Surrounded by amazing views of rolling hills and thick forest, Lincoln State Park is an outdoor lover's dream, featuring over 1,700 acres of lush greenery, glistening streams, two beautiful lakes, and amazing views. Located just east of Evansville, Indiana, this state park is a must for your next RV vacation. You'll have abundant opportunities for outdoor activities in a unique forest landscape. From hiking and boating to fishing and picnicking, Lincoln State Park offers a variety of outdoor adventures.
The park is perhaps best known as the land where the 16th president of the United States spent his youth. The forest views of Lincoln State Park are spectacular, showcasing the areas where Abraham Lincoln explored as a young boy. You will love breathing in the forest air while being surrounded by wildlife native to the area such as bears and white-tailed deer. History buffs will enjoy the chance to set their eyes on the general store where young Abraham Lincoln worked.
Once you park your rig at Lincoln State Park you can venture out on one of the multiple trails dotting the park. For ecologists, there is a trail that offers excellent views of wetland plants and numerous animal species. After a morning hike, you'll want to cool off with some swimming or some time just splashing on the shore of Lake Lincoln. Anglers will want to cast their lines in the sparkling stream or try their luck fishing from a boat or pier, where locals brag on the size of the lake's brown trout, walleye, and bass. No matter your camping interests, Lincoln State Park has what you need for a perfect RV vacation.
Lincoln State Park is easy to access by car or RV, since it is located in Lincoln City, 35 miles east of Evansville, Indiana, off of Interstate 64. Local roads will take you anywhere you want to go within the park from the Park Office and Camp Store to the campground and trailheads. There are no driving restrictions for trailers or RVs within the park, so you will be able to get around easily, whether you're in your rig or another vehicle. If you wish to stretch your legs, head out on the paved local road and trek around Butterfly Picnic Area or Lakeside Shelter and soak up the lake air.
There are numerous options for parking trailers and RVs, with seven lots throughout the park. You'll be able to locate spots at the Lincoln Amphitheater, pier, picnic areas, playground, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza, and near the trailheads. Of course, you can also park at the campground if you are staying overnight.
Gobblers Run Non-Electric Campground is perfect for tent campers or RVers looking for a more primitive experience. Located close to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza, this campground features over 80 year-round, pet-friendly campsites. While there are no hookups available, a gravel pad, picnic table, and fire ring are provided. Plus, you'll love relaxing under the shade of the majestic forest surrounding your campsite.
Restroom and shower facilities are centrally located. There are also pit toilets available on either end of the campground. The kids will love to get some energy out on the nearby playground or grab a drink at the vending machine. Pets are welcome to stay with you, but must be kept on a six-foot leash. Generator use is permitted during the day. You can make your reservation up to 12 months ahead of time.
Lake Lincoln Electric Campground provides 144 year-round, pet-friendly campsites available for tents and RVs. This beautiful campground is located right next to the lake, making fishing and boating easily accessible. An advantage of staying at the Lake Lincoln Campgrounds is that these campsites provide access to electricity for 30 and 50-amp rigs and can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 50 feet in length. Several sites are also ADA-accessible. Each site features a picnic table, fire ring, and gravel pad.
Restrooms, showers, and grey water disposal stations are centrally located around the campground. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a six-foot leash. Generator use is permitted during the day. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance, and campgrounds are open year-round; however, water may not be available in the winter months, so plan accordingly.
While reservations are highly recommended, first-come, first-served options are permitted upon arrival if any sites are still available. That means you may be able to snag a site without a reservation. However, especially during the peak season, reservations are encouraged.
The Blue Heron Family Cabins have ten units nestled in the trees. These cabins are located near the lake and the horseshoe pits. Most of the cabins have at least five beds and sleep six comfortably. Cabins come with central air conditioning for the hot summer months.
The Pine Hills Group Camp area can host up to 155 campers and consists of several groups of cottages. The smaller cottages sleep four or six guests, while the larger cottages sleep 12 to 16 guests. The dining hall has a capacity of 155 guests and has many modern amenities. This site is perfect for your large group event and can be reserved up to 12 months in advance.
Lincoln State Park is a must for any true history buff. This park was dedicated to Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks, and features a cornerstone from the original Little Pigeon Baptist Church that Abraham Lincoln, as a young boy, helped construct. When taking a tour of the historical sites, you'll start out on the two-mile Mr. Lincoln's Neighborhood Walk until you reach the gravesite of Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, Lincoln's sister, located just a few feet from the current Little Pigeon Baptist Church. Active at one time, a congregation no longer worships there.
You can also tour the home of Colonel Jones, who was the employer of Abraham Lincoln as a young man. Colonel Jones was a Civil War officer and businessman in the area. History buffs will also enjoy visiting the Lakeside Shelter, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, as well as other historical buildings on the property.
Lincoln State Park is home to numerous bird species, so you will want to make sure you pack your binoculars in your RV. Some of the many birds you can see include red-throated Loon, horned grebe, Lincoln's sparrow, bald eagle, and great blue heron. Trail 1 is a great place to see wetland birds, while the Weber Lake Trail provides an excellent opportunity for viewing the great blue heron and the bald eagle. In the autumn months, the fall migration will be in full swing, so see how many you can spot on your off-season RV vacation.
If you want to learn more about the history of the park, park your rig at the Nature Center and check out the exhibits inside. The Nature Center showcases the natural history, geology, and cultural history of the park. Plus, when the park rangers are present, you can ask them any questions you may have about the park and the wildlife that call Lincoln State Park home. The Nature Center also hosts interpretive hikes and classes throughout the year.
When the weather turns cool and the sun sets early, you will find some of the best stargazing around in a late autumn Indiana sky. As the nights grow shorter, the tilt of the earth brings some interesting constellations in a clearer view. From late September to early December, Aquarius, Aries, and Pisces are very easy to distinguish, and you won't want to miss the Great Square of Pegasus as it visits the skies of Indiana. Park the RV, set up camp, and pull out the telescope for some late autumn viewing of these astronomical wonders.
Grab your bathing suit and head down to the beach for a relaxing dip at Lincoln State Park Beach, or dip your toes into Lake Lincoln. The summer days get warm, and it's a great way to cool off between biking and hiking in the park. Grab a picnic lunch and head to the beach, where you can splash on the shores, take a dip, and eat lunch in the nearby picnic area. A beach house and the camp store is available should you need changing facilities or to purchase sunscreen. This is a swim at your own risk beach as lifeguards not being available on-site.
With ten miles of trails, Lincoln State Park is a great place to bring your bike and head out for a ride. Once you park your RV, you can cycle down the Lake Trail, which is a flat 1.5-mile trail that is awesome for a short bike ride. Another awesome biking trail is the two-mile Weber Lake Trail, where you can cruise along with views of the old mining days while scanning for wildlife.
The two-mile Sarah Lincoln Grigsby Trail is a moderate trail that takes you through some of the park's most pristine areas, while the James Gentry Trail is a longer moderate trail that has you venturing across S. R. 162 as you pass through a mature forest until you reach a historical marker for the Gentry store. These last two trails may have some off-road mountain-type biking conditions, so make sure to wear your helmet and pack a tire repair kit in your camper.
You'll want to pack good hiking shoes in your rig since there are eight hiking trails over a total of ten miles to choose from at Lincoln State Park that vary in difficulty. If you are seeking an easy hike or stroll, check out the Lake Trail. This is a 1.5-mile half trail that takes you around the south shore of Lake Lincoln, with spectacular scenery all around you. For a more difficult hike, trek out on the two-mile Mr. Lincoln's Neighborhood Walk, which will take you past the Little Pigeon Primitive Baptist Church and offer you the opportunity to view wildlife along the way. Try the James Gentry Trail for a longer hike through the beautiful white pines, oaks, and sycamore trees of Lincoln State Park. You'll be ready for a relaxing evening back at the Airstream after this hike.
With two lakes and a stream, you won't know where to cast your line first. Locals in Lincoln City brag of the size of the fish in Lincoln State Park. Anglers enjoy fly fishing on the stream and wading in to catch brown trout and walleye. If lake fishing is more your style, sink your hook in some bass, crappie, and lake trout while taking it easy on the pier. If you brought your boat, use the easy launch sites to head out for deeper waters to catch your limit. Take your catch back to the trailer to cook up an authentic camp meal for the family.