Thomas U.


Valparaiso, IN

Joined June 2017

If you don't mind noise at night a great Campground

The good:

-Trails are great and have some good waterfalls.

-The inn is really nice and has good food and a bar for drinks after a long hike.

-The campsite had enough room and was level.

-The shower house by the entrance was clean and well kept.

The Bad: 

-The noise at night, from the trails, airplanes, and what I think was a boat horn, kept waking us up all night. 

-You would have to walk through another campsite to get to the pit toilet next that was in our area. Also, the pit toilet had a lot of rot and was in need of repair.

The weird:

Alcohol is banned at the campsites, but the Inn has a bar.

Well worth a long Drive, and I so want to go back

I started off being Impressed that they called me saying there will be a don't drink the water notice going on a week before we were scheduled to visit, but they were going to have a large container with drinkable water by the main gate.  Then when we got there we loved the view of the lake from our campsite. The bathrooms were clean and well kept. The hiking trails were nice and rugged and all of the trails fit the landscapes, plus it was awesome to be able to walk right next to the many waterfalls and not have any railing (fair warning to people with vertigo)

A clean but opening campground

Campsites where big and level, but didn't have much privacy. The bathrooms were clean and well kept.  The trails where well-marked, they had maps at every junction so you didn't need a paper copy. However, what I didn't like about the trails was that you never felt like you were away from everything, most of the trails seemed like they were right next to the visitor's center, and the newer metal bridges took away from the landscape.

Good place to camp and Kayak

Great place for a weekend camping trip of kayaking and some hiking.


  • Large Campsites
  • Clean showers and bathrooms
  • 2 kayak ramps with ability to hike in between them
  • Fire tower
  • Great views in the river
  • Horse Trails


  • No privacy in campsites, so it more of a RV's / partying camping
  • Hiking is mainly flat trails thru the woods
  • No Camp Store, the Host sold firewood and Ice
Great place for a quick stay

We stayed at site 60 for a weekend. We got lucky and was pretty quite, since we didn't have any RV's running their generators next to us (there is no electricity at any of the camp sites) . The modern bathhouse is clean and well maintained, didn't look at the pit toilets since we brought our own. We had plenty of room at our camp site for all of our stuff. There is a lot of good short trails at Shades, that connect to a central picnic area with a modern restroom. There is also Pine Hills Nature Preserve right next to Shades with turkey & devil's Backbone (natural land bridges), and other neat rock formations.

More of a RV campground

We spent a week at spring mill state park. The site we where at was heavily sloped, the only flat part was where they put the fire pit at. When we looked at the other site most of the shaded sites that had some privacy where also heavily sloped, the best site we found was #9. The village, twin cave tour, and trail 4 where fun. But we weren't fond of the other trails we where on, they didn't have many view but trees (which would of been better if it wasn't so hot at the time).