Jill Vance is the interpretive naturalist at Monroe Reservoir, the largest lake in the state of Indiana. She has worked for Indiana State Parks and Reservoirs since 2004. Her outdoor interests include hiking, camping, wild edibles, and geology.
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year, highlighted by the month of October. October means crunchy leaves, crisp apples, spiced cider, bountiful pumpkins and squashes, warm bonfires and my favorite holiday, Halloween.
Not surprisingly, autumn is also my favorite season for camping. Everything that I love about the fall season takes center stage when I spend a few days sleeping in a tent, cooking over a campfire, and hiking through the woods.
If you share my love of camping, autumn, and Halloween, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the events and activities planned for visitors on Halloween weekend at Indiana’s state parks and reservoirs. O’Bannon Woods, Ouabache, Pokagon, Potato Creek, Prophetstown, Tippecanoe River, Turkey Run, Versailles, McCormick’s Creek, Indiana Dunes, Fort Harrison, Charlestown, and Chain O’Lakes State Parks, as well as Raccoon SRA, all have special activities planned for the October 29-30.
Paynetown SRA on the Monroe Reservoir also has a special set of activities lined up for campers. On Saturday, October 29, there will be a full afternoon and evening of Halloween-themed activities.
Between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, you can drop by for two different creepy crafts. From 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, kids can go trick-or-treating in the campground, and adults can check the entries (and vote for their favorite) in the campsite decorating contest. Campers are encouraged to participate by bringing candy to hand to the trick-or-treaters and decorating their own campsite for the competition.
Don’t forget to bring your costume. At 7:30 pm, there will be a costume contest with prizes awarded to different age groups (0-3, 4-8, 9-12, 13-17 and 18+). The night will conclude with a campfire at 8:15 pm where the naturalist will share stories of hauntings, mysterious creatures, and strange events that have been reported at Indiana park and reservoir properties.
Campsites are still available at Paynetown SRA. You can reserve yours at camp.IN.gov – search under the property name of “Monroe Reservoir.”