Located just one hour northeast of Indianapolis, the foundations of Mounds State Park began long ago when ancient pre-historic Indians began building large earthwork structures that, to the modern man, looked like mounds of dirt. Known as the Adena-Hopewell people, these natives are responsible for inspiring the park’s name by building the 10 unique mounds that still exist today inside Mounds State Park.
The largest of these earthworks, known as the Great Mound, is believed to have been constructed in 160 B.C. The mounds are thought to have been part of religious ceremonies to view alignments in the night sky. Today, the mounds are a popular destination for many visitors who seek to learn more about humanity's past as well as adventurous visitors who want to take on the challenge of climbing to the mounds' top.
In addition to this living, tangible piece of ancient history, the park is bordered by the flowing White River that offers guests the opportunity to fish and canoe. Hiking trails cut through the thick forest leading visitors along a path to meadows full of wildflowers and scenic bluffs. Campers can learn about the many different species of birds and wildlife that call the park home by visiting the Nature Center to view displays and experience the wildlife viewing room. Mounds State Park is full of fun and educational activities for the whole family, so it's well worth a stop if you are cruising through Indiana in your motorhome.
Mounds State Park is located just outside of Anderson, Indiana, and is right next to the Anderson Airport. The park is extremely easy to reach via paved roads and highways. Local roads leading to the park’s entrance are well-maintained.
Once inside the park, visitors will want to travel slowly as the roads are curved and often shaded by large trees. Be cautious and watch out for any low-hanging branches that may scrape against larger vehicles.
Campers will easily be able to navigate within the park and travel to their desired locations by car, foot, or bike. In addition to the main roads, there are several different trails for nature walking, biking, and hiking. These trails come with a wide range of distance and difficulty so that everyone can find a trail that best suits their desired level of activity.
If you want to visit other state parks in the area, Mounds State Park is only 35 minutes from Summit Lake State Park.
Most of the roads within the park are paved with several different parking lots available throughout. Overnight campers should be aware that some campsites are designed to be pull-through, while others are for backing in only.
Mounds State Park only has one campground, known as the Family Campground. The campground is equipped with a dump station as well as showers for campers. The Family Campground has a total of 72 campsites that are available by reservation only. Each campsite is equipped with electricity and most include a fire ring. Pets are welcome.
Roads to the campsites are paved but narrow, so drivers will need to be cautious and drive at low speeds while entering and exiting the campground. Drivers should also be aware that only select sites are designed to be pull-through, and the rest require that visitors back in their trailers or RVs.
The campsites are conveniently located close to several trails and nature walks that connect campers with other parts of the park. The White River is a short half-mile from the Family Campsite and the park’s main area and swimming pool are just under a mile away, putting campers within close proximity to many of the park's recreational activities.
The cool, flowing waters of the White River are always teaming with various kinds of fish. Visitors to Mounds State Park will enjoy the peaceful sound of rushing water and the comforting rustling of nature as they relax while casting their lines from the river’s edge. Fishermen who are seeking a little more excitement can rent a canoe from the camp store and paddle down the river, exploring the open water in search of that one big catch.
Mounds State Park offers six different hiking trails that will lead visitors on a journey throughout different parts of the path. Ranging in distances as short as half a mile to 2.5 miles, these trails are designed to show off some of the hidden beauties of the park such as scenic overlooks, wildflower-filled meadows, deep ravines, and the mounds that gave the park its name. Hiking trails are marked clearly with the difficulty level so that visitors will be able to choose the path that is the best fit for them.
Swimming is a popular activity at Mounds State Park, and there are two swimming options that guests can choose from. The first option is to swim in the pool at the welcome lodge. The pool is available for use by campers of all ages and has a lifeguard on duty when it's open. Campers should be aware that there is an extra admissions fee for the pool.
The second option is to swim at any of the beaches within the park. Swimming at the beaches is free after entering the park. However, the park has a "Swim At Your Own Risk" policy in effect. Visitors should use caution and be wary of strong river currents.
RV visitors to Mounds State Park will not want to leave without seeing the ancient wonders that gave the park its name. There are several trails that will lead guests on a self-guided tour of the earthworks, more commonly known as mounds. Further information about the history of the mounds, each of the mounds’ individual characteristics, as well as the locations of all 10 mounds in the parks can be found in the Park’s Visitor Center.
The Mounds State Park Nature Center is full of fun educational activities that will appeal to guests of all ages. Open year-round, the Nature Center includes multiple displays that teach visitors about the native wildlife and waterfowl that can be observed in many areas throughout the park. Interactive games and the wildlife viewing room are also popular attractions among younger visitors, teaching them the importance of taking care of the plants and wildlife around them.
During the year, Mounds State Park offers guests the opportunity to participate in naturalist-led trips throughout the park. These trips are led by professionals such as biologists, historians, botanists, and geologists who lead visitors off the beaten path and teach them a variety of skills such as how to identify plants and wildlife. These trips take on many forms including canoeing down the river, hiking along forest trails, or even night-time walks to see the stars.