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Hoosier National Forest, INDIANA
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This place is gorgeous!

This campground is just beautiful. We stayed here during one of the Halloween Camping Weekends and my kids loved it. Lots of friendly people and the whole campground got into the trick or treating. The lake is so gorgeous and I cannot wait to stay here in the summer to be able to enjoy the beach. Paddle boats and canoes were available for rent. We will be back!

One of my favorites

This campground is amazing. All sites are well maintained and nice. Bathhouse is clean. Lots to do and nice paved roads for bike riding. We stayed here during a softball tournament and it was so nice to be able to come back to the campsite between games. Pool area is super nice with a waterslide, diving boards and a unique rock climbing wall in the deep end. My kids always look forward to this campground.

Hidden Gem

My husband, 3.5yo, 1yo and myself went to O'Bannon Woods the weekend before the 4th of July and I can't believe I've never been there! It's an amazing little park. We camp in a 12' pop up and our site 111 was nice for it. We did have to back between two trees at about 10pm in the dark, but we made it!

We LOVED the nature center and the living history village! The nature center had plenty of critters for the kids to look at. The living village was a pleasant surprise since I didn't realize they had one. They also have demonstrations of the hay press on holiday weekends which was really neat to watch.

We only hiked one trail and that was the one from the campground to the nature center. It was fairly rough in spots but enjoyable. The nearby caves ran by the park were a nice escape from the summer heat. We went on the short one with the kids and it was just the right length for their ages.

Also, if you like wine, there's a little winery down the road, Scout Mountain and they had the best deal on firewood along with great wine!

I can't wait to go back, I honestly can't believe I've lived in southern Indiana my whole life and have never been here.

Our favorite local campground

Charlestown State Park is a great, quiet campground for us to get away in our RV. We love that all of the sites are paved and most of the full-hookup sites offer a lot of privacy.

There is always a bathhouse close by and they are usually very clean. Staff is always super nice.

We prefer Charlestown because the hiking trails are wonderful, there’s lots of paved roads for biking, but the lack of a pool means that there tend to be fewer kids and it’s a lot more quiet than some of the neighboring state parks. There is a great boat ramp for the Ohio River so many campers are there to spend time in the river on their boats.

Great Lake Views

Our campsite had Great Lake views and a nice path to get down to the lake. Bathrooms and showers were clean.

Lots of walking!

Our Boy Scout troop enjoyed visiting this location. It was well maintained and the staff was helpful. The downside was that the aquatics area was hard to get to from our site because it was so far away. It is quite a large campground.

The climbing wall was nice. Restrooms were decent. Lots of trees in the area so it was pretty.

Place to stay close to downtown Louisville

If you are looking to be close to downtown Louisville, this is the campground for you. The staff was super nice and the location is very convenient for getting downtown. It's basically just a parking lot. Also, there is a train that runs behind the campground all night long. Keep that in mind if you are a light sleeper! There is a gas station on site which made filling up propane and gas super easy. The laundry was amazing - cheap and 6 washers and dryers. I was able to get completely caught up on laundry! We rode bikes to downtown Louisville from here and had a great afternoon. There are also neat places to go on the Indiana side of the river. All in all, we had a great stay and if we are ever in the Louisville area again we would gladly stay here for the convenience.

Large, but a sense of community.

We went for a Halloween weekend with a group of friends. We had a blast with all of the activities the park had planned. Sooo many trick or treaters (bring A LOT of candy if you plan to pass any out)! We had hammocks and campers. The sites were good sized and not “cookie cutter,” almost like no two sites were the same. We were on an outside loop so we had plenty of trees, which helped to block the wind! The grounds are huge, and everyone was so nice and participated with the holiday theme!

Great place! We will come back!

There are full hook-up sites and electric. Regular electric sites on the water are beautiful but not sure we could park our 41 ft fifth wheel on a water site. Trails are rugged at times and you can access them through campground. We are here in the fall but the beach looks like a good size. Boat rentals. Cabins look cute. We peeked in one. Double bed with bunks in room. Theres a loft for kids. A/C and heat but not bathroom. Bring a mattress or sleeping bags or you will sleep on wood. I recommend the water cabins. Playgrounds are sprinkled throughout. DNR dont patrol a lot. Quiet campground.

LOVE Trail Riding Here!

It is Beautiful! I have only been twice and we took our hours to trail ride! There are a lot of fun hills and trails that you can ride for hours which we love to do. Wish I had some pictures on this computer you will just have to go see it for your self :)

Pretty electric sites on the lake; full hookups in the woods

Take bug spray in the summer! Swimming beach and boat ramp/kayak rental available.

Great trails nearby!

We stayed one night driving through the state. The trails are great for mountain biking! The camp spots are pretty close together but we were able to distance ourselves since it was during the week.

Love location, Swim at Monroe lake

This campground is on the south side of Monroe lake and has beach access. I tent camped solo and everything went great!

Beautiful state park but sites are too close/visible to each other

There is just one thing that keeps me from rating this a 5 star campground. It's the sites! So….4 stars…but read on for my thoughts on the sites.

What's up with these sites?

  • If you want to be be able to see what your neighbors are eating and hear their conversations, you'll love the electric sites (1 through 189).

  • If you like to feel like you're alone in the woods, you won't like most of the electric sites.

  • There is a partial solution. Sites 190-202 have no electricity, but most are fairly private/secluded. Sites 203-222 are additional primitive sites on a loop but they are not at all private; you can see lots of neighboring sites. There's a lot of shade, but you could probably set up solar panels if you require electricity.

  • If you want privacy in the electric section (1-189), I don't have a great recommendation other than you should stay on the outside of the loops. Then you'll only have people beside you rather than beside and across from you.

Good luck! Stay one night when there aren't many people and scope out sites for your next stay. If you're from the area, this could be a park worth returning to over and over if you are able to stay on a site you enjoy.

I've included a map of sites 1-189 and photos that show some sites I like and sites I don't like. In my opinion, a site is not one for me if I can see 3 other picnic tables while sitting at the table at my site. If you camp with other families, this would be good because you can make your own 'group' site.

Something you need to know: Indiana state parks have a $7 entry fee but you'll only pay it once (unlike some states that make you pay every day). It's supposed to be $9 for non-residents, but we were only charged $7. The hang tag for your vehicle will get you in the main entrance for the rest of your stay.

If you come without a reservation: The registration attendant assigned a site to us but maybe you can choose one. Since it was the day after Labor Day and the park was sparsely populated, there was no one near us. Privacy was not an issue for our stay, but we wouldn't have enjoyed our site on a busy weekend…although there were many sites we would have liked even less.

The basics: picnic tables, fire rings, dump station, potable water, flush toilets and sinks in the bathrooms, separate shower facility. There are vault toilets closer to sites 190-222. Sites 1-189 have electricity.

Activities: Nearby swimming pool and playground. There are almost 11 miles of hiking trails. The longest one is 2 miles, but you can combine some trails and wander in the woods for quite a while. You can also wade in McCormick's Creek; the water was low in early September. You can stay busy in this park for quite a while. And if you want to go to Bloomington, it's only about 25 minutes away

Clean and secluded

Two lakes within the recreation area to fish and boat in. During mid August, Celine lake has freshwater Jellyfish that you can catch. Campsites nice!

Family friendly campground.

This campground has pleanty of camp sites and cabins. They have boat rental, a beach, and a nature center. They usually have activities for children on weekends. The campsites have electric and total hookup has water and sewer also.

Good campground

This is a pretty good campground but it’s butted up to Holiday World. A little noise from that can get on your nerves if you want to listen to the great outdoors. But if you’re looking for a campground by a theme park this is right up your alley.

Quiet and friendly

This is our go to campground. Not overly large but it’s clean and quiet. The owners are friendly and helpful. Bathrooms/showers are clean. Laundry on site. Small store and library where you can borrow books. Nice dog walk and small fenced dog area. Sites level and good for big rigs down to tents. Three cabins also available. Owners are relatively new and have been working on improvements continually. Highly recommend!

Kid Camping Paradise

This is my kids favorite campground and we always have a great time! Enjoy putt-putt, playgrounds, paddle boats, volleyball, swimming, game rooms, and water slides right next to Holiday World Amusement Park. There are always a lot of fun activities, and we love watching the golf cart parades and all the decorations on them, especially during holiday weekends. If you camp with kids, this is a top spot to visit! Shuttle over to Holiday World for a day, and then spend a day around the campground for a great long weekend!

Something For Everyone

This Campground offers something for everyone it has a lodge a pool caves to tourThey have a historic village and close to the campground is additional caves to view there is a zoo to see giraffe and elephant’sSo much to do in the area we stayed for a week and could have stayed longer

Typical Government Run Park

If you are wanting sewer, this park is very limited for 45’ Motorhomes. The available sites with sewer are all back in that are not very level and many are tight for Big Rigs including large trailers.

Nice, clean campground with great amenities

Really park, its even open in the winter. We stayed here in Nov. on the coldest night of the month. Had a blast, stayed warm, cooked food over the fire.

A field with pit toilets. Free but often loud generators from horse trailer

No set camp spots but great to set up and have no light pollution! Close to town but also right off some amazing trails! Sometimes the horse trailers get loud with generators but it is a horse camp ground!

Great for car camping on a whim

My partner and I love Buzzards Roost but we used to love it more. It used to have a sweet little walk in spot down the bouldering trail that looked over the river. Now it is overgrown and you can't get back there. I wish the DNR would bring it back and maintain the river overlook down at the water. That being said, it is a beautiful drive in, a great shaded and well maintained pull in car camping area. It does fill up a bit since it is free so if you go to check out the wonderful walk down to the water don't take a camp spot. If you go to camp, pull directly into the spot you want to camp before you check out any of the short hiking around the spot.

Awesome campground and cute town!

We love coming here annually for Mother’s Day weekend. This campground has a lot to offer but is focused for seasonal camping. A lot of amenities and the town is fun to sight see.

Great Trails, swimming and spacious sites

One of our favorite campgrounds. The kids love the pool and trails. The campground sites are spacious and lots of shade in the summer. Beautiful in the fall!

Great fun!

My family and sister in laws family camp here every year. Our kids love it and we all have a great time. They always have something to do even if it's just going down to swim at the beach.

Gorgeous Views and Facilities

I have been going to this State park since I can remember. We often take our horses trail riding there for a week every couple of summers of just go down for weekend trips to go hiking.

The horsemans campground is nice and well equipped with wooden racks to tie tie your horses to, water, electricity, and really nice bathrooms and porta-potty style bathrooms spread throughout. We would typically get a campsite a long one of the creeks and us kids would play in it.

The park that is set in massive hills and valleys has lots of different trails, a nature center, a pool, a lodge with a pool/park, large and small cabins for rent, various overlooks, playgrounds, historical sites, a fire watch tower you can go in, beautiful gathering places (large open cabins), daily activities throughout the park, a horse stables, amphithéâtres, a restaurant, a gift store, and much more.

I highly recommend going in the fall, the trees and hills are alive and bursting with color. Also while there stop into the cute little town of Nashville and grab a bite to eat at the Big Woods Brewing Company and visit the artisan shops!

Quiet Hoosier national Forest CG

This was a very quiet campsite in southern Indiana. We had a hard time finding dispered camping in the national Forest so we settled for this site. There was one other site occupied in the middle of the week so it was definitely quiet. Gravel platform for pitching a tent. Clean bathrooms with flush toilets and sinks which were nice.

Loved this campground

It has nicely shaded, private tent sites! Great place for bike riding and, also very family friendly! The staff at the camp store/entrance and the campground hosts were so friendly and very helpful!! Plus, the bathrooms and shower houses were so clean!!