The Absolute Best Camping Near Indianapolis

Written by Taiwo Victor
Published: October 29, 2022
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Over 6.6 million people call Indiana, commonly known as the Hoosier State, home. A fantastic site for those wishing to enjoy nature, the state preserves 4.7 million acres of forestland and 4.6 million acres of timberland. For the most part, Indiana’s fantastic campgrounds are located less than 100 miles from Indianapolis. You’re in luck if you’re anywhere close to Indiana.

In case you didn’t know, Indiana is a fantastic place to go camping. The state’s campground locations offer superb hiking, and several also offer boating, fishing, and various summertime activities for a fast weekend escape or extended vacation. So, are you ready to discover the best camping sites near Indianapolis? Then scroll down to find out!

10 Best Camping Sites Near Indianapolis

The Absolute Best Camping Near Indianapolis.
There are 24 state parks, several national forests, and numerous campgrounds in Indiana.

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With Great Lake adventures and forest havens combined, Indiana is the ideal Midwestern retreat. There are 24 state parks, several national forests, and numerous campgrounds in the state. Camping trips to Indiana from outside the state are also very convenient due to the substantial inflow of roads across the state.

1. Hidden Paradise Campground

The 80-acre Hidden Paradise Campground has 183 RV sites and six rental cabins. Hidden Paradise Campground, which surrounds Dream Lake, offers “Water Fun” in a designated swimming area with a floating trampoline, climbing rock, giant slide, and several lounging equipments. It is undoubtedly a haven for water enthusiasts. Hikes surrounding Dream Lake are also available to campers in the fall. Fishing at the Flat Rock River, which flows along the park’s northern border, adds to the paradise.

2. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park

A network of campgrounds called Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is dedicated to giving families an enjoyable outdoor vacation. Visitors enjoy the conveniences in addition to a conventional family camping experience. You can participate in the park’s weekend events, swim in its inviting pool, go fishing in the lake, or play basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, or gaga ball. The hay cart and firetruck are other options for transportation around the park. The park also has pedal cars, paddle boats, and a brand-new Aqua-Cycle for exploring the campground.

3. Family Fun Park at S&H Campground

More than a dozen activities are available at the Family Fun Park, where families can play together in a tidy and secure setting. It is close to the campground and about 20 minutes from downtown Indianapolis, featuring 12 acres of family-friendly activities. There is always something to do at Family Fun Park, whether staying for the season or camping just for the night. What’s more exciting is that adults enter for free! Some of its most popular attractions are inflatable playgrounds, miniature golf, water tag, bungee trampoline, and a trackless train.

4. Bill Monroe’s Music Park & Campground

The historic Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground is one of the biggest campsites close to Indianapolis and is known for hosting some of the top bluegrass events in the nation. Families and pets are welcome at Bill Monroe’s Campground, which can accommodate campers of all shapes and sizes. The campground is 55 acres, 5 miles north of Nashville, Indiana, and offers boondocking space, basic tent sites, and water and electricity. Rustic and basic cabins are also available in addition to the camping areas.

5. The absolute best camping near Indianapolis: Turkey Run State Park

Turkey Run State Park consistently ranks as peoples’ favorite state park. An enjoyable and inexpensive stay at Turkey Run State Park transforms a visit into a vacation. This state park, southwest of Crawfordsville, provides lodging options, including a campsite, cabins, and the Turkey Run Inn. Everyone can enjoy the lovely state park, which undoubtedly entices visitors to remain for several days. Nature centers, horseback riding paths, and hiking trails are also available.

6. Brown County State Park

The County State Park in Indiana is great for camping with the whole family.
The Brown County State Park is available all year long and has various camping options.

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Due to its resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County State Park is known as the “Little Smokies” and is a popular place to view the autumnal leaf change. Nearly 16,000 acres of rocky hills, ridges, and foggy ravines make up Brown County. There are over 10 hiking routes, a fishing lake, panoramas, and the chance to witness the endangered yellowwood tree. The Brown County State Park is available all year long and has various camping options.

7. Starve Hollow State Recreation Area

Located 79 miles south of Indianapolis, this 280-acre leisure area is named after the 145-acre Starve Hollow Lake, which offers fantastic boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities, as well as a sandy beach. The campground features 52 sites with full hookups and 87 sites with electricity. Each one accepts up to six guests and is pet-friendly. 11 miles of adjacent trails are also suitable for mountain biking and hiking for more ardent outdoor enthusiasts.

8. Shades State Park

The Pine Hill Nature Preserve, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, a pond, Sugar Creek, beech, tulip, and oak trees can all be seen on the 11 hiking trails in this tree-covered park located 62 miles west of downtown Indianapolis. The trails in Shades State Park range from easy to very rugged. There is an overflow parking space for additional vehicles at each pet-friendly site, which may accommodate up to six persons and one vehicle.

9. Indianapolis KOA

Indianapolis KOA Holiday is a great place to unwind after a long workweek because it’s conveniently close to downtown Indianapolis but still a good distance away to feel like country camping. You can stay at one of the tenting or RV-friendly campsites or camp in an air-conditioned or deluxe cabin. The brand-new water park, which includes a pool, slides, a dump bucket, and a gaga ball, is enjoyed by both children and adults. 

10. Indiana Dunes

Boardwalk steps down a dune at Indiana Dunes National Park
Despite being 165 miles away from Indianapolis, Indiana Dunes is a must-explore camping site in Indiana.

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Despite being 165 miles away from Indianapolis, Indiana Dunes is a must-explore camping site in Indiana. The 15,000-acre park, which sits on the southernmost point of Lake Michigan, has more than 50 miles of hiking trails and 15 miles of shoreline that display the dunes, wetlands, rivers, and woodlands. With over 1,100 native plant species, it is also one of the most biologically varied parks in the United States.

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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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Sources
  1. Indy's Child, Available here: https://indyschild.com/the-best-camping-near-indianapolis/
  2. Indy Star, Available here: https://www.indystar.com/story/entertainment/2019/06/21/best-camping-indiana-10-sites-including-indiana-dunes/1490968001/
  3. Traveling Lifestyle, Available here: https://www.travelinglifestyle.net/best-camping-spots-in-indiana/