The 202,814-acre Hoosier National Forest is a testimony to the stewardship taken up by the U.S. Forest Service and those residents living within the borders of the preserve. Located in southern Indiana's hills, the forest includes streams, lakes, and reservoirs filled with fish. Hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders share the more than 265 miles of trails that wander through the forest. Roads bisect much of the area serving several communities that have existed inside the forest for centuries. Visitors find evidence of other hamlets that sank into ruin after the lumber industry's loss, temporary human havens that now serve as wildlife habitats gradually dissolving into the land. Lying beside Bloomington, IN, the forest skirts the Ohio River along the southern border with Kentucky.
Camping in Hoosier National Forest
With all the campgrounds and opportunities to boondock, using an RV to camp at Hoosier National Forest seems the best option. There are innumerable things to do and see inside and outside the forest's borders. Having an RV parked in a campground encourages you to visit other attractions the forest offers when you know you have a comfortable resting spot awaiting you. Find the right camper for your needs at RVshare.
Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area
Tipsaw Lake Recreation Area has 50 RV campsites spaced over three camping loops. The area sits inside Hoosier National Forest's confines, making it easy for those who wish to visit the forest. Boating (electric motors only), fishing, swimming, and hiking are among the favorite activities guests enjoy. A boat ramp allows easy access to the lake with a large parking lot to store boat trailers and tow vehicles while visitors are on the lake. An attractive swimming beach lets guests sunbathe and swim on the lake's shores. The campground is open from April 15 to October 15 of each year.
Water hookup: Yes
Electrical hookup: 30 amps
Sewer hookup: No
Other amenities: Fire rings, warm showers, restrooms with flush toilets, dump station
Fee: $20-$30 per night
Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area
The campground at Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area is divided into two sections; one runs alongside the shore of Indian Lake, the other beside Celina Lake. Between the two sections, the area offers a total of 63 RV campsites. The Indian-Celina Lakes Recreation Area provides a tranquil place where guests can boat, hike, canoe, or kayak on the lake or fish or swim from its shores. The area is open from April 15 through October 15 of each year.
Water hookup: Yes
Electrical hookup: 30 amp
Sewer hookup: No, but a dump station is available on-site
Other amenities: Picnic tables, fire rings, restrooms with flush toilets, warm showers
Fee: $27 to $43 per night
Patoka Lake Campground
Patoka Lake Campground offers 444 RV campsites spread over 26,000 acres. Patoka Lake, an 8,800-acre reservoir, is the area's central feature; its shoreline provides the largest camping area inside Hoosier National Forest. The sites are widely spaced, with plenty of room to deploy any slide-outs an RV may support. The lake is rich in freshwater fish and is a haven for boats, kayaks, and canoes. Water skiing, sailboarding, and windsurfing are activities that many visitors come to the campground to enjoy. Hiking trails vary in intensity from easy to difficult as they travel through the majestic terrain surrounding the lake.
Water hookup: No
Electrical hookup: 30 amps
Sewer hookup: No, but a dump station is on-site
Other amenities: Restrooms with flush toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, warm showers
Fee: $19 to $35 per night
Activities in Hoosier National Forest
Hoosier National Forest consists of a wide variety of terrain, flora, and wildlife. While most of the forest is covered by hardwoods and firs, a large section toward the south is covered by prairie grass, providing a Great Plains type of terrain to the region. The mix in the landscape brings various wildlife. Bald eagles, hawks, ground squirrels, deer, wild boars, bobcats, and other species share a relatively small land area. Guests from urban areas often gasp when confronted by the fact that they are the invaders of a natural wildlife habitat while simultaneously enjoying the sudden but brief return to nature.
Fishing and Water Activities
Streams, lakes, and reservoirs emerge from the wilderness, surprising those unfamiliar with wild terrain. The creeks often pool, bringing a calmness to the visiting eye, deflecting the tumbling and crashing water effects that seem to define the area. Anglers find plenty of activity, and lakes provide a surface ideal for water sports or a brief relaxing turn in the sun.
How to get to Hoosier National Forest
Address: 811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, IN 47421
Fee: Entry fee $5.0
When a family rents an RV from RVshare, they introduce themselves to a whole new way to experience vacation spots like the Hoosier National Forest. With its varied terrain, incredibly diverse wildlife, and colorful flora, the forest allows a family to experience nature on many fronts. Those who vacation at Hoosier National Forest create memories that last a lifetime.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hoosier National Forest
Can you kayak, canoe, or raft in Hoosier National Forest?
Yes, you can kayak, canoe, and raft in Hoosier National Forest. There are plenty of lakes and streams for kayaking and canoeing, and several bigger lakes for tubing on a raft.
Do you need a permit to fish or hunt in Hoosier National Forest?
Yes, you need a permit to hunt in Hoosier National Forest. If you are 18 or older, you need a fishing license to fish in Hoosier National Forest.
What is the best time to visit Hoosier National Forest?
The best time to visit Hoosier National Forest is in the late spring or summer. The weather is pleasant, and you can hike, paddle, fish, and enjoy a variety of outdoor activities during the summer months.
What type of wildlife lives in Hoosier National Forest?
Wildlife that lives in Hoosier National Forest includes white-tailed deer, foxes, woodchucks, and bears. A variety of birds and fish also call the forest home.
Is there a fee to get into Hoosier National Forest?
No, there is no fee to get into Hoosier National Forest. However, there may be fees or permits required to use certain day-use areas or for certain recreational activities.