The best camping near Shades State Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Shades State Park adventure.

94% (8 reviews)
94% (8 reviews)

A shady retreat for hikers, campers, and canoeists just outside the city.  

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Community favorites near Shades State Park

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Shades State Park

100%
(128)

Havendell Farm and Wayside

10 sites · RVs, Tents20 acres · Pittsboro, IN
Since 2003 the land has been home to people, horses, dogs, chickens and ducks, a hay field and fruit, vegetable, and flower gardens. Enjoy the country atmosphere in driving proximity to Indianapolis amenities. A great place for a unique getaway. Check out all of our baked goods, soaps and other offerings on the Havendell Farm and Wayside Facebook and instagram pages. A couple days per week from mid-March to Mid-December, the almost 20 acre property hosts a not for profit children’s physical therapy program. The farm has a short nature trail with a wood chipped path. Visitors may walk the perimeter of the property or the mowed paths. Our location is convenient to county roads for foot or bicycle touring. Located just 20-30 minutes from the Indianapolis International Airport, downtown Indianapolis, the Indianapolis 500, drag racing, state parks, horseback riding, and numerous small town fairs, The Covered Bridge Festival, and farmers markets. Easy access to I-74, fuel, eating establishments, groceries, gyms, a water park, the McCloud Nature Center and B&O Rails to Trails.
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$15
 / night
95%
(30)

Creek’s Bend Camp

3 sites · Tents100 acres · Williamsport, IN
Nestled in a bend on the Big Pine Creek, this 100 acre property is characterized by its hardwood forests, pine woods, bubbling creek, restored prairie, and sandstone bluffs. It’s serene beauty feels healing and inspiring no matter which direction you choose wander. There are miles of walking trails on property and on adjoining nature preserves. During fair weather you may see people float by in kayaks, canoes, or tubes. Come watch for wildlife, play in the creek, gaze up at the stars, and reconnect with yourself. With advance notice, I may be able to give you a 15 minute garden and property tour! Just let me know when you book. Want to book for a large group? Send me a message and I will try to accommodate you. * NICHES Crow's Grove Nature Preserve (Hiking, 2 minutes away) * Williamsport Falls (Indiana’s highest free-falling water fall, 15 minutes away) * Downtown Williamsport (Grocery, bars/restaurants, hospital, 15 minutes away) * Hooker Corner Winery (Wine and events, 16 minutes away) * Downtown Pine Village (Coffee shop, gas, and pizza, 18 minutes away) * Downtown Attica (Grocery, gas, restaurants, drug store, 18 minutes away) * Ravine Park (Walking trails, disc golf, huge playground, 18 minutes away) * Badlands off-road park (Attraction, 20 minutes away) * Portland Arch Nature Preserve (Hiking, 30 minutes away) * NICHES Black Rock Nature Preserve (Hiking, 30 minutes away) * Downtown Danville, IL (Bars/restraunts, grocery, dispensary, 35 minutes away) * Purdue University (40 minutes away) * Shades State Park (Hiking, 50 minutes away) * Turkey Run State Park (Hiking, 50 minutes away) This property is an easy and scenic 40 minute drive from Purdue’s campus, making it the perfect get away for students and townies, or a unique place to stay for people wanting to visit Purdue. To remove a barrier for students, Purdue students may request a free tent for their stay at Creek’s Bend Campground!
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$35
 / night
99%
(138)

Happy Campers Campground

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents12 acres · Brazil, IN
We look forward to hosting you at Happy Campers Campground! We have 5 full hook up RV sites 50 and 30 amp, free wifi, fishing, swimming and an 1.5 acre pond. Our property also has fire rings and picnic tables available for our campers. We have a dry cabin also available. We have trash bens available. Seasonal shower house and porta potty. Please specify RV or tent site when you are booking! We also have bathrooms and a new shower house now! Open now.
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$40
 / night
100%
(16)

Big Stones Ranch

1 site · Lodging95 acres · Delphi, IN
Our Creekside Cabin is located on the Wildcat Creek about 15 minutes from Lafayette and 10 minutes to either Delphi or Rossville. This cabin was originally built on our farm as an alternative to camping on the ground in a tent. While we don’t consider this to be “glamping,” it is certainly a step above “primitive.” Cabin features:  12’x12’ of living space  4’x12’ covered porch  Limited supply of off-grid electricity  Kitchen counter with running cold water (Mar-Oct only)  Toilet (Mar-Oct only)  Mr. Buddy propane heater (use at your own risk)  Window fan  A fold-down style futon  Two “bunks” Site features:  Gorgeous view of and access to the Wildcat Creek  Fire pit  Camp chairs  Hammock  Porch-style swing overlooking the creek Property features:  Access to wading, fishing, tubing, kayaking or canoeing on the Wildcat Creek  Fishing pond stocked with bass and bluegill  Nearly 100 acres and three miles of trails for walking, hiking, and exploring Ask about pricing for the following:  Kayaks  Float tubes  Fishing equipment  Firewood Our goal is to provide a relaxing and peaceful getaway for those that enjoy all that nature has to offer in Indiana with a few creature comforts beyond primitive tent camping. Loud music, drunkenness, rowdiness, firearms, motor vehicles, disruptive children, and anything else that would be a distraction to other guests or neighbors will not be permitted. *Note that the Wildcat is a public waterway and subject to state licensing and requirements.
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$100
 / night
99%
(89)

Apple acres

1 site · RV, Tent20 acres · Clayton, IN
My Great great grandfather purchased the land in 1834, I am the 5th generation on this farm. Areas first apple orchard started in 1910-1990 now a wedding venue with beautiful scenery. The retired apple orchard still has trees with vast walking trails between the rows. Amazing wildlife! Vast walking trails that are kept mowed. Fishing pond available (with prior permission) pet friendly property for responsible owners that clean up afterword. 2 Bathroom options! One with running water only a 2min walk or use a new port-a-pot with attached sink very close to the shelter. Enjoy - Breeo smokless firepit, two Adirondack chairs, two hammock chairs, 8ft epoxy coated picknick table. Fast Wi-Fi at this spot! R/C and non motorized bike dirt track available to use. Berms, high bank turns and whoops! dogs love them too. Local attractions - Brew links brewing = 3 min drive, Splash Island water park = 5 min drive, Indianapolis Motor Speedway = 35 min drive, No chickens on or near property, so go ahead and sleep in...
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$49
 / night
95%
(11)

Dirt Weapon Ranch

10 sites · RVs, Tents90 acres · Gosport, IN
Come and enjoy our private 90-acre retreat, perfect for any outdoor enthusiast. Nestled in an arch of the White River, this secluded sanctuary boasts two private lakes, offering opportunities for swimming, hiking, fishing, and relaxation. Conveniently located within a short driving distance to Indy, Bloomington, and Southern Indiana, you'll find yourself immersed in nature while still having access to nearby urban amenities. We offer five powered campsites and numerous options for primitive camping lakeside or riverside. Please note that there are no direct water hookups, so be sure to bring your own water for your stay.
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$25
 / night
100%
(12)

Celtic Glen Farm Stay

11 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents100 acres · Spencer, IN
Celtic Glen is a working, 100 acre family farm of heritage breed livestock, nestled in an old limestone quarry on the banks of the White River, on one side, and Fall Creek, on another. Learn about regenerative farming with rare breeds on a farm tour, or mining and wetlands restoration on an ecological history tour. Pet and feed the livestock. Fish and bird-watch. Take a yoga class (at times with goats or bunnies) in the center of the stone henge. Have coffee with goats. Eat farm craft meats, eggs, prepared soups, casseroles, and baked goods, or hop into town for a bite. We are across the river from McCormick's Creek State Park (Indiana's first state park with miles of trails, a swimming pool, horseback riding, and lodge) and just two miles north of Spencer, a small town with an excellent brew pub, winery, cafe, and more. Just 12 miles north of the farm is Cataract Falls State Recreation Area. We are only 20 minutes from Bloomington and Indiana University; 45 minutes from Indianapolis Int'l Airport. This is a working farm with lots of livestock, electric fences, and working dogs, so please leave the farm animals alone unless someone from the farm is available and present. Dogs must be on a leash in the camping area. Given the above features of a working livestock farm, the quarry ruins, the operative railroad tracks, and the river (not suitable for swimming), children under the age of 18 must be attended by adults at all times. We have lots of on-farm food and supplies options, please contact us for a complete list and any requests. All sites have a private stone fire circle as well as access to a common grill, handwashing station, porta potty or septic outhouse, cold/solar water shower. Nearby fun and food: We have posted many events on our farm facebook page @celticglenllc and we are within 2-4 miles of lots of options: Many events happen on the Spencer town square (including Spencer Pride events); and at the Owen County Fairgrounds which are actually in town along the White River and hosts events such as the White River Poultry Show. Historic Tivoli Theatre with big-screen movies, classic concessions, and more just off the square Cinema 67 Drive-In (4miles) All About You Salon and Spa on the square offers massage among other nice things. Hilltop Family Restaurant (vintage style family restaurant less than 2 miles north off 231) Owen Valley Winery –good food as well (often free live music) Stable Studios music venue (12 miles from farm) Civilian Brewing Corps Brewpub (family friendly space, amazing food and beer and craft soda) Main Street Coffee and Kitchen –a gorgeous café with breakfast and lunch (including Bivi’s tamales) Millie McGee’s Gosport Diner –amazing comfort food in a charming super-small town just across the river (drive north on 231 then east in 67; 23 E Main St, Gosport; 8 miles from the farm) McCormick’s Creek State Park: Canyon Inn for dining, lots of trails, pool in the summer, horse stables Cataract Falls State Recreation Area just north off 231 –really lovely waterfall (13 miles) Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve (Nature Conservancy; 9 miles from farm) Other locally-owned eating: Babs supermarket and deli, Busy Bee Cafe, Papi Chulo’s Cantina, Jit’s Thai Bistro, Chambers Buffet on square, Grand’s Ice Cream, Sweet Valley Ice Cream. Of course, Bloomington is just 20 minutes away with lots to offer. A bit further out: Exotic Feline Rescue Center Sculpture Trails Outdoor Museum Indiana University Hoosier National Forest Tulip Trestle Please ask if there is something specific you’d like to find. Please note that the riverfront wetlands will be closed to guests during deer rifle hunting season for safety.
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$40
 / night
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(39)

Martin H.’s Land

2 sites · Tents25 acres · Greencastle, IN
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$30
 / night
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(34)

Camp with Alpacas at Aris Farm

4 sites · RVs, Tents21 acres · Universal, IN
This was once a self sustaining farm built in the 1950s. The farm raised cattle, pigs, chickens. There was 35 tillable acres which produced corn and oats for the livestock. The farm had its own feed grinder in the old barn. There is an old hand built cooler room where all the meat was stored. There are four wells on the farm one of which is used for watering animals and cooling alpacas on hot summer days. One of our tent sites is in the corner of our alpaca pasture. You'll hear the roosters, goats, donkeys and more than likely, Rose, our Maremma livestock guardian dog, throughout your stay.
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$35
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(22)

Acacia Farms

1 site · Lodging5 acres · Brownsburg, IN
We are a small hobby farm on five acres just outside the town of Brownsburg. You’ll wake up to goats peeking in your windows and chickens laying fresh eggs for breakfast out back. The small tiny house is located behind our private residence. It is completely fenced in if you happen to be traveling with a furry friend of your own. You’re welcome to walk in the field, roast s’mores over the fire pit, or just visit with the barn cats.
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$78
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(115)

Heavenly Acres Creek side Camp

29 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents18 acres · Thorntown, IN
We provide a hands on educational experience with a variety of animals, crafts and farm operations or you can simply relax in a quiet farm setting next to the creek and enjoy the view. Our site is a short 10 minute drive to town or the highway (65 and 74) with the exceptional bonus of peace and tranquility of the country.
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$35
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(9)

Basic Acres

11 sites · RVs, Tents20 acres · Clayton, IN
Located at a wedding venue, brick and mortar bathrooms just steps away and beautiful views by our pond. We are opening up our grass parking lot for tent camping, limited drop cords available for power. Class A, B and C motorhomes welcome with a 30A service. Potable water available. Local Brewery located 4 min down the road with awesome food and delicious beverages! Weather permitting - Communal fire pit area. Fishing is available so bring your pole. 20 Acres of walking trails, pets welcome on a leash (we have ducks on the pod at times) No chickens on or near the property so go ahead and sleep in...
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$40
 / night

The best camping near Shades State Park guide

Overview

About

Just an hour from Indianapolis, Shades State Park is all about peace, quiet, and getting back to nature. Hike along rugged trails through wooded ravines to reach landmarks like the Devil's Punchbowl, Inspiration Point, and Lover's Leap, or enjoy longer walks in the adjoining Pine Hills Nature Preserve. Take to the water to boat or canoe along Sugar Creek, fish for smallmouth bass and catfish, or tackle the Six Ravines Challenge, which leads the way to cascading waterfalls and sandstone cliffs. Campers are in for a treat, too—the park's dark skies afford spectacular stargazing. Shade Campground has non-electric RV campsites, as well as hike-in and canoe-in tent sites along the Backpack Trail.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. You can reserve RV campsites online via the Reserve America website; hike-in and canoe-in sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. Online reservations can be made up to six months in advance. 
  3. Campsites can fill up over holiday weekends, so book a few months in advance to avoid disappointment, especially if you have a particular site in mind.

When to go

Any time is a good time to explore Shades State Park, and the campground stays open year-round. Memorial Day through Labor Day is the busiest period, but the park rarely gets overcrowded. Trails can get slippery after rainfall, so come prepared and check water levels in summer before you plan boating or canoeing trips.

Know before you go

  • Shades State Park is located about 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville or a 25-minute drive. From Indianapolis, head west on US 41, then continue along SR234—it's about a 70-minute drive. 
  • There is a per-vehicle entrance fee for all Indiana State Parks, and campsite booking fees also apply. An Indiana fishing license is also required if you plan to fish.
  • Facilities at Shades State Park include a camp store, restrooms, picnic areas with grills, drinking water fountains, playgrounds, and a dump station.
  • Pack proper hiking boots for Shades State Park, as many of the hiking trails cross ravine streambeds and uneven terrain. Trails 4 and 5 also have ladders, rendering them unsuitable for small children, pets, and those with limited mobility. 
  • Pets are welcome at Shades State Park, but must be kept on a leash.
  • There are accessible restrooms, picnic areas, and campsites at Shades State Park.

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