Date of Stay: July, 2014
We're beginning to see a trend at the State Recreation Areas (SRAs), in that they are VERY busy in the summer and seeing lots of kids, boaters and tent campers are commonplace. There was nary a vacant site in the whole campground, and the enforcement of 2 cars per site was nil. Lots of folks with multiple cars, tents, boats, parties, etc. throughout. If you're looking for quiet seclusion, this ain't your place. However, if you're desirous of being surrounded by lots of activity, with a large beach, multiple bank fishing sites, decent size marina with boat rentals, and a fairly well-stocked camp store with groceries and essentials, you'll like Salamonie. Be wary, there are several camp sites that aren't particularly level, so trust the online booking service when they say 'moderate' or 'severe' grade; they're not kidding. Our 30' TT fit fine on lot 62, which was listed as having a slight slope. Many of the sites are full sun, but there is an area of shaded, more private sites. There are some premium, lakefront sites available, but only a few. Get 'em while they're hot- book well in advance. There are corner, pull-through sites on EVERY corner, so it makes the campground look even more full. As is the norm with most SRAs, the staff does a great job keeping the shower houses clean, but they are aging structures (old fixtures, peeling paint, etc) and are in need of remodeling. Easy access to beach and marina from campground, nice interpretive center, hiking trails and garden for viewing, OTA TV is pretty good including network channels, strong ATT 4G cellular signal. Fresh water fill station in our loop was a bit unhandy, and was essentially blocked by a campsite. The marina will deliver firewood to your campsite, and it's reasonably priced. The grounds are well-kept, the staff was friendly, and there's lots of outdoors to enjoy. We'll camp here again.
Date of Stay: June, 2014
Our first time at Hardin Ridge, and this is one of the natural beauty parks in Indiana. Folks around here point to Brown County SP as the most scenic, but Hardin Ridge gives it a run for its money, plus Hardin Ridge has access to Lake Monroe. This park has HUGE sites, private and wooded. It's a mix of tent campers and RV campers. It's very quiet, well-maintained, park staff is friendly, trails are nice, fishing is good. We really enjoyed it. Word to the wise, though: some of the sites have a LOT of slope and aren't really motorhome or big TT friendly. Trust the descriptions on the booking site, or call. We'd give it a '10' if there was a camp store or one close by. Gotta drive about 8 miles to get to a bait shop/convenience store/gas station. Over-the-air TV is sparse, cell signal (AT&T) is good. If you've got kids, the 'playground' is the woods and water. We visited nearby Paynetown SRA, and that's where the party is: bigger beach, rental marina, camp store, louder, more packed in, etc. If you want a quiet, back-to-nature experience (but also want clean restrooms and water/electric hookup sites available) this is your spot. We've already booked our next visit.
Date of Stay: May, 2014
Immaculately-maintained state park in rural southern Indiana, and one of the few that offers full hook-ups. When we were there, the main attraction (Rose Island- former historic hotel site) was closed due to renovation. The other feature of the park, the Potterstown Bridge, is a 3-mile hike with a significant grade to access. Given that trail has a 'rugged' rating in the park guide, we opted out of that sightseeing visit. There is access to the Ohio River, including an overlook platform, and a boat ramp, and picnic areas near the river. Fourteenmile Creek runs through the property, but it's 200-feet down a wooded cliff, so fishing in the creek isn't much of an option. There is no camp store on the property, so all supplies must be bought before entering the park. The campground is about 2 miles from the entrance to the park. Note to travelers: DO NOT TAKE SR160 from I65. GPS will take you that way if you're coming from the north. Unless you're pulling a small camper or pop-up, you will not want to take this road, especially in the dark (as we did...). It's a posted 'no-semis' road, and they mean it. However, the reason we give the park an '8' rating is that it is very clean, the sites are very large, and the restrooms are clean. The campground was nowhere close to being full, so it was quiet and nice to walk in the evenings. Met many nice folks, and there weren't packs of kids screaming around the roads on bicycles. Many of the sites are surrounded by woods, and filled with honeysuckle, so the aroma outside is really nice. The restrooms are clean, the staff is friendly, and the sites are spacious and nice. Oh, and the OTA television is good (all Louisville stations), and there's a strong 4G signal on ATT mobile. If we're in the area, we would camp here again.
Date of Stay: August, 2013
Electricity is a problem. Entire side of campground A (where we were) lost power several times over the 48 hours we were there. A call to the office resulted in a park employee showing up to flip a switch, or something, within about 15 mins or so. Folks we camped next to said it's a regular problem there. Bathrooms and showers have standing water pretty much all the time, from the front door to the shower areas, which need painted badly to cover the rust from the iron water which is the most prominent color in the shower. Staff does their best, it seems, to keep the shower/bath house stocked and cleaned, but the facilities are in need of renovation. Hiking trails are just OK, but pleasant. Bought five green toothpicks that were being sold as firewood at the 'camp' store, which only sells ice and the so-called firewood. There are a couple bait/sundry/grocery stores a mile or so down the road from the park. The park property is nice; however, with a really pretty and clean lake. The beach is smaller than some other comparable state park facilities, and we had the place to ourselves on Friday at dusk. The sites in area A are very large, but some are full sun. Sites in area B are smaller, less level and more shaded (mostly pop-ups and tent campers in that area, it seems). There is a shared-post water hookup for the camp sites, but bring plenty of hose. We used all of 50ft. Lakefront sites were all booked when we reserved our site a week prior. Overall, the campground was filled with pleasant folks, fewer bike-racing children than we've seen at the other state parks this year, and more adult 'group' campers. It's probably not high on our list for return sites, but it's not out of the question.
Date of Stay: August, 2013
We had a lakefront site in the electric-only area of the camp; there are no full hook up sites on the lake. This site was kind of tight for our 30' TT, and it slopes quite a bit to the lake shore. We had to use one of two picnic tables provided for one of the rear stab jacks, because the slope was too high for the jack to reach the ground with blocks. There are a few sites along the lake that have less severe slope, but most have some amount of slope. The camp was FULL of kids and families, mostly locals, and many tent campers. Walking around the camp at dusk with our dogs was a little risky, as you really watch out for kids flying on bikes. It's a very kid-friendly camp! The full hull hook up area is less noisy, fewer kids, paved sites... We might forgo the lakefront option next time for the serenity of the 'old' folks in the full hook up area! Bathrooms/showers here are some of the nicest we've seen, and kept clean. The beach shower house is very dated and is 50/60 years old and looks like it. However, the beach is large and clean and it wasn't too full, given the number of kids in the campground area. Nice walking paths, nice beach, nice showers, lakefront sites (which are rare at state parks in IN). Would have given this park a '9' or '10' had there been some warning of the tightness of our site when we booked it. You also have to get to the park via a county road, so really big rigs would be a little tight, but we saw some whopper 5th wheels at this park, so it's doable. We would recommend this park, and will go back. In fall, the colors around the lake would be pretty spectacular!
Date of Stay: July, 2013
Our first time at the Brookville Lake area. There are three state-park campgrounds around the lake and we chose Mounds SRA. The park is beautiful, the beach is very large and very clean. There are multiple areas to fish from the bank, boat rentals, and lots of trails through the park. The campground is very large, but only a one area with full hook-ups. The rest are electric only. Our site was in a high-traffic area, but the place quieted down pretty nice after about 11:30. Lots of kids and families and lots of activity through the park. Great camp store, too! We love the park and will definitely be back. The only thing that is poor is the quality/age/condition of the shower house. It's pretty well worn down and could use a remodel or a rebuild. The staff tries to clean it, but the chipping paint, old fixtures, and broken shower doors are not 'cleanable'.
Date of Stay: September, 2012
This was only our second trip to a privately-owned campground. Grounds are quite nice, staff/owners friendly and facilities are ample. Restroom/shower building is older, but kept clean. Wi-Fi connection was fair, but we were on one of the farthest sites from the office (which is, I assume, where the wi-fi originates). TV reception was fair, we had 4G signal on an ATT mobile phone. We were on a level grass site, but there are other sites that are gravel. Seems that many of the overnighters (like us) will be given grass sites, although many of them are full hook-up. Several seasonal campers, and some of the seasonal sites are very nice. We only saw two junky seasonal sites, but the owner seems pretty dedicated to cleaning the place up, and it shows. Huge open field is mowed for Frisbee, dog-walking, or whatever. Nice path around the property and on their 'island' to walk the dogs and take a little nature hike, nice swimming area on the lake (closed for the season, but looked nice). We would visit this property again.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
This was our second trip in our new travel trailer; the first was to a private-owned campground. Different vibe at the state park, it seems, and we really liked Prophetstown SP. Sites are nice and big and well-defined, partially-shaded by cedar trees, park has paved roads, full-hook-ups, clean bathrooms, great hiking/walking paths, beautiful scenery, on-site store at the 1920's type farm also sells fresh-from-the-farm produce, eggs and meat. Kiddies can pet the horses and cows, or help with the milking and gathering the eggs at specific times. Bought some loin chops and put 'em over the fire. Man, those were tasty. Nice folks all around, no late-night partiers, everyone liked our dogs, camp host was a pleasant fella. If you stay in the electric-only sites, they're wide open with no trees or shade. Several tent campers and pop-ups in that area. Easy to get in and out of the park, shopping in Lafayette is 10 minutes away. We'll visit here again!
Date of Stay: August, 2012
Stayed here during the Auburn Fall Classic car auction. This property is right across the interstate from the auction park. Made for really nice access, as I was working the auction. This park is just a place to park, which is fine, as it's right on the interstate. So for overnight stays it is fine. There's not much to do at the park itself, but there's a classic car museum in Auburn that's a good one, and the shopping and restaurants in Auburn are just a couple miles up the road. Park was just OK (used to be a KOA). Wi-Fi was decent, heated pool was freezing. The bathrooms weren't attended to that well, given that the place was packed and they were getting $80/night from everyone here. No camp store. Interstate noise is very noticeable if the wind is from the east. Trash dump is located on the way out, so you have to transport the trash in your vehicle until you get there. Not a destination park, but with full hook-up and big-rig friendly sites, it's a good stopover for travelling.
Date of Stay: August, 2012
This was our very first camping trip, in our very first travel trailer. Chose the park because of the proximity to another commitment during the weekend. The place really is a nice piece of property, and the sites are pretty big, given that you park parallel to the river on a river-front site, which means you'll get to know your neighbors, regardless. New shower house is nice, but isn't kept particularly clean. It's a dog-friendly place (we have three), and we met lots of nice folks, including the staff, who were polite and helpful. Biggest complaint is seasonal campers/campsites- some of them, including a couple along the 'premium' river-front sites, should be hauled off and burned- flat tires, rusty siding, and no inhabitants. Plus, there are a couple mobile homes in the entrance road (it's also the exit road...be careful pulling out in the 'blind left' turn) that make the place seem a bit like a mobile home park at first impression, rather than an RV park. We're going camping for scenery and serenity, and for a weekend getaway, it's fine, but we'll investigate all the other options within a couple hours of our house before we would go back here.