Bucket List

A “Bucket List” of Places to GO and Things to DO at Indiana State Parks and State-Owned Nature Preserves for 2017 and Beyond

We asked Hoosiers to tell us their favorite places to go and things to do at our Indiana State Parks and State-Owned Nature Preserves. Indiana State Parks is now 100 years old, and 2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Nature Preserves Act that authorized the creation of nature preserves, so now is a great time for you and your family and friends to plan visits to these places. Who knows? You might discover some of your OWN favorites along the way!

Here’s the list, in the order of voting (#1 received the most votes). Enjoy your travels!

  1. Hike a trail of boulders left by the last glacier and climb the ladders of Trail 3 at Rocky Hollow-Falls Canyon Nature Preserve at Turkey Run State Park.
  2. Explore the Pioneer Village at Spring Mill State Park.
  3. Watch the sunset on Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park.
  4. Wade in McCormick’s Creek below the waterfalls at McCormick’s Creek State Park.
  5. Visit a state park nature center to watch birds and learn about park wildlife.
  6. Linger and enjoy the sunset at Hesitation Point in Brown County State Park.
  7. Walk on the world-renowned 386 million year-old fossil beds at Falls of the Ohio State Park.
  8. Ride the refrigerated toboggan at Pokagon State Park.
  9. Visit Monroe Lake to search for bald eagles in winter.
  10. Sit by the fire in the historic Lonidaw Lounge in the Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park.
  11. Stand alongside the Great Mound at Mounds State Park and listen to the wind.
  12. Explore one of Indiana’s most impressive old-grown forest at Donaldson’s Woods Nature Preserve in Spring Mill State Park.
  13. Walk across the Cataract Covered Bridge at Cataract Falls SRA (Cagles Mill Lake).
  14. Explore the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza at Lincoln State Park.
  15. Hike the narrow “backbones” of Pine Hills Nature Preserve at Shades State Park.
  16. Walk through the arch and steep sandstone canyons at Portland Arch Nature Preserve.
  17. Stand in the restored prairie at Prophetstown State Park in late summer when the wildflowers are bloom.
  18. “Canoe the Chain” at Chain O’Lakes State Park.
  19. Take a pontoon/fishing trip on Patoka Lake.
  20. Watch migrating waterfowl and wading birds in Loblolly Marsh near Limberlost State Historic Site
  21. Explore Indiana’s “Deep South” cypress slough at Twin Swamps Nature Preserve.
  22. Hike through an old growth forest at Big Walnut Nature Preserve.
  23. Bird a square mile of prairie at Beaver Lake Nature Preserve
  24. Visit Mississinewa 1812, an annual reenactment at Mississinewa Lake.
  25. Watch the haypress and oxen create a 1000 pound bale of hay at O’Bannon Woods State Park.
  26. Wander through Indiana’s large prairie-savannah complex at Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve.
  27. Take your child hunting at one of our eight big reservoirs.
  28. Hike through old-grown black walnut trees at Shrader-Weaver Woods Nature Preserve.
  29. Visit the shoreline of Indiana’s largest undeveloped lake at Olin Lake Nature Preserve.
  30. Stay at Clifty Inn in Clifty Falls State Park and watch the Ohio River roll by from the outdoor back porch.