Trip Idea

More Outdoor Fun in Southern Indiana

Swimsuit, fishing rod & hiking boots: musts for this fun trip.

Trip Idea Summary

Type of Trip: Outdoor Rec & Sports, Family Fun

Region: South

Destinations Included: Marengo Cave, Hoosier National Forest Main Office, Patoka Lake, Patoka Lake Marina, Schnitzelbank Restaurant

Duration: 2-3 days

About this trip idea

Allow 2-3 days.

Explore an amazing world underground. Hike or bike a national forest. Relax on a very large lake. It’s all nearby and waiting for you in Southern Indiana.

Explore another world underground
Crawling, twisting and getting muddy… sound like your idea of a perfect afternoon? Marengo Cave will not disappoint! For the slightly less adventurous, there are walking tours that don’t involve any of the wet and muddy stuff. Marengo Cave has tours for all ages and levels that take you past amazing rock formations, enormous underground rooms and large flowstone deposits. Now that’s an adventurous way to spend a few hours.

Hike a day (or two) away
Just down the road from Marengo you’ll find the edge of one of our state’s true treasures - Hoosier National Forest . With 266 miles of trails stretching from Bedford to Tell City, the Hoosier National Forest offers the perfect setting for biking, hiking and horseback riding. Numerous lakes, ponds and streams provide anglers with the opportunity to pursue largemouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish and other sport fish. (Note: you must have an Indiana fishing license to fish in the Hoosier National Forest.)

Take a scenic drive through areas of the park; stop at designated wildlife watch stations; and climb up Hickory Ridge Lookout Tower, the last remaining lookout tower in the Hoosier National Forest. If you want your outdoor adventure to last all night, there are plenty of campgrounds in the area.

Swim, fish and Boat in sparkling waters
Imagine a large, crystal-blue lake (the second largest in Indiana) without a house in sight. It’s available at the edge of the Hoosier National Forest. Patoka Lake offers quiet coves for fishing or swimming, trails for hiking and plenty of opportunities for boating. Bring your own boat or rent one from the Patoka Lake Marina  . Make it a true vacation and stay at one of the lake campgrounds or rent one of the special floating cabins.

A side trip for dinner that’s worth the drive
After you’ve worked up an appetite, head to nearby Jasper to satisfy your hunger at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant  . The Schnitzelbank offers southern German cuisine including sauerbraten, German fried potatoes and kraut balls served up by wait staff in lederhosen – it’s a treat for the eyes and stomach!

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Hoosier National Forest Main Office


Patoka Lake Marina


Schnitzelbank Restaurant


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