Shades State Park RV & Campground Guide


About 17 miles from Crawfordsville lies this serene space where visitors can hike, canoe, or just sit and take in the beautiful scenery and watch birds and other wildlife. Sandstone cliffs overlook Sugar Creek, and shady ravines offer respite from summer heat. The Pine Hills Nature Preserve is also a wonderful place to walk - it’s a long hike, but well worth it!

Weather at Shades State Park is on the cooler side - the average high in July is 86°F, and it gets very cold in winter, when January lows average 14°F! The park gets between 7-9 days of precipitation each month, and spring and summer are the rainiest seasons.

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Spring 29-73 F
Summer 58-86 F
Fall 32-78 F
Winter 14-36 F
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Nearby Cities
Waveland, IN
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Shades State Park

Camping is available, and there are 105 sites, though they do not have electric hookups. There is a dump station nearby, however. If you choose to rent an RV, consider renting with RVshare. Each rental vehicle comes with nationwide insurance coverage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a dedicated team that will work to make sure you have the perfect RV for your travel plans and unique needs.   

There are also several nearby campgrounds where you can stay while you visit the park:

Sugar Creek Campground & Canoe Rentals

Sugar Creek Campground sits on almost 48 acres, and offers family entertainment. Or you can sit outside your rig, next to bubbling Sugar Creek, and relax with a good book or while enjoying the scenery!

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes 

  • Sewer hookup: yes

  • Wi-Fi: n/a

  • Pet friendly: n/a

  • Other amenities: creekside sites, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, fishing

Crawfordsville KOA

Look for covered bridges in the area, go antiquing, or find an old mill near the Crawfordsville KOA.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: yes

  • Wi-Fi: yes

  • Pet friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: showers, pool, laundry, planned activities

RV Rentals Near Shades State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Shades State Park

Inside Shades State Park

There are a number of things to do at Shades State Park.

Hiking: From an easy trail along Red Fox Ravine to harder trails that lead to waterfalls and spectacular views, you’re sure to find a hiking trail for you and your group! There’s also a 2.5 mile backpacking trail so you can pack in to a site if you wish.

Fishing: Fishing is available along Sugar Creek - anglers can fish from shore, in a boat, or fly fish the creek. The area is known especially for its smallmouth bass.

Interpretive Naturalist Services: There are various nature programs offered throughout the year. School groups and other non-profits can arrange for a ranger talk, or adults and children can attend talks, hikes, and other planned events when they visit. 

Outside Shades State Park

There’s plenty to do outside the park as well! From learning about local history to relaxing with a tasty bite to eat, once you’ve explored the park, try one of these activities. 


The Creekside Lodge

Grab a salad or sandwich from the lodge, or try loaded fries and smothered chicken or a steak at this fun bar and grill. There are several TVs to watch whatever games are on, a jukebox, and upper and lower bars along with the dining room.

Type: Sports bar & Grill

Location: Crawfordsville, IN

The Breakfast Co.

Have a hearty breakfast all morning long...or into the afternoon! The Breakfast Co. serves up staples like delicious eggs and bacon, and specialties like crepes and benedicts.

Type: Breakfast

Location: Crawfordsville, IN

Little Mexico

This family-owned restaurant has been in business for more than 25 years, and serves up homemade Mexican food in a colorful setting. Try favorites like carnitas and chile verde...and definitely order up a margarita - they come in a variety of flavors! There’s also a healthy choice menu as well.

Type: Mexican

Location: Crawfordsville, IN


Tour Covered Bridges

Parke County has 31 charming covered bridges scattered throughout. Pack a picnic and spend the day discovering the bridges and learning more about them. has information on where to find each bridge, and on other activities surrounding them. 

Location: Parke County, IN

Wolf Park

The education and research facility studies wolves, coyotes, foxes and bison to learn more about their behavior. Visitors can learn about the importance of these predators and how they function.

Location: Battle Ground, IN

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The museum preserves one of the world’s premier collections of motor racing vehicles and artifacts, especially those involved in the Indianapolis 500.

Location: Indianapolis, IN

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How to Get to
Shades State Park

From Crawfordsville: Take IN-47 S to IN-234 W. Turn right onto IN-234 W, then left on W. 800 S. Finally, turn right onto S 890 W.

The address for the park is 7751 S. 890 W., Waveland, IN.

Entering Shades State Park

Shades State Park Indiana Residents : $7.0

Shades State Park Non-Residents : $9.0

What better way to make memories that last a lifetime than by heading out on a road trip! Renting an RV with RVshare takes a lot of stress off of you and makes the trip easier to plan. Whether you choose to rent an RV near your home and drive, or fly into Indiana and rent an RV, you’re sure to have a trip you won’t soon forget! We would love to see pictures of your travels - be sure to send us photos of your trip to [email protected] and tag us on social media. Your memories could be featured on our blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page!