Fun at Shakamak State Park, Jasonville Indiana

August 5, 2018

My husband was lucky enough to grow up on land that borders Shakamak State Park in west central Indiana. His family still lives there, so every time we go to visit in the summer we make sure we spend some time there.

Shakamak State Park

Shakamak State Park was the 7th state park dedicated by the state of Indiana. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed much of the park in the 1930’s, transforming an abandoned coal mine into a place where people could enjoy nature. And what a lovely reclamation that has become.

The park is now about 400 acres and boasts three man-made lakes, about 20 miles of hiking trails, and plenty of space for camping, including family cabins. There are also horse facilities and a small store. In addition, a large outdoor swimming pool provides fun for campers and local residents during the summer.

Coming from Minnesota, which has thousands of natural lakes, I admit that my first reaction upon learning about these lakes is that man-made lakes couldn’t possibly be as nice as those that occurred naturally. I stand corrected. Especially considering that this park used to be an area for coal mining, I can’t think of a more fantastic re-use of the land than these lovely lakes.

Enjoying Shakamak State Park

Our family likes to bike on the roads around the park during the summer. For families it is a relatively flat and shady route (especially if you go in the morning).

Biking at Shakamak State Park

We also like to go hiking there, though we have only scratched the surface of all of their hiking trails.

Hiking at Shakamak State Park

Motorized boats are not allowed on the lakes, so it is nice and peaceful within the park and on the water.

One of Shakamak State Park’s lakes.

Our brother-in-law, niece and nephew have recently taken up kayaking, so our kids tried it out.

They also just enjoyed cooling off in the water on this hot day, even though we weren’t on a beach. The dogs enjoyed the water and the shade, too.

If you are looking for a state park destination in Indiana with fun and activities for the whole family, this park has so much to offer! 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Pam
    August 9, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Looks beautiful! Indiana does have some lovely state parks, and although I’ve been to many of them (Shades and Clifty Falls are my personal favorites), I have never been to Shakamak. Since it’s pretty darn close, I need to fix that! My kids will want to go for the name alone.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 9, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      🙂 I think your family will really enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Shareitsister.com
    August 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

    What a fun place!!! I want to do something like this with my hubs and kids soon!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 9, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      Yes, it’s a fun family park, for sure.

  • Reply
    Katie
    August 9, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Looks like y’all had so much fun! If I ever find myself out in Indiana I’ll have to make sure to stop by the park

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      🙂 There are so many great state parks out there to enjoy.

  • Reply
    alison netzer
    August 9, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Shakamak State Park sounds like a great day trip for the family or just to escape. Love that nature took back what was once a coal mine. Great that motor boats are not allowed on the lake, makes it so much more peaceful.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 9, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Yes, it really is a nice re-use of a coal mine, and it’s so quiet and peaceful.

  • Reply
    Laura G
    August 9, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Our kids love forests and would have such a blast there! This reminds me a lot of our times in Germany, with parks, forests, and swimming lakes! Beautiful!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 9, 2018 at 8:29 pm

      Yes! There is definitely a resemblance to Germany. Great times to be had in areas like that.

  • Reply
    Janine
    August 9, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    What a beautiful, tranquil spot. I can feel my soul being refreshed just looking at the pictures.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

      The outdoors can be so restorative, can’t it?

  • Reply
    Kat
    August 10, 2018 at 12:09 am

    The lakes look so peaceful. It looks like you all had an awesome time!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 10, 2018 at 6:43 am

      Thanks! We definitely did.

  • Reply
    Kristi @ Way Beyond The Norm
    August 10, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I just love state parks! Hubby wants to boondock in our RV a bunch out west, but I’m kind of in love with state parks. We’ll have to check this one out when we get up to Indiana.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 10, 2018 at 3:20 pm

      Tough call…both approaches would be fun! There are so many amazing state parks out there. I live in MN, and so many are amazing, especially along Lake Superior. We also love Custer State Park in SD, and Dead Horse Point SP and Goblin Valley SP in Utah, to name a few. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jen
    August 10, 2018 at 10:30 am

    OMG, your puppy! Adorable! I love that there are no motorized boats.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 10, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Our “puppy” is ten, but she sure is sweet. 🙂 Yes, it’s nice and peaceful without all the speedboats, etc.

  • Reply
    Shirley
    August 10, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Fun!! My son and his family live nearby and I will be sure to share this post with him. I love that you bring the dogs along!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 10, 2018 at 3:18 pm

      Definitely have him check it out. 🙂 We always bring Roxy on our trips to Indiana. The other dogs belong to my brother in law and niece.

  • Reply
    Jackie
    August 11, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Looks beautiful, I love thunder dog chilling in the water.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 11, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      Yeah, she was really hot, so the water felt good!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    August 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    We love cabin camping. Though I have to admit that a man-made lake does sound kind of odd. Of course I live right next to Lake Ontario, and we visit the Finger Lakes all the time. So I am a little spoiled as well. We’ll have to check these out when we’re in the area. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      August 12, 2018 at 7:33 am

      I’ve had to get over my natural lake snobbery, especially when you think of how much more appealing that area is now than as a coal mine! 🙂

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