Top 10 Indiana campgrounds for a Fall Camping Adventure

Honest To Goodness Indiana, the state's official travel planning resource, recently listed the readers' choices for the Top 10 Campgriunds for a Fall Camping Adventure. It's a little late for fall camping, but that doesn't mean these parks shouldn't be on your radar for a camping trip next season.

And here they are:

Brown County State Park - Nicknamed the “Little Smokies” because of the area’s resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, Brown County encompasses nearly 16,000 acres of rugged hills, ridges and fog-shrouded ravines. Glaciers from the most recent ice ages stopped short of the “hills o’ Brown,” but their meltwaters helped create the narrow ridges, steep slopes and deep gullies of Brown County State Park. Indiana’s largest park is a traditional fall color hot spot, with nearly 20 miles of tree-lined roads and many scenic vistas overlooking miles of uninterrupted forestland. The park’s rustic Abe Martin Lodge offers accommodations that include motel rooms, cabins, dining and conference facilities and an indoor water park. Large campgrounds, hiking and mountain biking trails, interpretive services, a saddle barn for guided horse rides and a separate horseman campground with 70 miles of horse trails are some of the things that make Brown County State Park popular year-round. The surrounding county and nearby Indiana town of Nashville are famous for their unique shopping, dining, arts and crafts, history, entertainment, and outdoor adventure opportunities. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort - Escape to the great outdoors by staying at Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort in Santa Claus. Voted one of the top ten favorite parks in North America and a two-time National RV Park of the Year, Lake Rudolph is the closest lodging and camping to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari. Enjoy the RV Experience Without Owning Your Own RV! Lake Rudolph’s multiple family lodging options include over 270 Cabins & Rental RVs that all sleep 4 adults and 4 children, include AC/heat, bathrooms with showers, fully equipped kitchens and more. Hundreds of full-hookup RV sites and tent sites are also available. Experience Lake Rudolph’s family fun amenities including Santa’s Splash Down WaterPark, the giant Blitzen Bay swimming pool, playgrounds, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, fishing, paddleboats, kayaks, gem mining, mini golf, game room, camp store, Blitzen Kitchen Ice Cream & Pizza, and much more. Enjoy FREE pizza delivery to your site, FREE WiFi at nearly every site and FREE Holiday World shuttle to and from the theme parks. Family favorites include renting one of Lake Rudolph’s golf cars, joining in the daily planned activities, visiting with Rudolph and staying during Halloween Weekends in September and October.

Turkey Run State Park - You'll marvel at the natural geologic wonders of Turkey Run State Park as you hike along its famous trails. Nestled along State Road 47 southwest of Crawfordsville, the park offers the chance to explore deep, sandstone ravines, walk along stands of aged forests, and enjoy the scenic views along Sugar Creek. Make sure to visit the Colonel Richard Lieber Cabin, which commemorates the contributions of the father of Indiana's state park system. Nature center with nature programs, saddlebarns with escorted rides. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

Indiana Dunes State Park - Indiana Dunes State Park consists of 2,182 acres of primitive, beautiful, historic and unique Hoosier landscape. It lies at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. In the early 1900s scientists, recreationists and nature enthusiasts, recognizing the value and potential of the Indiana dunes area, fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established. Large sand dunes, located beyond the entire shoreline, have taken thousands of years to form, and tower nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan. A wide range of habitats and plant species are found in the park, with vegetation stabilizing some of the sand. These habitats provide homes for many types of plants and animals. The lake also provides habitat for many aquatic species, as well as a constantly changing fishery. Nature center with nature/history programs. Access to Calumet Trail. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

Clifty Falls State Park - Clifty Falls State Park is located near Madison with entrances on state roads 56 and 62. The park’s waterfalls change moods with the weather and the seasons and can range from roaring plunges to delicate bridal-veil mists to gleaming frozen titans. Winter and spring visits reveal them at their best. The rugged splendor of Clifty Canyon offers exciting year-round hiking and scenery. Clifty Creek’s stony bed is littered with fossil remnants telling of a long vanished marine ecosystem that teemed with life that included ancient corals, ancestral squids, brachiopods and more. Fossil collecting within Clifty Falls State Park is prohibited but nearby collecting locations are readily accessible. In Historic Madison, tour the Lanier State Historic Site, the former mansion of frontier banker James F.D. Lanier, and enjoy the drive along the beautiful Ohio River. Plan a park visit during one of the community's special events, such as the July Regatta hydroplane boat race or the Madison Chautauqua Festival of Art in late September. Challenging hiking and scenic waterfalls. Nature center with nature/history programs. Reserve campsites and shelters at or 866.622.6746.

Spring Mill State Park - Spring Mill State Park offers a powerful illustration of the link between the natural and cultural worlds. The water flowing from several cave springs led to the founding of an industrial village in the early 1800s. Pioneer entrepreneurs took advantage of a constant water source that never froze, using it to power several gristmills, a wool mill, a saw mill, and a distillery. In turn, pioneer settlers shaped the landscape around the village, clearing land for agriculture and timber. The park today continues to illustrate how nature shapes us and how we shape our environment. A parcel of virgin timber sits in contrast to regenerated forest, a man-made lake struggles to survive against the in-flow of silt from cave-fed systems, and the native flora and fauna face challenges from man’s introduction of new species. Visitors can explore this story in the park’s four interpretive facilities—the Pioneer Village, Nature Center, Grissom Memorial, and Twin Caves Boat Tour—and see it reflected on the landscape as they hike the trails. The interpretive staff also offers a wide variety of public programs, including an extensive special events schedule. Public programs are offered year-round. Click here for program schedules. Pioneer Village, "Gus" Grissom Memorial, mountain bike trail and nature center. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

McCormick's Creek State Park - Explore the spectacular limestone canyon, flowing creek, and scenic waterfalls that highlight McCormick's Creek State Park - Indiana’s first state park. Hike trails featuring diverse forest trees, spicebush, and native wildflowers, including a trail through Wolf Cave Nature Preserve and an accessible trail at the recently renovated nature center. Experience history as you climb the fire tower, use shelter houses or cross the stone arch bridge created by the Civilian Conservation Corps, or examine the historic Statehouse Quarry near White River, which furnished limestone used for the Indianapolis Statehouse. Relax in the lobby of Canyon Inn, open to all park visitors, or watch birds from the dining room porch. Catch cultural events such as concerts in the park amphitheater or attend the several special events hosted annually at the park. McCormick’s Creek State Park offers active enjoyment through all seasons of the year. Rustic park known for hiking, wildflowers and McCormick's Creek Canyon. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

Starve Hollow - Starve-Hollow State Recreation Area encompasses approximately 280 acres offering some of the best camping in southern Indiana. Carved out of 18,000-acre Jackson-Washington State Forest, it provides fishing and boat rental on 145-acre Starve Hollow Lake, swimming on the large sandy beach or the chance to learn about conservation at the Education Center. For the more avid outdoor enthusiast, hiking and mountain biking on nearby trails is available. Hunting can be done during various seasons by accessing nearby Jackson – Washington State Forest. Playgrounds and shelters that can be reserved are located on the property as well. Access to nearby mountain bike and hiking trails. Beach, paved boat ramps, nature center. Reserve sites at or call 866-622-6746.

Shades State Park - Shades State Park is that peaceful place you've sought. Located about 17 miles southwest of Crawfordsville (off S.R. 47), it is a favorite for hikers and canoeists. The beautiful sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek and numerous shady ravines provide the backdrop for your journey through this nature lover's paradise. Also on the property is Pine Hills Nature Preserve, which affords spectacular topography for those willing to take a fairly long hike. From November-March, Shades State Park is open for day use only (8 a.m. until dusk). All visitors must leave the park at dusk. There is no camping available. Overnight camping is available at Turkey Run State Park just 15 miles to the southwest. Turkey Run also has an inn and cabins. In the event of heavy snow or ice, the property management may delay opening the gate to accommodate for snow removal efforts. Contact the property for if you have further questions. Rustic park known for hiking and sandstone cliffs overlooking Sugar Creek. Reserve campsites and shelters at or call 866.622.6746.

South Bend / Elkhart North KOA - This is the KOA with a gelato bar! Relax at South Bend / Elkhart North KOA, a peaceful family campground, nestled between the pulsing cities of South Bend and Elkhart, 7 miles from University of Notre Dame and RV capital of the world. There are many attractions nearby like Studebaker and Hudson Museum, Shipshewana and Amish country, Chocolate factory, Notre Dame and the RV capital, RV manufacturers, RV surplus stores and the RV Hall of Fame, Enjoy the beauty of Northern Indiana, with fishing places nearby. Spacious, level full hookup RV sites are available, with cable TV access and free WiFi. We feature two dog runs, so bring the pets! And don't miss the petting zoo!