About Indiana State Parks

Hikers discover a patch of Virginia bluebells at
Turkey Run State Park

It is the land on which we all depend in the last essence. It is the land and the very soil, the trees and waters, the dales and glens which we love. Without vision a land will die.
Col. Richard Lieber, Founder of Indiana State Parks

Indiana Dunes Preserve at Indiana Dunes State Park

  • There is an Indiana State Park within an hour of every Hoosier.
  • Our state park system manages 32 properties, 7 state park inns and 170,000 acres of land and water.
  • More than 180 state and federally listed threatened and endangered species are found in Indiana State Parks.
  • The parks contain high quality examples of nearly half of the significant natural communities recognized by the Natural Heritage Database.
  • Approximately 70% of Indiana State Parks’ operating costs are generated by user fees. Only 30% comes from the State’s General Fund through taxes.
  • Indiana’s state parks host approximately 15-16 million visits annually by Hoosiers and guests from other states and countries.
  • Staff oversee and care for 2000 buildings, 700 miles of trails, over 600 inn rooms, 8400 campsites, 200 shelters, 160 playgrounds, 134 cabins and 75 marinas
  • Although the number of properties the division manages has increased from 27 to 32 since 1988, the number of full-time staff has decreased from 385 in 1988 to 316 filled positions today (Approximately 40 additional full-time positions are currently held vacant for budgetary savings.) The division supplements operations during the spring, summer and fall with approximately 1100 seasonal positions.
  • The average number of full-time staff per property has decreased from 14 in 1988 to 11 today.




  • Nature Preserves are the most widely distributed system of protected lands in Indiana, with preserves in 65 of Indiana’s 92 counties
  • Nature preserves contain all but 2 of the 58 natural community types known to occur in Indiana
  • Of the 213 state endangered plants, there is at least 1 protected example of 179 of them on the nature preserves
  • There are 8 regional ecologists who care for this widely spread system of nature preserves – in the Central Indiana Region of 25 counties, there are 56 preserves, encompassing over 14,000 acres
  • Of Indiana’s 279 nature preserves, 38 of them occur on state parks, and 71 of them are directly managed by the Division of Nature Preserve Ecologists
  • In 2013, the Regional Ecologists conducted invasive species control and prescribed burns on 2649 acres
  • In 1988 there were 17 Division of Nature Preserves-owned nature preserves, today there are 70
  • Trails and parking lots afford visitors a chance to experience prairies, old growth forests, cypress swamps, cedar glades, and various types of wetlands