Where to Go Camping in Indiana, USA

Hoosier National Forest, Indiana, is a paradise for hikers
Hoosier National Forest, Indiana, is a paradise for hikers | © George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo
Nick Dauk

Home to the sprawling Hoosier National Forest, Indiana is a tent-pitching leaf peeper’s dream, with campsites dotted throughout the region.

The state may be home to the roaring Indy 500, but Indiana knows how to take it slow, too. A camping trip in the hills of the Hoosier National Forest, say, will see you crisscrossing the landscape along leafy backcountry trails, while rural crossroad communities will welcome you as warmly as the crackling campfire you’ll return to in the evenings. These are our favorite places to pitch a tent in the Hoosier State.

1. Marengo

Architectural Landmark

Formations In Cave
© EyeEm / Alamy Stock Photo

Though Marengo neighbors Hoosier National Forest, it’s the town’s namesake cave that draws visitors across the Indiana border. The Marengo Cave is a national landmark and one of only four caves in that state that provide tours. Shady, uncrowded campsites are planted above the cave system, while gemstone mining and skipping stones across the Whiskey Run Creek are just a sample of the wholesome activities you can look forward to here.

2. Black Walnut Grove at Happy Hollow Homestead

Camping

Screenshot 2021-08-10 at 14.28.19
Courtesy of Black Walnut Grove at Happy Hollow Homestead / Tentrr.com

Go off the grid at the Happy Hollow Homestead, and spend your days exploring the 24 acres (10ha) of lush woodland. You can hike 3mi (5km) of trails through a dry creek system or stop by for a tour of the two-story Tree Web, where your host lives. Bring everything you need to this primitive campsite, including 100 of your closest friends! This sprawling homestead welcomes large groups and pets, so it’s perfect for a party under the stars.

3. Grantsburg

Architectural Landmark

Hiking trail, Hemlock Cliffs Special Place, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana
© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

Grantsburg is a great basecamp for exploring southern Indiana’s outdoor spaces. Just a little north of the Ohio River, this small town offers speedy access to hiking and camping in Hoosier National Forest, Hemlock Cliffs and Hilands Overlook State Park. These serene spots are home to peaceful wildlife; no lions, tigers or bears will bother you in this neck of the woods, though you may want to bring tick repellent just in case.

4. Rustic Riverside Camping

Camping

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Courtesy of Rustic Riverside Camping / Tentrr.com

This rustic riverside camping site is a great backcountry spot for all-season solitude. Bring a tent, chair and all other camping supplies with you, and enjoy exploring the woods, caves and cliffs in Hoosier National Forest. Fancy a little fishing or kayaking? You can rent supplies on site to lighten your pack. For a few dollars more, the site host will also provide a tent, coffee maker, Bluetooth speaker and solar charging device to keep you comfortable and connected.

5. Little Blue Horse Camp

Camping

Pair of horses grazing in pasture, Indiana, USA, by James D Coppinger/Dembinsky Photo Assoc
© George Ostertag / Alamy Stock Photo

Hoofing it into Hoosier National Forest? Then, an overnight stay at the Little Blue Horse Camp is one you won’t say neigh to. This small, private equestrian camp is right along the Little Blue River and equipped with everything you and your horse need for a quiet, relaxed stay. You’ll catch some shut-eye under a tent with a queen bed and warm up beside the fireplace. Though you cannot ride your horses at this site, there are equestrian trails nearby.

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