The summer recreational season is approaching, and Indiana State Parks is working hard to make sure visitors have a good experience.
The system of 24 parks and eight reservoir properties has finished, or will complete this year, hundreds of improvements to enhance campgrounds, restrooms and trails.
Partners and volunteers have helped with many of the projects. Non-profit “friends” groups have contributed thousands of dollars and hours.
Collectively, Indiana State Parks properties have more than 700 miles of trails, 636 hotel/lodge rooms, 17 marinas, 75 boat ramps, 17 swimming pools, 15 beaches, 7,701 campsites, 160 playgrounds and 150 cabins.
That’s a lot of maintenance, and much time is focused on basic facility care.
“Creative and dedicated employees stretch the dollars that you pay when you enter the gate, rent a campsite, launch a boat or attend a special workshop or program,” said Ginger Murphy, deputy director of Indiana State Parks.
A complete list of park improvements is at StateParks.IN.gov/9447.htm.
Park improvement projects include:
— A total of $400,000 statewide in small campground improvements were made, ranging from comfort station rehabs to repairing roads to campsite electrical upgrades.
— At Cecil M. Harden Lake (aka Raccoon State Recreation Area) three acres of rock pile fish habitat were installed in partnership with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
— At Clifty Falls State Park, a “Clifty Clubhouse” play area opened at Clifty Inn.
— At Harmonie State Park, a mini camp store opened in the park office.
— At Lincoln State Park, the lighting system at Lincoln Amphitheatre was updated for better production quality.
— At Ouabache State Park, a new beach is under construction on Kunkel Lake.
— At Pokagon State Park, a “pocket” museum that celebrates the Civilian Conservation Corps opened next to the gatehouse.
— At Turkey Run State Park, the inn’s indoor pool has been repaired and is open.
— At Versailles State Park, 4 miles of new mountain biking and hiking trails were built on Hassmer Hill.