Camp at sandy beaches, farmlands, and forests all in one state.
Stretching down from the Great Lakes into the southern heartlands, Indiana borrows the best of both regions for a warm hug of southern hospitality bolstered by the outdoorsy spirit of the Midwest. Outdoor adventurers can climb the sand dunes along Lake Michigan, paddle the Ohio River, or trek through forested canyons, while a bonafide Indiana camping experience means fishing for your supper and toasting s’mores on the campfire. With temperatures that rarely fall below zero even in mid-winter, camping is a year-round affair in Indiana. Our pick is fall, when breezy weather and fiery autumnal colors make for incredible hiking.
Indiana’s most Instagram-worthy landscapes can be found at the state’s northeastern boundary. Sloping dunes and sandy beaches line the southern shore of Lake Michigan, and Indiana Dunes National Park has tent and RV camping right by the beach. Further east, industrial towns pepper the road to Amish Country, where you can check into a rustic log cabin in the woods or camp by the lake in Chain O’Lakes State Park.
Indiana’s central plains are dotted with laidback market towns, cornfields, and lakes. Indianapolis pulls in crowds for its summer motorsports events, most notably the famous Indy 500, but campers can easily escape the city for nearby Mccormick’s Creek State Park or Morgan-Monroe State Forest. Just to the south, Brown County is home to Monroe Lake, the state’s largest lake, hemmed in by Yellowwood State Forest and Brown County State Park.
Hilly southern Indiana is blanketed with woodlands, most notably the forested trails and canyons of Hoosier National Forest. Come in fall to hike against a backdrop of foliage or canoe along Sugar Creek, one of the state’s top paddling destinations. Further south, the Ohio River Scenic Byway draws adventurers to hike, paddle, camp, and fish.