The Lodge at Potato Creek State Park
The 120-room lodge and conference center - Indiana State Parks' first facility constructed from the ground up since 1939 - will sit on Worster Lake’s southern shore in Potato Creek State Park. The lodge joins Pokagon State Park’s Potawatomi Inn as one of two northern State Park Inns locations.
- Why is a new lodge being built at this location?
Indiana State Parks has seven inns/lodges, but only Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park is in northern Indiana. Potato Creek State Park is just 5 miles from a major artery – U.S. 31 – that carries thousands of travelers through the center of the state. Because of Potato Creek’s northern location, guests can experience all four seasons in the comfort of this lodge, with activities ranging from bike riding and boating in summer to ice fishing and hiking in winter, along with spring wildflowers and migratory birds, and fall colors in the woods and prairies.
- Where will the lodge be located and how was the location selected?
Whispering Winds Picnic Area will be the site of the lodge. This large area, not far from the park entrance but away from the main road, provides a beautiful view of Worster Lake, access to the paved bike trail and a small boat launch, room for parking and plenty of space to relax in the outdoors.
- What will the lodge look like?
As with our other inns and lodges, this facility will be designed with a rustic feel tied to the natural and cultural features of the park while providing modern amenities and services.
- What features will the lodge have?
Although some features may change as design and construction costs are finalized, the preliminary plan includes 120 sleeping rooms, a full-service dining room with seating for 150, a conference center with three breakout rooms and capacity for 350 guests, an indoor aquatic center, a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces for small gatherings, a mini-nature room for programs and exhibits, a café, a gift shop, and access to Worster Lake and other park features.
- Who will operate the lodge?
The lodge will be operated through the Indiana Inns Authority, a legislatively established, quasi-governmental entity that is a functional part of Indiana State Parks. Those who work in the lodge will be employed by the State of Indiana. Indiana Inns Authority currently operates seven locations at Indiana State Parks.
- What makes Potato Creek a unique state park?
Potato Creek was established as a 3,840-acre park in 1969. Glaciers shaped the landscape, and the area was home to Indigenous people for thousands of years. Before settlement by Europeans, the Potawatomi lived in the region. The area was home to a free Black community called Huggart Settlement, and the Porter-Rea Cemetery in the park is where many of those residents are buried. At the time the park was dedicated, the area was primarily farmland. Active natural restoration has restored a diversity of habitats including prairies, wetlands, and forests. The 327-acre Worster Lake provides for low impact water recreation. Hiking, camping, biking, interpretive programming, wildlife watching, and horseback riding for those who can bring their own horse are just a few of the many activities available today.
- What is the cost of the project?
The cost of design is approximately $5 million, and the current budget for construction is $100 million. Thank you to the Indiana General Assembly and Gov. Eric J. Holcomb for providing this funding.
- Do we have a projected date for completion?
We do not have a finite date at this point, but we anticipate that it will likely be in 2026 or 2027.
- What will it cost to stay in the lodge?
Pricing for overnight lodging, conference facility use, and other inn amenities has not yet been determined, but will be comparable with prices for the current Indiana State Park inns and lodges.