State Parks are best places to be this weekend

Last Updated on May 7, 2017 by cassnetwork

Two celebrations merge this weekend at Indiana State Parks.

The first is Let’s Camp America!, a nationwide initiative of the National Association of State Park Directors.

The second is free admission to the parks on Sunday, May 7, in recognition of Visit Indiana Week, sponsored by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.

Let’s Camp America! is a chance for beginners to learn basic camping skills and for experienced campers to get their equipment out for a spring weekend. Camping-related activities are scheduled Friday through Sunday at all Indiana State Parks properties and on social media.

The weekend celebrates all forms of camping, including tents, trailers, recreational vehicles and cabins.

The 32 properties managed by Indiana State Parks offer a combined 7,700 campsites, more than 150 cabins, and nearly 700 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails.

Each state park and state reservoir property will offer the usual educational talks and hikes with interpreters, along with a special camping skills program sometime during the weekend. Programs are listed at, and at Topics vary from making s’mores to fire building.

“We really want to celebrate the joy of camping with family and friends, whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to the activity,” said Ginger Murphy, Indiana State Parks deputy director. “We have lots of folks who camp after Labor Day in the fall, but not as many who camp in the spring. We encourage Hoosiers to start a new spring camping tradition when the wildflowers are blooming and everything is really greening up for summer.”

The weekend also includes these social media elements and giveaways on the Indiana State Parks Facebook page at for all campers to enjoy:

-Share a photo of your favorite camping gadget on the page using the hashtag #myfavcampgadget2017. You can do this whether or not you are camping during the weekend. Selected favorites will win a 2017 annual pass or camping gift card.

-Post your campsite photo, camping selfie or scenic spring image from the weekend. Use the hashtag #LetsCampAmericaFunPix. Selected favorites will receive a 2017 annual entrance pass or a camping gift card.

-Share your favorite camping story/memory using the hashtag #mycampingstory. Selected favorites will receive a 2017 annual entrance pass or camping gift card.

In addition, if you make and keep a camping reservation for the weekend, you’ll be entered in a drawing for one of two $50 camping gift cards to be presented for future use after Let’s Camp America! Weekend has ended.

Each property will have up to 50 combination drink-plates to give away during the weekend. These combo plates, produced in partnership with Pioneer Plastics, allow you to hold onto your food and drink at the same time as you sit around the campfire in your lawn chair.

“Anytime you camp at an Indiana State Park or one of our big lakes, you are surrounded by acres of open space for hiking, fishing, playing, relaxing and making great memories,” said Dan Bortner, Indiana State Parks director. “So rain or shine, ‘Let’s Camp, Hoosiers!”

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Natural Resources