The summer recreational season is approaching, and Indiana State Parks is working hard to make sure visitors have a good experience.The system of 24 parks and eight reservoir properties has finished or will complete this year hundreds of improvements to enhance campgrounds, restrooms and trails.Partners and volunteers have helped with many of the projects. Non-profit “friends” groups have contributed thousands of dollars and hours.
Collectively, Indiana State Park properties have more than 2,000 buildings, 700 miles of trails, 636 hotel/lodge rooms, 17 marinas, 75 launching ramps, 17 swimming pools, 15 beaches, 7,701 campsites, more than 200 shelters, 160 or so playgrounds and 150 cabins.
That’s a lot of maintenance, and a lot of time is focused on basic facility care.
“Creative and dedicated employees stretch the dollars that you pay when you enter the gate, rent a campsite, launch a boat or attend a special workshop or program,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director of Indiana State Parks.
A complete list of park improvements is at StateParks.IN.gov/9447.htm.
— New, efficient LED lighting in various buildings, from offices to comfort stations.
— New pavement on entrance roads at Raccoon State Recreation Area (SRA) and at Brown County State Park.
— Various small campground improvements in different locations totaling $750,000, ranging from leveling and adding gravel to sites to new fixtures, sinks and dividers in comfort stations, and upgrades from 30- to 50-amp service.
— Invasive plant removal, prescribed fire and habitat improvements totaling several thousand acres at Fort Harrison, Spring Mill, Clifty Falls, Prophetstown, Tippecanoe River, Indiana Dunes and McCormick’s Creek state parks and Salamonie, Mississinewa, Hardy, Patoka, Monroe and Brookville lakes.
— Fish habitat improvements at several reservoirs.
— Trail work: a new bridge on the accessible trail at O’Bannon Woods State Park between the nature center and group camp; a new wetland trail boardwalk coming this summer at Indiana Dunes; trail structure repairs at Hardy Lake; trail armoring by Friends of Fort Harrison State Park.
— New trees in several locations to offset the loss of ash trees to emerald ash borer at Salamonie Lake, Raccoon SRA, and Clifty Falls and Lincoln state parks.
— Archery trail remodels at Patoka and Brookville lakes. A new range will open in Miami SRA at Mississinewa Lake this summer.
— A few pet-friendly rooms at each of the seven state park inns.
To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.