 4 Launch Ramps
    • Fishing / Ice Fishing
    • Fishing Pier
    • Hiking Trails
    • Hunting
    • Interpretive Services
    • Picnicking / Shelterhouse
    • Playgrounds
    • Swimming / Beach (Policy). Mobility mats for easy beach access are available.
    • Waterskiing

    Camping - See campground maps under MAPS tab

    • Electric / 149 sites - Shale Bluff
    • Primitive / 11 sites - Wooster
    • Dumping Station


  • Raptor Center

    Great Horned Owl


    Hardy Lake SRA is home to the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center. The center is home to several permanently injured birds of prey that are used for educational programming throughout the state.

    The center at Hardy Lake has been in operation since 1989. Costs for medical care, food, and supplies are paid for through donations to the 501c3 not-for-profit group bald eagleFriends of Hardy Lake.

    Hardy Lake's interpretive naturalists travel throughout Indiana to offer  programs with these permanently injured birds of prey for schools, scout groups, camps, churches, and private events. To schedule a program, call 812-794-2244.

    Make a Donation

    To make a donation to support the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center, visit the Friends of Hardy Lake on Facebook or mail your gift to
    Friends of Hardy Lake
    4171 E. Harrod Road
    Scottsburg, IN 47170

  • Trails

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

    Outward Bound (2.05 miles) MODERATE—This trail takes you into a typical stand of Indiana hardwood trees. You will see both an oak-hickory and a beech-maple climax forest. This trail will also allow you to view some of the beautiful backwaters of Hardy Lake.

    Cemetery Trail (.77 mile) EASY—This trail takes you through an oak-hickory climax forest. The McClain Cemetery is a major point of interest on this trail. This family cemetery has headstones dating to the 1700s.

    Island Trail (1.91 miles) EASY—This trail branches off of either the Cemetery Loop or the Outward Bound Loop. Points of interest include beaver cuttings along the shoreline, wildlife food plots, and several areas along the island that overlook the lake.

    Honeysuckle Trail (.64 mile) MODERATE—This trail connects Shale Bluff campground with the beach. Passing through different stages of succession, you will be able to see a managed pine grove, cedar thickets, and tulip poplar trees, as well as a mature forest. Through one section, due to tornado damage, you will even be able to see nature in the act of repairing herself.

    Lakeside Trail (.52 miles) MODERATE—This loop presents a beautiful view of Hardy Lake. Several bird nesting structures are located along this trail. This trail will also pass by a colony of Allegheny (or mound-building) ants that are always hard at work. This is also a great trail to hike at night to see fireflies and foxfire, and hear an owl hooting.


  • Maps


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