brown county state park

Brown County State Park: Explore Indiana

Welcome to Brown County State Park in Indiana, where you can embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of nature. As one of the largest state parks in Indiana, Brown County offers a myriad of opportunities for outdoor recreation and a chance to bask in the region’s natural beauty.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brown County State Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Indiana.
  • Experience the rich natural beauty of the park’s landscapes and scenic vistas.
  • Engage in a range of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.
  • Explore nearby attractions such as wineries and parks to enhance your outdoor adventures.
  • Plan your visit to Brown County State Park and immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.

Essential Information

camping in Brown County State Park

Before planning your visit to Brown County State Park, it’s important to have all the essential information at your fingertips. From camping options to park history and entrance fees, here’s everything you need to know:


Brown County State Park offers a variety of camping options that cater to different preferences. For those looking for a rustic experience, there are year-round campgrounds available. These campgrounds provide a chance to immerse yourself in nature while still enjoying modern amenities like showers and restrooms. If you prefer a more comfortable stay, the park offers cozy cabins at Abe Martin Lodge. These cabins provide a home away from home experience with fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living spaces.


If camping isn’t your style, there are also nearby lodging options in the charming town of Nashville, Indiana. From quaint bed and breakfasts to cozy cottages, there’s something to suit every traveler’s preferences. Whether you choose to stay within the park or venture outside, you’ll have a comfortable place to rest after a day of exploring.

Park History and Entrance Fees

Brown County State Park has a rich history, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As you explore the park, you’ll find remnants of the past, including historic buildings and structures. To help preserve the park and provide necessary services, there is an entrance fee required for visitors. The fees vary depending on the type of vehicle and the duration of your stay. It’s important to check the park’s official website or contact their visitor center for the most up-to-date information on entrance fees and park rules.

Table: Campground Options and Fees

Campground Site Type Electric Non-electric Fee
Upper (Year-round) Class A Yes No $20/night
Lower (Year-round) Class A Yes No $20/night
Horseman’s (Open April-October) Class B No Yes $13/night
Abe Martin Lodge (Year-round) Cabin N/A N/A Varies

Table: Campground options and fees in Brown County State Park. Class A campsites offer electric hookups, while Class B sites are non-electric. The Abe Martin Lodge provides cabin accommodations with varying fees. Please note that fees are subject to change, and it’s advisable to check the park’s official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Park Highlights

scenic vistas

When visiting Brown County State Park, there are several highlights that visitors should not miss. From the awe-inspiring scenic vistas to the educational nature center, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful park.

One of the standout features of Brown County State Park is the breathtaking scenic vistas. As the largest state park in Indiana, it offers stunning views of the forested hills and valleys that are sure to leave visitors in awe. Whether you’re capturing the beauty on camera or simply taking in the natural splendor, these vistas are a must-see.

“The scenic vistas in Brown County State Park are truly a sight to behold. I felt a sense of tranquility as I stood at the overlook points, surrounded by the beauty of nature. It’s a place where you can truly appreciate the wonders of the outdoors.”

In addition to the scenic vistas, the park also features a nature center that offers a wealth of information and interactive exhibits. Visitors can learn about the local flora and fauna, as well as the history and conservation efforts of the park. The nature center also hosts educational programs and guided hikes, providing a deeper understanding of the park’s natural resources.

For those looking to cool off during the summer months, the Olympic-size swimming pool is a popular spot. Whether you want to swim laps or relax by the poolside, it’s a great way to beat the heat and enjoy some leisure time with family and friends.

Highlight Description
Scenic Vistas Breathtaking views of forested hills and valleys
Nature Center Interactive exhibits and educational programs
Swimming Pool Olympic-size pool for cooling off and relaxation

A Closer Look at the Scenic Vistas

The scenic vistas in Brown County State Park are truly a sight to behold. With numerous overlook points throughout the park, visitors can take in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The forested hills and valleys, dotted with vibrant foliage during the fall season, create a picturesque setting that is perfect for photography enthusiasts.

Whether you choose to hike to the overlook points or drive to designated parking areas, the effort is well worth it. As you stand at the edge, you can’t help but feel a sense of serenity and appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds you. It’s a truly magical experience that encapsulates the essence of Brown County State Park.

While the scenic vistas are particularly breathtaking during the fall season, they offer a different kind of beauty year-round. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of autumn, the lush greenery of spring and summer, or the peaceful tranquility of a winter landscape, the vistas in Brown County State Park are a testament to the wonders of nature.

Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, and Picnicking at Brown County State Park

At Brown County State Park, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a wide range of activities that allow them to fully embrace the natural beauty of the area. Whether you prefer to explore on foot, horseback, or mountain bike, or simply want to enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by nature, this park has something to offer for everyone.

Hiking Trails

The park boasts over 18 miles of scenic hiking trails, catering to hikers of all skill levels. From easy strolls through the woods to more challenging hikes that reward you with panoramic views, there is a trail for every adventurer. Immerse yourself in the lush greenery and discover the hidden gems of Brown County State Park.

Horseback Riding

With 70 miles of bridle trails, horseback riders can experience the park’s beauty from a different perspective. The well-maintained trails wind through the forested hills and offer a peaceful and serene escape. Saddle up and embark on an unforgettable equestrian adventure through the picturesque landscapes of Brown County State Park.

Mountain Biking

If you prefer the thrill of two wheels, the park’s 30 miles of mountain biking trails will not disappoint. From exhilarating downhill descents to challenging uphill climbs, mountain bikers can test their skills and explore the rugged terrain. Soak in the adrenaline rush as you navigate through the twists and turns of the park’s diverse trail system.


For a more relaxed outdoor experience, take advantage of the park’s scenic picnic areas. Some picnic spots even have shelter houses, providing shade and protection from the elements. Gather with family and friends, unpack your favorite snacks, and enjoy a peaceful meal surrounded by the natural splendor of Brown County State Park.

Hiking Trails Horseback Riding Mountain Biking Picnicking
Over 18 miles of scenic trails 70 miles of bridle trails 30 miles of thrilling trails Scenic picnic areas with shelter houses
Options for all skill levels Explore the park on horseback Test your skills on rugged terrain Enjoy a peaceful meal in nature
Discover hidden gems Experience a different perspective Get an adrenaline rush Unwind and relax


Accommodations at Brown County State Park

When visiting Brown County State Park, visitors have a range of options for accommodations to suit their preferences. Whether you’re looking for a classic camping experience, a cozy cabin, or a spacious family retreat, the park has you covered.

For those who prefer camping, the park offers Class A (electric) campsites. These campsites provide a convenient and comfortable camping experience with amenities such as electricity, picnic tables, and fire rings. Camping in the heart of nature allows you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of the park.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable stay, the park also offers sleeping cabins. These cabins provide a rustic yet cozy atmosphere, perfect for a weekend getaway. Equipped with basic amenities such as beds, electricity, and heating, sleeping cabins offer a comfortable camping experience without the need to set up a tent.

For larger groups or families, the park’s family housekeeping cabins are an excellent choice. These cabins offer more space and additional amenities, such as kitchenettes and private bathrooms. With multiple bedrooms and living areas, family housekeeping cabins provide a comfortable and convenient home away from home.

Table: Comparison of Accommodation Options

Accommodation Type Features
Class A Campsites Electricity, picnic tables, fire rings
Sleeping Cabins Beds, electricity, heating
Family Housekeeping Cabins Kitchenettes, private bathrooms

Exploring the Area

wineries, nearby parks, hiking trails

When visiting Brown County State Park, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area and discover additional attractions. One popular option is to visit the wineries located in nearby Bloomington and Nashville. These wineries offer a chance to taste locally produced wines and enjoy beautiful vineyard landscapes. Whether you are a wine enthusiast or simply enjoy the ambiance of a winery, this is a great way to enhance your visit.

In addition to the wineries, there are several nearby parks that offer their own unique natural beauty. One such park is McCormick’s Creek State Park, located just a short drive away. Known for its limestone canyons, deep gorges, and scenic waterfalls, it provides an excellent opportunity for hiking and exploring. Another nearby park is Hoosier National Forest, which offers miles of hiking trails and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Exploring these parks can provide a different perspective on the natural wonders of Indiana.

For those who enjoy hiking, there are also numerous trails in the area surrounding Brown County State Park. The Tecumseh Trail, a long-distance trail that stretches for over 40 miles, is a popular choice for experienced hikers looking for a challenging adventure. If you prefer shorter hikes, the nearby Charles C. Deam Wilderness Area offers a variety of trails that meander through the forest and showcase the area’s natural beauty. No matter your skill level or hiking preference, there are options available to satisfy your desire for outdoor exploration.

Services and Facilities

youth tent area

When visiting Brown County State Park, you can take advantage of the various services and facilities available to enhance your experience. From picnic areas to shelter houses and a designated youth tent area, the park ensures that visitors have everything they need for a pleasant and enjoyable stay.

Picnic Areas

The park offers several picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. These picturesque spots provide a beautiful setting for picnicking with friends and family. Whether you prefer a shaded area or a sunny spot, you’ll find the perfect picnic area to suit your preferences.

Shelter Houses

If you’re planning a gathering or event in the park, the shelter houses provide a convenient and comfortable space. These covered areas offer protection from the elements and are equipped with picnic tables and grills, making them ideal for larger groups or special occasions. Reservations may be required for some shelter houses, so be sure to check with the park beforehand.

Youth Tent Area

Brown County State Park also has a designated youth tent area, providing a safe and enjoyable camping experience for young campers. Located in a separate area from the main campgrounds, this section offers a quieter and more supervised environment for families with children. It’s the perfect place for kids to connect with nature and create lasting memories.

With these services and facilities at your disposal, your visit to Brown County State Park will be even more convenient and enjoyable. So pack your picnic basket, gather your friends and family, and make the most of the park’s amenities as you explore the natural beauty of Indiana’s largest state park.

Park History

Brown County State Park holds a significant place in Indiana’s history and culture. Designated as a historic district, the park showcases the rich heritage of the area. Its historical importance is further recognized by its inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition solidifies the park’s significance in preserving and celebrating the region’s past.

Established in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Brown County State Park has played a vital role in the conservation and development of Indiana’s natural resources. The park stands as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the individuals involved in its creation. Through their efforts, the park has become a cherished site for both locals and visitors to appreciate and enjoy.

“Brown County State Park is not only a place of natural beauty but also a living monument to the efforts of the past. It provides a glimpse into the history of Indiana and its commitment to conservation.”

Evidence of the park’s historical significance can be seen in its architectural structures and landscape design. The rustic-style cabins, stone-built bridges, and picnic shelters evoke a sense of nostalgia and offer a glimpse into the past. Visitors can explore these historical landmarks and experience firsthand the unique charm and character they bring to the park.

The park’s inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural and cultural heritage. It highlights the park’s role in educating future generations about Indiana’s history and the importance of environmental conservation. By visiting Brown County State Park, visitors not only immerse themselves in nature but also connect with the past and gain a deeper appreciation for the beauty and significance of this historic site.

Year Established Historical Significance
1931 Established as a state park
1990 Added to the National Register of Historic Places
2021 Recognized as a historic district

Planning Your Visit

When planning a visit to Brown County State Park, take advantage of the nearby parks and trails that can enhance your outdoor adventures. These additional destinations offer unique experiences and opportunities to explore the natural beauty of Indiana.

1. Trails at Yellowwood State Forest

Located just a short drive from Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest is a hidden gem for hiking enthusiasts. The forest is home to several well-marked trails that wind through picturesque woodlands and along meandering streams. The Tecumseh Trail, a 42-mile long-distance trail, runs through the heart of the forest and provides a challenging but rewarding hiking experience.

2. Hoosier National Forest

For those craving even more outdoor adventure, a visit to Hoosier National Forest is a must. With over 200,000 acres of wilderness, the forest offers countless opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. The Charles C. Deam Wilderness, located within the forest, provides a unique wilderness experience with its untouched forests and pristine lakes.

3. Resources for Your Trip

Before embarking on your journey to Brown County State Park and its surrounding areas, make sure to gather additional resources to enhance your visit. The official website of Indiana State Parks provides detailed information about each park, including maps, trail descriptions, and camping reservations. Additionally, local visitor centers and tourism offices can offer personalized recommendations and insights to help you make the most of your trip.

Park Distance from Brown County State Park Key Features
Yellowwood State Forest 10 miles Well-marked hiking trails, streams
Hoosier National Forest 20 miles Extensive wilderness area, camping

By exploring the nearby parks and utilizing additional resources, you can create a truly memorable visit to Brown County State Park. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Indiana and experience the wonders of these outdoor destinations.


Brown County State Park in Indiana offers a captivating escape into the great outdoors, allowing visitors to indulge in the natural beauty of the area. As one of Indiana’s premier state parks, it presents an abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation and exploration.

Whether you’re in search of thrilling hiking trails or serene picnicking spots, Brown County State Park has it all. The park’s vast expanse is a haven for those seeking outdoor adventures, with activities like horseback riding and camping at Class A sites available to visitors.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the park’s scenic vistas and let the breathtaking landscapes leave you in awe. Brown County State Park is a true gem that showcases the wonders of Indiana’s natural beauty. So, plan your visit today and embark on an unforgettable journey through this picturesque state park.


What are the accommodations options at Brown County State Park?

Brown County State Park offers year-round campgrounds, cabins at Abe Martin Lodge, and nearby lodging options in Nashville, Indiana.

Is there an entrance fee for Brown County State Park?

Yes, visitors should be aware of the entrance fees before planning their visit.

What are the highlights of Brown County State Park?

The park offers stunning scenic vistas, a nature center with exhibits and educational programs, fishing opportunities, and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

What activities are available at Brown County State Park?

Visitors can enjoy hiking on over 18 miles of trails, horseback riding on 70 miles of bridle trails, mountain biking on 30 miles of trails, and picnicking in various picnic areas.

What types of accommodations are available at Brown County State Park?

The park offers Class A campsites, sleeping cabins, and family housekeeping cabins. The Abe Martin Lodge also provides hotel rooms, cabins, dining facilities, and an indoor aquatic center.

What are some attractions near Brown County State Park?

Visitors can explore wineries in nearby Bloomington and Nashville, as well as other parks and hiking trails in the vicinity.

What services and facilities are available at Brown County State Park?

The park provides picnic areas, some with shelter houses, and a designated youth tent area for young campers.

Is Brown County State Park listed as a historic site?

Yes, Brown County State Park is recognized as a historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Are there additional resources available for planning a visit to Brown County State Park?

Yes, visitors can find more information and assistance in planning their trip to this beautiful state park.

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