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).
We also like to go hiking there, though we have only scratched the surface of all of their hiking trails.
Motorized boats are not allowed on the lakes, so it is nice and peaceful within the park and on the water.
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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