The Indiana Insider Blog

Weekend at the White Oaks Cabins at Patoka Lake

Indiana Tourism welcomes today’s guest blogger, PK Kudori:

PKKudoriPK {Prabhakar} Koduri is a native of Indiana but now calls Indiana home. An alumni of the famed Indian Institutes of Technology, PK also has graduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Business from University of Louisville and Indiana University-Bloomington respectively. When he is not dreaming up his next business idea PK can be found at the IMA getting his shoes and pants dirty trying to capture that perfect shot. You can also find him on Smaller Indiana and Facebook, and he maintains a portfolio/blog at

Ever wonder where people go to take a vacation from a vacation? I think I found the answer this past weekend at the White Oaks Cabins near Patoka Lake. White Oaks Cabins are located right in the heart of the Hoosier National Forest in Taswell IN, a 3 hour 170 mile car ride from Indianapolis. White Oaks was founded by Bob Cadwallader, a veteran social worker, in 1995 on 45 acres of land he had originally acquired to build a homeless children’s shelter.

Those plans changed due to some unforeseen bureaucratic challenges and White Oaks was born. Bob, a very spiritual man and in tune with nature, is proud of his Welch ancestry. One can find ample evidence in the names that he chose for his cabins and the various paths around the property.


I got to White Oaks after sundown and I immediately the number of stars in the night sky. It is as if someone just turned on a bazillion little LEDs all at once. I stared at them for a few moments before being greeted by one of Bob’s assistants (I apologize for not remembering her name). The office was warm and welcoming and Bob made me feel right at home. We talked for a few minutes and he handed me a few guest books to read. His point was simple – rather than have him tell me why White Oaks was a special place he let his guests do the talking. I read through some that night and more the following morning over breakfast. What I quickly learnt was that for some folks coming to White Oaks was like therapy. They chose to come there for a variety of reasons – mend broken relationships, rekindle friendships, family reunions, de-stress, or just to get away from it all. Almost all of them left feeling better than when they came.

I was lucky enough to stay at Castle Genevieve, a cabin Bob built to honor the memory of his Grand Parents Anthony and Genevieve. A notable feature of the cabin is the 35 foot tower aptly named “Tower of Anthony” which looks great at night when lit.

The cabin is well appointed with a kitchen and comfortably sleeps a family or group of six. The decor is eclectic and one can even find a replica of a medieval sword going up the stairs to the bedrooms. A word of warning to those that cannot live without TV or Internet – there are no televisions or internet access. You will be lucky to get a cell phone signal :-) , which I found out could be quite tricky. I had what one could describe as “withdrawal” symptoms. It felt wired to not have a TV running in the background or some other electronic noise.

The next day I woke up to the sound of birds and a gentle breeze outside. The weather was perfect and a balmy 70 degrees. I visited the main office once more before heading out to the lake. I was greeted at the entrance to the office by Bob’s Chocolate Lab “Big Red”.


Short on time I decided to visit Marengo Caves which were just a few miles away. Southern Indiana is known for its rich geological features and the caves are a treasure. Since I had my daughter Mira with me I took the shorter “Crystal Palace” tour which lasted about 45 minutes. The views are breathtaking and it is amazing that there is so much geological activity going on even today. The temperature inside the cave was an even 52 degrees – which answers the question as to where the cavemen chilled their beer ;-) .


I drove around for a little while trying to look for a place to eat. You will quickly find out that there are none of the “modern” amenities that us city folks are used to such as McDonalds or Subway. I ended up all the way in French Lick before I found a place. I should have asked for Bob’s advice before heading out about food places – may be next time. French Lick is home to the renowned West Baden Springs Hotel. I did not get a chance to tour the place as I had to meet some family back at the cabin. Later that evening we made a camp fire out in the meadow and cooked some hotdogs and bratwurst. We also made some smores and had a great time. I woke up the next day wishing I could stay there longer but life waits and it doesn’t like to be put on hold. I went by the office one last time to checkout and return the guest books. As I drove down the gravel path towards the exit I made a promise to myself, like many others before me that came to White Oaks, that I will be back.

For More Information Contact:

Bob Cadwallader

Information: (812) 338-3120 / Reservations: (877) 338-3120

White Oaks Cabins

2140 North Morgan Road

Taswell, Indiana 47175

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Accommodations Provided by:

White Oaks Cabins

2140 North Morgan Road

Taswell, Indiana 47175

Special Thanks to:

Jeremy Williams

Indiana Office of Tourism Development

Pat Coyle

Smaller Indiana

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Written by : While we have many regular contributors on the Indiana Insider Blog, from time to time we will feature posts written by other authors. Today's post was written by one of our Indiana Insider Guest Bloggers.