Versailles State Park is worth taking a special RV trip out to southeastern Indiana just to see. It is the state's second largest state park and one that is filled to the brim with wildlife and history. Many of the stone structures within the park were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, but its deep cultural history goes even further back. During the Civil War, the area was briefly under Confederate control, until the Union soldiers took it back. Nonetheless, you can follow the same path Confederate general John Morgan took through the park thanks to the historical markers the park has placed along his route. Fossils found throughout the park also tell the story of the ancient ocean that once covered the area.
Present-day Versailles State Park is pretty interesting too, though. After hooking up your RV, you can pick from one of the many recreational activities offered at the park, including boating, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, picnicking, relaxing by the pool, and nature watching. Visitors to the park may be surprised to learn the large 230-acre Versailles Lake was actually a man-made result of building a dam across Laughery Creek in 1954. Nevertheless, the lake now makes the perfect spot for fishing and the dam can even be visited since it's within the park. You can explore all of the park's other secrets yourself, but you have to get there in your rig first.
RV Rentals in Versailles State Park
Transportation in Versailles State Park
Luckily the park is easy to find, sitting just an hour west of Cincinnati and a mere half-mile from outside of the city of Versailles, Indiana. The park can be reached several different ways, depending on where you are coming from, but you will ultimately end up on US-50, driving just outside of the city until you reach the park entrance. Once inside the park, the roads are paved and lack any tumultuous terrain or sharp turns, but some of the roads around the campgrounds may be difficult to maneuver with a big rig. That's why many visitors opt to bring an extra, smaller car that can get around the park easier, but it isn't totally necessary. If you plan on leaving the park to go shopping or eat in the nearby towns it would probably be easiest to bring an extra car. But whether you bring an extra car or use your RV to get around the park, you shouldn't have any problems finding parking near your destination. There are multiple parking lots throughout the park located near points of interest, including the pool and boat launch and the campgrounds. Some of the trails within the park are also paved, but they aren't suitable for vehicles, so many people choose to explore on bike or scooter.
Campgrounds and parking in Versailles State Park
Campsites in Versailles State Park
The large, established Batesville KOA campground is in a rural, wooded setting surrounded by forest and bordered by a lake. RV sites feature full hookups with Wi-Fi and concrete patios; some sites have picnic tables, grills, and/or fire pits. Campground amenities include restrooms and showers, laundry facilities, a pool, pavilions and gazebos, a family lodge, fishing, miniature golf, a nine-hole golf course, a beauty shop, a camp store, and much more. Planned activities include themed weekends, hayrides, nature walks, crafts, and candy hunts. There is also a restaurant on-site.
Campground C is the smallest of the three campgrounds and has the easiest layout to navigate. The campground is a simple semi-circle shape and has a nice little playground neighboring it. Like the others, this campground also only has electrical hookups, but the sites are very spacious and there are water stations and restrooms within the campground. Also like Campground B, reservations for this campground are only available during specific months. On one hand, this makes it easier to get a spot without a reservation, but if you want to stay for the weekend or on a holiday, you should get there as early as possible because that is when they are typically the busiest. Other camping options at Versailles State Park include the Youth Tent Area and group campsites for parties that are too large for the standard campsites.
Campground B is a short walk from Campground A and is comprised of sites 97 to 180. Many visitors find the roads in this campground are easier to navigate than those in Campground A, but it doesn't tend to be much busier. This campground is especially good for visitors with larger rigs, since almost all of the sites can fit equipment over 50 feet long. The campground is closer to the dump station than Campground A, but still far enough way that the inevitable odors won't waft into your site. Water stations and restrooms are also located throughout this campground to make up for the lack of sewage and water hookups. The sites at this campground can only be reserved between May and October and may be reserved up to six months in advance.
The 226 campsites at Versailles State Park are spread out over three campgrounds, with Campground A containing sites one through 96. The sites vary in size, but they are all pretty spacious and can accommodate RVs and trailers over 40 feet in length. Every site has an electric hookup, but no water or sewage hookups, which is pretty common for state parks. Thankfully, there are restrooms and water sources nearby, as well as a dump station centrally located between the three campgrounds. The nearby playground is the perfect setting for the kids to play while you're relaxing back at the campsite. The campground is within close proximity to the picnic area, a couple of nature trails, and Fallen Timber Creek. Although the campground isn't very close to the boat launch and fishing areas, the roads from the campground will take you right to them, so it's not a huge inconvenience. All of the sites at Campground A are available for reservations year round.
The campsites at Campground C are all available on a first-come, first-served basis during the off-season. However, during peak season, starting in May, they can be reserved. Whatever sites aren't reserved are available for local sale, but there's no telling when a site might be available if you don't make your reservation. Making a reservation is also the best way to ensure you have a site that can accommodate your equipment.
During the off-season months, all sites at this campground are only available on a first- come, first-served basis and you shouldn't have a problem getting one upon arrival. However, if you plan on going during the summer months make sure to make your reservations well in advance because this is many visitors' favorite campground and no sites are explicitly for local sale only during peak months.
Whatever sites are not reserved when you arrive are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During the winter months, excluding holidays, you shouldn't have any problems getting a site when you arrive if you didn't make reservations. However, you probably won't be as lucky during the peak season, so make your reservations in advance if you plan on visiting during the summer or spring.
Seasonal activities in Versailles State Park
Even though swimming is not allowed at the lake, don't worry, there are are plenty of swimming options available at the park. The large 25-meter swimming pool is the perfect spot for the whole family to go for a dip. As if that wasn't enough, there is also a huge 100-foot water slide and a children's area with a wading pool and rainmaker. The swimming complex is only open during the summer and spring months, so if you make an RV visit during this time make sure you check it out.
Boating and Fishing
It'd be a shame to leave Versailles State Park without first boating on Lake Versailles. You can either bring your own boat towed behind your rig or rent a canoe or kayak at the park. Not only is kayaking relaxing and a great form of cardio, but if you have your state fishing license you can also go fishing on Versailles Lake. Small game fish such as bass, bluegill, and catfish are common catches for anglers on the lake.
Attending Interpretive Programs
The Indiana state parks system provides a wealth of interpretive nature programs for visitors and nature lovers of all ages. The programs are offered three days a week during from May to August. The programs give visitors a chance to get up close and personal with the wildlife around the park and learn more about them, as well as the history of the park. You can find program schedules and plan ahead by visiting the park's website.
The trails in Versailles State Park are great for beginners and pros alike. They allow visitors to roam throughout nature at their own pace, whether you're looking for a relaxing stroll or grueling hike. Eight miles of trails are meant specifically for hiking, but hiking is also allowed on the biking trails. Although it may be tempting to pick a flower or feed the animals, make sure you don't take anything out of its original place, just enjoy it with your eyes.
If you're packing your bike in your camper you are in luck. The park also has 16 miles of mountain biking trails, with varying grades and treads. The easiest of the trails is Turtle Loop, which is only one mile long and doesn't have any challenging terrain. The other trails are quite a bit more challenging, but still a lot of fun to explore. They may not be suitable for children, but experienced mountain bikers will love the combination of the scenic views and challenging terrain.
Versailles State Park is any horse lover's dream come true. Whether you're just going for the day or camping for multiple nights, the park has plenty of room for you and your horse to roam. Although not all of the trails in the park are suitable for horseback riding, a whopping 25 miles of trails are just waiting to be explored on horseback. There is also an equestrian day use area if you don't want to stay on the trails all day.