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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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. 

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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!

Frequently Asked Questions About Shades State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Shades State Park?

While the park is beautiful in every season, the best time to visit is in the summer. Days are warm and nights are cool. The wildlife in the park is in full swing and the flowers are in full bloom.

What is the climate of Shades State Park?

Fall temperatures stay mild until October during the day, but as winter approaches the weather becomes very frigid. Winter temperatures are below freezing. Spring stays cold until May when the summer begins to thaw and milder temperatures prevail.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Shades State Park?

Shades State Park is the natural habitat of a multitude of wildlife. White-tailed deer, red foxes, and squirrels roam the park while over 70 species of fish swim in the creeks and streams.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Shades State Park?

The park has designated RV camping spots that offer water and electric hookups. There is a sanitary fill station and a dump station in the campground. The campsites can handle up to a 55-foot-long RV.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Shades State Park and what is the cost?

A reservation is not required to camp in Shades State Park, but it is recommended. The park gets busy in the peak summer season and camping spots fill up fast. The camping spots range from $10 to $23 per night.