The Indiana Insider Blog

Winter fun at Indiana State Parks

The wide variety of offerings found at state parks throughout Indiana are some of our family’s favorite outings in the spring, summer and fall. But there’s still plenty to do at these beautiful places, even in winter.

Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park

Go for a thrilling ride down the Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park. This park has a 1/4 mile toboggan track that will have you reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour! Open on weekends throughout the winter.

Indiana Dunes State Park has received more than 50 inches of snow this winter. That makes for some massive snow piles, and so they’re hosting a contest. Correctly guess the date when it will finally melt away, and you can win a 2011 state park annual pass, good for free admission at any Indiana state park throughout the year. Deadline to enter is March 11.

Build a bluebird nesting box at Potato Creek State Park. Nesting boxes are very helpful toward providing a safe habitat for these birds. On February 26, participants can learn all about bluebirds and take home their assembled boxes to place in their yard or neighborhood (or donate them to the park). Cost is $20. Register in advance by calling the park at (574) 656-8186.

I haven’t done much hiking in the winter, but I’d love to do a winter hike at Clifty Falls State Park, one of my favorite Indiana hiking spots. On February 26, you can explore the rock formations of Clifty Canyon on a 90-minute hike on Trails 4 and 5.

Star gazing is a great way to spend a cold winter night. Learn more about the amazing constellations that light up the night sky in Indiana with a planetarium star show at Turkey Run State Park. A 40-minute show is held each weekend afternoon at 2 p.m.

Most Indiana state parks have events throughout the winter. Check out this complete list of parks and find something to help you connect with nature this winter.

Photo courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

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Written by : Nicole is a stay-at-home mom and blogger living in Columbus, Indiana. She blogs about adventures at home and away with her husband and 2-year-old son at She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She grew up in Plainfield, Indiana and graduated from Butler University in 2002. She spent seven years living and working in downtown Indianapolis following college. Nicole is always looking for fun, kid-friendly outing ideas. You can contact her via email or find her on Twitter at @arrowssentforth. Nicole receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.