Shakamak State Park in Indiana is loaded with group and individual activities, so it is a fantastic place for an RV getaway for people of all ages. Open all year long, the park offers a place for families to celebrate during school breaks or a holiday season, along with plenty of recreation for couples or solo travels.
The history of the park dates back to the late 1920s when the 1,766 acres of land that forms the park was donated by the surrounding Sullivan, Greene, and Clay counties. The park name is an American Indian word to describe "river of the long fish" which seems appropriate considering the amount of aquatic fun that can be had during your visit.
An aerial view of Shakamak’s lake waters is reminiscent of the shape of ocean coral. The lake’s form includes numerous inlets that make small boat travel and paddleboarding quite the adventure! While swimming is not permitted in the lake itself, plenty of fun is available with a pool and waterslides. You also have the option to hang out at Lake Kickapoo and Lake Lenape for boating, fishing, and plenty of other water activities.
Away from the lake, you can join interpretive events, attend amphitheater programs, or visit the Nature Center. Animal sightings bring science class to you at the water’s edge. Your days are sure to be filled with educational moments and memories to savor at Shakamak!
The park is a very popular place to stay thanks to the modern campground with full hookups, electric sites, and primitive sites available. There are also many cabins, cottages, and even a group campsite for those not traveling in an RV. Peak season at Shakamak State Park runs from March until October.
Positioned just 30 miles southeast of Terre Haute, Indiana, Shakamak State Park provides an outdoor experience close to home for many repeat guests. The park entrance is located three miles west of Jasonville on State Route 48 and is accessible to RV and trailer setups. If the entrance hut is closed, campers will need to head through the gate to the park office to check-in.
Need some supplies before making your way to the park? There are plenty of places to do so within a short driving distance, including Coalmont, Jasonville, and Shelburn, which are all under 10 miles from the park entrance. All of the roads in and around the park are kept in great condition, but if you are traveling to the park during the winter months, you should make sure the park will be operating as usual since the snowfall can close it on occasion.
Vehicles are permitted to encircle much of the lake areas, making this a great option for a scenic driving tour of the park. Parking is available along this outer roadway to help make trails and amenities more accessible. Boat ramps are located in several locations throughout the park. Visitors may be directed to temporary parking if the entrance to the park is gained after quiet hours have begun at 11 PM. Parking may be limited to one vehicle per site.
Shakamak State Park features one RV-friendly campground that you are welcome to enjoy all year round. The campground is massive with some sites suitable for RVs and trailers up to 119 feet in length, so nearly all rigs will be able to call the campground home.
The campground has the option for you to stay at one of the eight full hookups, 121 electric sites, or 42 sites that are primitive with no hookups. If you aren't staying at one of the full hookup sites, there are plenty of water collection points and a dump station available for your convenience. Other site amenities include a picnic table, fire ring, and flat gravel pad that will make setting up your RV simple.
A wonderful benefit to Shakamak State Park camping is the availability of family and group-oriented activities. Multiple families can camp near each other at individual campsites and easily venture to the tennis and basketball courts, the playgrounds, amphitheater events, and water activities together. There are showers and restrooms within the campground, along with ADA-accessible sites.
Reservations are available in advance if made at least one day prior to your arrival. If you are visiting during the summer months, reservations are highly recommended.
Within Shakamak State Park there are no sites that specifically designated for first-come, first-served camping, but any site that hasn't been reserved prior to arrival is available for use without a reservation. During the summer months first-come, first-served camping is not ideal since the campground is usually busy and all sites are reserved, but if you are traveling during the winter months this option is more likely to be successful.
Bringing a tent? All of the sites in the campground are also suitable for tent use, so you won't have to worry about not having any suitable sites. There are no tent-specific sites either, but you will have plenty of room to use one of the normal campsites that can also accommodate RVs. If you need any last-minute supplies that you may have forgotten, you can visit the camp store once you set up camp.
For groups visiting Shakamak State Park that want to do some camping, you will be pleased to know that there is one group area available to use. The group camp area is located close to the lake and is massive. It can accommodate up to 270 people and features 132 bunk beds so there will be room for everyone. Within the group camp area, you will also have access to your own full kitchen, flush toilets, and hot showers. There is also central air conditioning throughout the main building and plenty of shaded areas perfect for relaxing. The group camp area should be reserved well in advance since it is the only one available in the park.
If you are visiting Shakamak State Park and looking for a unique accommodation experience, you should consider staying at one of the rent-a-camp cabins, family cabins, or cottages.
The seven rent-a-camp cabins feature fewer amenities than the family cabins with no AC, kitchen, or bathroom facilities. They can accommodate up to six people and do feature electricity. The 22 family cabins are also suitable for up to six people and feature three beds, while the 12 cottages feature the most amenities and up to 22 people can use them one at any time.
Reservations for any of the cabins and cottages should be made in advance in order to guarantee that you and your traveling partners will have a place to stay.
Visiting Shakamak State Park is a great option for anyone who loves to explore new surroundings. The park is home to many multi-use trails that allow for hiking and biking in some locations. Hiking only trails allow you to meander along wooded trails and leave city-life elsewhere. Your trail of choice may cross a dam or footbridge. Trailways range between easy and moderate and are very kid-friendly, so everyone in the family can enjoy the fun!
Shakamak State Park and its vast lake-oriented environment make it an angler's dream. The many coves and small inlets offer a feeling of remoteness even in the midst of this public state park. You’ll have 400 acres of water to explore if you choose to go fishing here, so bring your gear and favorite small watercraft and see what you find for dinner. You can also go fishing from the shoreline and a fish cleaning station is also available to help you get your catch from hook to plate.
Within the park is a fantastic area to break a sweat and have some fun. The tennis and basketball courts are open all year, and the big field is the perfect place for soccer or your family’s favorite team sport. Sledding is even sometimes an option if there is enough snowfall in the winter. There may be some ball rentals available from the park office, but it is recommended that you bring your own equipment with you so you don't have to worry about missing out.
Throw those swimsuits into the RV and be ready to get wet. An outdoor pool and waterslide bring an extra dose of interest to Shakamak State Park, so remember the sunblock! Be sure to check pool and waterslide hours to ensure that you have plenty of time to enjoy these features of the park. Lifeguards will be on duty, but the swimming facilities vary in opening hours, so make sure to check when they are open during your visit.
Paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking offer water lovers a chance to check out as much of the three lakes as desired. Non-motorized crafts have multiple locations to choose from for entry to the water. Boat launch ramps are positioned at each of the three lakes.
Remember to follow Indiana state law regarding motorized and non-motorized watercraft. Permits are available online or through the park entrance. Note that even non-motorized watercraft require a permit. Some boats are available for rent.
There is no better way to spend an afternoon than by setting up a picnic with some delicious food. Shakamak State Park is the perfect place for a picnic of any size with many great amenities on offer for you to enjoy. There are many picnic tables and fire rings scattered throughout the park, along with some shelters that can be reserved in advance. These shelters are suited to large groups or those wanting more picnicking amenities, such as lights, barbeques, and extra seating. All reservations can be made online prior to your arrival.