We asked, and you voted! Best of Indiana 2020 asked Visit Indiana readers to select the best lake in Indiana, and the counts were so close! Did your favorite lake make the top 10? Which lake took the title of Best of Indiana? See the results below.
Eagle Creek Park accounts for 1,400 acres of water and 3,900 acres of land, making it one of the largest city parks in the country. The reservoir, of course, is the centerpiece of the park and the main attraction during the summer months, luring guests to the water for boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Eagle Creek Outfitters rents watercraft and provides all the equipment you need for lake adventures by the hour on a first-come, first-served basis.
Brookville Lake is home to both Mounds SRA and Quakertown SRA and sits next to Whitewater Memorial State Park. Beyond its great boating opportunities and nationally known recreational and sport fishing, two great beaches make Brookville Lake an ideal family vacation spot. Check out Thistlethwaite Falls 20 miles to the north for some fossil hunting!
Indiana Beach has really put Lake Shafer on the map. Its views of historic roller-coasters and rides are one of the most iconic in the state. With a total of 1,291 acres and a maximum depth of 30 feet, Lake Shafer is known as the all-sports lake. Bass, catfish, walleye, trout, and crappie can easily be caught here.
Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area at Cecil M. Harden Lake is composed of 2,005 acres of land and a 2,060-acre lake. Surrounded by numerous species of trees, Cecil M. Harden Lake is a naturalist’s delight. Boat ramps are available at five locations with boat rental available. A modern beach house is open through labor day.
Steuben County in northern Indiana has more lakes than anywhere else in the state, and Lake James is one of them. Lake James is found inside of Pokagon State Park, which is also home to the Potawatomi Inn Resort and Conference Center. Guests love to sit outside the inn to watch the sun go down on Lake James in the evening!
Bloomington is known for water fun, and Monroe Lake is the main reason why. It’s the largest inland lake in Indiana, giving plenty of room to find a quiet fishing cove or to make tons of waves. There’s a swimming beach on the west side of Monroe Lake at Fairfax State Recreation Area, also home to Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina.
Patoka Lake is the second-largest reservoir in Indiana with 8,800 acres and one of its best examples of lake ecology. Species that call Patoka Lake home include freshwater jellyfish, bald eagle nesting sites, and river otters. Rolling topography and heavily wooded areas around the property are beautiful year-round, but especially in the fall. Visitors can stay overnight on the water at Patoka Lake in Indiana’s first floating cabins!
Indiana’s second-largest natural lake is located in the charming small town of Culver. Lake Maxinkuckee has an average depth of 24 feet, making it a popular ice fishing destination. Culver Academies, situated along the shore of Lake Maxinkuckee, towers tall like Hogwarts over the lake. You have to see it for yourself!
Lake Michigan is the second-largest Great Lake by volume, and Indiana is proud to claim 45 miles of its stunning shoreline. Feel the sand between your toes at its many beaches, including Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park! Catch a stoke or see Indiana’s last public operating lighthouse in Michigan City. A hidden gem along Lake Michigan is Marquette Park in Gary, a perfect place to escape in the fall.
Lake Wawasee and Syracuse Lake in Kosciusko County are connected by a channel, making Syracuse the perfect lake town. You can experience Lake Wawasee on the SS Lillypad, which is a 110 passenger dinner boat. Consider a stay at the luxury Oakwood Resort nestled right along the shores of the lake.