There are just four National Park Services in the state of Indiana, though the state is home to a National Park. The rest of the national park services are comprised of one National Historic Trail, one National Memorial and one National Historical Park. Ready to explore all that the Hoosier State has to offer? Here are some of the best National Parks in Indiana to visit.
The Best National Parks in Indiana
1. Indiana Dunes – National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park is located in Porter northwestern Indiana. It hugs 20 miles (32 km) of the southern shore of Lake Michigan. The park is home to several rare plants and animals. It has more than 1,400 species of vascular plants, including two plant species on the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species: mead’s milkweed and pitcher’s thistle. Indiana Dunes National Park is host to a wonderful array of wildlife, for instance, the white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoons, opossums, cottontail rabbits, and various rodents. Canada geese, gulls, hawks, turkey vultures, mallards, great blue herons, and songbirds also call this park home. The park also has beautiful sandy beaches, and over 50 miles of tracks and trails that take you over dunes, through wetlands, prairies, and forest and along meandering rivers.
2. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Extending for some 4,900 miles (7,900km) from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon, the ‘Lewis and Clark’ is the third-longest National Historic Trail. The Trail of Tears in North Carolina and the California Trail are both longer. The trail follows the 1804 to 1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition who set off to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Purchase. In Indiana, the trail takes plenty of historical sites, for instance, the George Rogers Clark Home Site, Oak Hill Cemetery, and the Old Clarksville Site.
3. George Rogers Clark, National Historical Park
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park is located in Vincennes in southwestern Indiana on the banks of the Wabash River at the historic site of Fort Sackville. John Gorham established the British outpost of Fort Sackville in 1777. He named it in honour of Lord George Germain who had been known as Lord Sackville from 1720 until 1770. George Rogers Clark is a heroic Revolutionary War commander. He led a small group of frontiersmen to capture British-held Fort Sackville. The memorial in the park is one of the last major Classical style memorials constructed in the United States. Other features in the park include a granite statue of Francis Vigo, the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, and the Lincoln Memorial Bridge.
4. Lincoln Boyhood – National Memorial
Lincoln City is where you’ll find the childhood home of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States of America. The national memorial preserves the farm site where Abraham Lincoln lived with his family from 1816 to 1830. As you explore Lincoln’s boyhood home, you’ll learn about the boy who would one day become the leader of America. Also on the site is the Pioneer Cemetery where Abraham’s mother is buried along with at least 27 other settlers. The memorial features a building with five sculpted panels that portray different phases of Lincoln’s life. There’s also a small cinema that plays a 16-minute film about Lincoln’s life in Indiana. Inside the museum, you’ll find engaging exhibits and interesting artefacts related to Lincoln’s life. There’s also a gallery with Lincoln-related artwork, including numerous portraits and lithographs of Lincoln and his family.